"My primary concern is that the only Palestinian source used was the Palestinian Health Ministry. There are no accounts of the events from those who were on the ground or any witnesses to the killing."
August 10, 2023
Rob Roberts, Editor in Chief, The National Post
Aileen Donnelly, News Editor, The National Post
Julia Frankel, Journalist, The Associated Press
John Daniszewski, VP and Editor at Large for Standards, The Associated Press
Dear Ms. Frankel, Mr. Roberts, Ms. Donnelly, Mr. Daniszewski,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express my concern regarding an Associated Press article titled “Israeli forces kill a Palestinian militant in the West Bank..,” which appeared on the National Post website on August 10.
My primary concern is that the only Palestinian source used was the Palestinian Health Ministry. There are no accounts of the events from those who were on the ground or any witnesses to the killing. Furthermore, you use the Israeli source’s account as the main narrative of the events, which is problematic as you give the reader no reason for skepticism despite the many instances in which the Israeli military has misrepresented similar instances, the March 16 raid in Jenin being a good example.
As such, I would ask that you update the article to include Palestinian witnesses to the events in the interest of diversity and accuracy.
Second, the use of the word “captured” when referring to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is misleading, suggesting that Israel has a strong claim to or ownership of these territories. In fact, international law never uses the term “captured” when referring to land appropriation, and the international community has never diplomatically acquiesced to Israel's ongoing military presence in the West Bank. In fact, the UN Charter specifically outlaws the acquisition of territory by force.[i] As such, according to numerous legal interpretations, there is no concept of legal “capture” of sovereign territory.
By using "capture" instead of "occupy," the Palestinian people and their claims are effectively erased. I would ask that you rectify this error and adapt your future reporting to use the correct terminology when referring to the occupied Palestinian territories.
For more information, please see CJPME’s resource for journalists on “Why the West Bank is ‘occupied’ and not ‘captured.’”
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Director of Strategic Operations,
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
[i] “UN Charter,” Article 2.4, The United Nations. 26 Jun. 1945. Web. 27 Jul. 2016. <http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html>.