"The use of Israeli military footage to accompany the story provided a biased and limited context for Canadian viewers, as Israeli military forces limit Palestinian and independent journalistic access to areas like this that are illegally under their control."
August 23, 2023
To: Dan Taylor, Managing Editor
James Lewis, News Director
Dear Mr.Taylor and Mr. Lewis,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) with concerns regarding a news report, “fatal shooting of a 17-year old Palestinian boy,” that appeared on the CTV News Channel (CTVNC) website on August 22, 2023.
The use of Israeli military footage to accompany the story provided a biased and limited context for Canadian viewers, as Israeli military forces limit Palestinian and independent journalistic access to areas like this that are illegally under their control. I appreciate that this was a brief news segment but one of the following statements could have been incorporated into the segment to provide more balanced reporting and fuller context:
- This teenager was the 42nd Palestinian minor to have been killed in 2023 by Israeli forces and settlers according to documentation by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI:P).[i]
- Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. DCI:P reported that the boy was shot in the back of the head, suggesting that he was leaving the scene and that there was not a direct threat to life or of serious injury to anyone.[ii]
- The routine use of nightly raids on Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem by the Israeli military as a form of oppression and control over the Palestinians in areas where Israeli occupation is illegal and international condemned.[iii]
- The disproportionate number of Palestinian civilian deaths in the context of the occupation as compared to Israeli civilian deaths. Many of these deaths raise concerns over violations of international law and lack of accountability. Between the period of January 20, 2023 and August 7, 2023, 191 Palestinians have died compared to 25 Israelis in the same period.[iv]
Canadian readers and listeners would be better served if future reports by CTV News Channel provided a more balanced context by including footage, perspectives, and/or facts from both Palestinian and Israeli sources.
Should you have any questions you are welcome to contact me at 250-469-4468.
Kelowna, British Columbia
[i] Defense for Children International: Palestine. https://www.dci-palestine.org/israeli_forces_fatally_shoot_17_year_old_palestinian_boy_in_back_of_head. August 22, 2023.
[ii] Night terror: The Israeli raids of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.
[iii] A LIFE EXPOSED: Military invasions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. Joint Report by Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Breaking the Silence. November 2020