"In light of United Nations and expert legal opinion, this article’s language on Israel’s status in the Gaza Strip – “both Israel and Egypt maintain restrictions along their frontiers with the territory,” you write – is legally ambiguous and therefore misleading to your readers. Israel legally occupies Gaza."
Steve Bartlett, Managing Editor, Saltwire
Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reporter, Reuters
Dear Steve Bartlett and Nidal al-Mughrabi,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to insist on correction of your September 7 article, “In Gaza, little gold coins help the poor to save.”
This phrase of yours – “Gaza is home to 2.3 Palestinians and nearly half of them are unemployed – is clearly false: do add the word “million.”
Another omission in this article, as important as the omission of the word “million,” is the omission of any reference to the status – both the practical and legal status – of these 2.3 million Palestinians as people living under Israeli military occupation.
This is a settled matter of law. In 2023, we have had it restated on the highest authority. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) writes: “The ICRC considers Gaza to remain occupied territory.” Canada’s Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel since 1967, writes to the same effect: “Under international law, th[e] degree of control exercised by Israel since 2005 is sufficient to conclude that Israel remains the occupying power over Gaza.”
Do please, therefore, add both the word “million,” to accurately indicate the number of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, and the following paragraph, too, to correct your vague and misleading assertion that Gaza is “run by the Islamist Hamas group”:
The more than 2 million Palestinians who live in the narrow Gaza Strip are in their vast majority descendants of refugees who fled or were driven from what is now Israel at its founding in 1948. Israel occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967. Israel claims that its 2005 “disengagement” from Gaza ended the occupation. Legal experts and the United Nations counter that Israel’s control of Gaza’s borders and airspace confirm its continued status as occupying power, with Fourth Geneva Convention obligations to the population under its effective control.
In light of United Nations and expert legal opinion, this article’s language on Israel’s status in the Gaza Strip – “both Israel and Egypt maintain restrictions along their frontiers with the territory,” you write – is legally ambiguous and therefore misleading to your readers. Israel legally occupies Gaza.
We expect these changes in the interest of basic professional accuracy.
If you wish, feel free to reach me by phone at 438-380-5410.
PhD, University of Exeter
Director of Strategic Operations
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/
Canadiens pour la Justice et la Paix au Moyen-Orient