"The article lists all the important events that occurred, from 1362 to 2022, on September 12. Overall, the article did a fine job of listing and describing the events, but was incorrect with the 2005 event listed. The article states that "in 2005, the Israeli army withdrew from Gaza, officially ending Israel’s 38-year occupation" which is completely false."
September 12, 2023
Andrea Baillie, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Press
Tim Cook, Assistant Managing Editor, Canadian Press
Neil Godbout, Editor-in-Chief, Prince George Citizen
Dear Andrea Bailie, Tim Cook and Neil Godbout,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express our concerns regarding an article titled “Today-History-Sep12” which was published and posted online by Prince George Citizen on September 12, 2023.
The article lists all the important events that occurred, from 1362 to 2022, on September 12. Overall, the article did a fine job of listing and describing the events, but was incorrect with the 2005 event listed. The article states that "in 2005, the Israeli army withdrew from Gaza, officially ending Israel’s 38-year occupation" which is completely false.
In order to be more accurate, the sentence should simply state “in 2005, the Israeli army withdrew from Gaza, but maintains effective control through an unlawful air, sea and land blockade.”
First, the status of Gaza and its occupation should not be confused. Israel “disengaged” from Gaza in 2005, which means that it removed its illegal settlements and its ground forces from the territory. However, Gaza is still under Israel’s effective control (and, hence, remains “occupied”) according to key experts in the international, humanitarian, and human rights sectors, such as the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Save the Children, Oxfam, Islamic Relief, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International and Israeli human rights groups including B’Tselem and the Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. In 2022, Amnesty International concluded that:
Even though Israel withdrew Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip in
2005, it retained effective control over the territory, which it tightened further through an unlawful air, sea and land blockade, and an official policy separating Gaza from the West Bank, following Hamas’s takeover of the territory two years later. As a result, the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza Strip remains under Israeli military occupation, with Israel controlling the Palestinian population living there, their natural resources and, with the exception of Gaza’s short southern border with Egypt, their land and sea borders and airspace. (Emphasis added)
Second, claiming that Gaza is no longer under occupation falsely implies that Israel no longer has responsibilities towards the population under international humanitarian law, and especially the Fourth Geneva Convention (protection of civilians). The people of Gaza are a civilian population that deserves protection under international humanitarian law. A statement like this tends to ignore their daily life reality and conditions.
We expect that this correction is made and taken into account in future reporting: that Prince George Citizen and Canadian Press will acknowledge Israel’s ongoing occupation of Gaza.
Thank you for making these changes. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 For further sources and documentation, see CJPME’s essay, “Why Gaza is ‘occupied’ under Israeli effective control,” https://www.cjpmemap.ca/why_gaza_is_occupied_under_israeli_effective_control
 Amnesty International, “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity,” February 1, 2022, https://amnesty.ca/human-rights-news/israels-apartheid-against-palestinians-a-cruel-system-of-domination-and-a-crime-against-humanity/