"The report fails to mention Israel’s crippling, ongoing blockade of Gaza. It also misrepresents Hamas because in 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and, following a power struggle with Fatah, took control of certain aspects of the Gaza Strip in 2007."
September 25, 2023
Issam Adwan, Correspondent, AP
Matt Goerzen, Managing Editor, Brandon Sun
Josef Federman, News Director, Jerusalem, AP
Dear Issam Adwan, Matt Goerzen and Josef Federman,
I am writing to express concern about your AP article, “Ancient cemetery unearthed in Gaza,” published by the Brandon Sun on September 25.
Overall, the article did a fine job outlining the discovery of dozens of ancient graves by Palestinian workers in Gaza and their importance. However, I want to highlight a significant issue in your article.
Your article does not fully and fairly depict Gaza — especially its occupation by Israel. You write:
But a number of factors — Israeli occupation, Hamas’ 16-year takeover of the territory and rapid urban growth — have conspired to endanger many of the besieged strip’s archaeological treasures.
Such a description places Israeli occupation and Hamas’ governance as similarly influential factors. More importantly, the report fails to mention Israel’s crippling, ongoing blockade of Gaza. It also misrepresents Hamas because in 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and, following a power struggle with Fatah, took control of certain aspects of the Gaza Strip in 2007. To use the term “takeover” obscures essential electoral elements of Hamas’ governance and obscures the asymmetrical power of Hamas and Israel.
To be more accurate, you should clarify that Israel’s blockade of Gaza constitutes a significant obstacle to excavating its archeological sites.
I hope that Brandon Sun and AP will add more context about Israel’s ongoing occupation of Gaza in future reporting.
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