"To be more accurate, you should mention that Israel violated the blue line multiple times after withdrawing from South Lebanon in 2000 and waged a war against Lebanon in 2006."
September 26, 2023
Maya Gebeily, Reporter, Reuters
Emily Rose, Reporter, Reuters
Muhammad Al Gebaly, Correspondent, Reuters
Peter Graff, Correspondent, Reuters
Andrew Heavens, Journalist, History Press
Howard Goller, Global News Desk Editor, Reuters
Steve Bartlett, Senior Managing Editor, Saltwire
Bradley Works, Managing Editor, Saltwire
Dear Maya Gebeily, Emily Rose, Muhammad Al Gebaly, Peter Graff, Andrew Heavens, Howard Goller, Steve Bartlett, and Bradley Works,
I am writing to express concern about your Reuters article, “Lebanese army says it exchanged tear gas, some bomb fire with Israel,” published by Saltwire on September 23.
Overall, the article did a fine job outlining the Saturday confrontation between Lebanon and Israel and presenting a nuanced storyline by citing official sources from both sides and a UNIFIL spokesperson.
However, your article does not fully explain Israel’s history of violations or mention an important event, the 2006 war. You write:
The current demarcation line between the two countries is known as the Blue Line, a frontier mapped by the United Nations that marks the line to which Israeli forces withdrew when they left south Lebanon in 2000.
Israel withdrew and left South Lebanon in 2000, but continued to violate the Blue Line, which resulted in a “pre-planned assault on all of Lebanon -especially civilians”[i] in the 2006 July War. Also, “during the 17-month period prior to the Destruction of Lebanon, Israel violated the Blue Line 1606 times […] During this same period, Hezbollah violated the Blue Line a total of 9 times.”[ii]
To be more accurate, you should mention that Israel violated the blue line multiple times after withdrawing from South Lebanon in 2000 and waged a war against Lebanon in 2006.
I hope that Saltwire and Reuters will add more context about Israel’s violations of the Blue Line and the 2006 Lebanon War.
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
[i] “Timeline of Recent Events,” CBC, Last Update, August 14, 2006; “Day-by-day: Lebanon crisis – week one,” BBC, Last Update, July 19, 2006; and the series of reports entitled “Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon” from the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry Website.
[ii] Data based on monthly reports submitted by both Lebanon and Israel to the UN Security Council, documenting violations of the Blue Line. Lebanon’s reports are also corroborated by UNIFIL reports covering the same periods. E.g. For the Lebanon reports on Israeli violations, for May, 2006: “Letter dated 5 June 2006 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,” UN Security Council, A/60/873, S/2006/363, 6 June, 2006