"To provide a complete picture of the events in Gaza, you should add even minimal context about Israel’s ongoing blockade and effective occupation of Gaza. A sentence like “protests have driven up tensions” does not fully and fairly describe this context. It is highly misleading and one-sided."
September 28, 2023
Issam Adwan, Journalist, AP
Josef Federman, News Director, Jerusalem, AP
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Issam Adwan, Josef Federman, and Donovan Vincent,
I am writing to express concern about your AP article, “Israel reopens Gaza crossing for Palestinian laborers after sealing it over rising tensions” published by Toronto Star on September 28.
Your article reports a significant event: the main crossing between Israel and Gaza’s reopening on Thursday, September 28 after weeks of tumultuous events in Gaza and its 1-week closure. However, I want to highlight two significant issues in your article that are enmeshed in one another.
First, you entirely omitted to mention that Israel fired live ammunition at protesters, wounded dozens, and killed at least one man as it was reported in a Reuters article, “Israel reopens Gaza crossings, lets Palestinians back to work after two weeks” published on September 28. Such a glaring and important omission fundamentally alters how people view the situation. The use of live fire by Israeli troops and the murder of a protester is essential context.
Therefore, to provide a complete picture of the events in Gaza, you should add that Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters and killed at least one.
Second, your article presents the events as protests [that] have driven up tensions between Israel and Palestinian protesters/demonstrators. You write: “The protests have driven up tensions, prompting Israel to launch airstrikes in the territory that targeted military posts belonging to the militant Hamas that rules Gaza.”
Presenting such events as protests [that] have driven up tensions obscures the asymmetrical nature of the violence (Israel as an occupying power and Palestinians as a population living under military occupation) and places the blame on the Palestinians protesting for the unfolding of the events. If anything, the protests represent ongoing tensions, especially those spurred by border closures and the ongoing blockade. Gaza can reasonably be referred to as “occupied” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which gives Palestinians a right to resist according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 3314 and 37/43 and Protocol I to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
To provide a complete picture of the events in Gaza, you should add even minimal context about Israel’s ongoing blockade and effective occupation of Gaza. A sentence like “protests have driven up tensions” does not fully and fairly describe this context. It is highly misleading and one-sided.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
 International Committee of the Red Cross, “What does the law say about the responsibilities of the Occupying Power in the occupied Palestinian territory?,” March 28, 2023, https://www.icrc.org/en/document/ihl-occupying-power-responsibilities-occupied-palestinian-territories
 UNGA resolution 3314, “Definition of Aggression,” December 14, 1974.
 UNGA resolution 37/43, “Importance of the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and of the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights,” December 3, 1982.
 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), June 8, 1977.