"Correction on your 2006/2007 and West Bank/Gaza inaccuracies is not a matter of opinion. Your background facts, while plainly written in good faith, are just wrong. I trust you will correct them in order to accurately inform readers at this sensitive time."
October 20, 2023
Saša Petricic, Reporter, CBC News
George Achi, Director of Journalistic Standards and Public Trust, CBC News
Brodie Fenlon, News Editor-in-Chief, CBC News
Jack Nagler, Ombudsman, CBC News
Nancy Waugh, Sr. Manager, CBC
Rhianna Schmunk, Repoter, CBC News
Dear Saša Petricic, George Achi, Brodie Fenlon, Jack Nagler, Nancy Waugh,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to insist on correction of a good-faith error in your article, “Whether it’s strategy or revenge, Israel is likely to prevail in Gaza offensive – but then what?”
In this story, you write: “Since Hamas was elected in Gaza in 2006, its role has been to govern 2.3 million Palestinians, a difficult task under Israel’s blockade.”
Those details, respectfully, are wrong. The factual details are as follows.
The 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections which Hamas won were not Gaza elections to govern the population of Gaza. The PLC forms part of the Palestinian Authority (PA). And the Oslo Accords, under which the whole PA system is organized, were always organized around the indivisibility of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Even the most limited versions of Oslo implementation recognized this, building the PA out from Jericho, in the West Bank, as well as Gaza: see the Rabin/Arafat Jericho–Gaza Agreement of 1994.
There have never been PLC elections specific either to the West Bank or to Gaza; the PA was organized to operate in both. The split coming out of the 2006 PLC elections was not between the West Bank and Gaza but between the Palestinian presidency and legislature.
The following are the facts. In January 2006, PLC elections were held in the West Bank and Gaza, and for the first time a Hamas slate (Change & Reform) ran candidates. Hamas won in the West Bank. Overall, Hamas won 74 out of 132 seats in the West Bank and Gaza combined. In the West Bank, Hamas won 30 out of 42 seats; Fatah won 12.
This is not the place for a full review of what followed. But briefly, the West encouraged its PA allies to nullify the influence of the elected Legislative Council and to overturn the 2006 election results through the Mahmoud Abbas presidency, with its lapsed electoral mandate.
Factually, therefore, it is simply false to write as you have. “Since Hamas was elected in Gaza in 2006,” in your phrasing, “its role has been to govern 2.3 million Palestinians, a difficult task under Israel’s blockade.” This is a good-faith but major factual error.
You need to replace that sentence with a passage containing the following information:
“Since Hamas was elected in the West Bank and Gaza in 2006, it has had a tense relationship with the Palestinian Authority’s Western-backed old guard. In 2007, Hamas was purged with Western support from its elected position in the PA legislature. It retains internal control of the Gaza Strip, the 2.3 million Palestinian inhabitants of which have since 2007 been subjected to a tight Israeli siege.”
Correction on your 2006/2007 and West Bank/Gaza inaccuracies is not a matter of opinion. Your background facts, while plainly written in good faith, are just wrong.
I trust you will correct them in order to accurately inform readers at this sensitive time.
Feel free to contact me at 438-380-5410 if you would like to discuss this further.
PhD, University of Exeter
Postdoc, Canada Research Chair in Québec and Canadian Studies
Director of Strategic Operations
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/
Canadiens pour la Justice et la Paix au Moyen-Orient