CAMERA Prompts AP Corrections on Palestinian Refugees

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of Associated Press photo captions which erroneously claimed that UNRWA provides services to “some 5 million Palestinian refugees who were displaced during the 1948 war.” In fact, the U.N. agency provides services to at most 30,000 Palestinians displaced during the 1948 war. The rest, nearly five million people, are the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on, of those displaced in 1948.
The erroneous March 12 captions follow: 

Refugee school girls fly kites during the “Kites of Dignity” event at the UNRWA Rimal Girls Preparatory school in Gaza City, Monday, March 12, 2018. The event is part of a larger fundraising campaign the agency launched in January in response to aid cut by the Trump administration. The agency provides food, education and health care to some 5 million Palestinian refugees who were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel. (AP photo/Adel Hana)

 

Refugee school girls hold kites to fly during the “Kites of Dignity” event at the UNRWA Rimal Girls Preparatory school in Gaza City, Monday, March 12, 2018. The event is part of a larger fundraising campaign the agency launched in January in response to aid cut by the Trump administration. The agency provides food, education and health care to some 5 million Palestinian refugees who were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

As AP itself has previously reported, of those original hundreds of thousands of 1948 Palestinian refugees, only some 30,000 at most are still living, as of six years ago. Thus, contrary to the captions, the agency provides services to at most 30,000 Palestinian refugees who were displaced during the 1948, and not 5 million as reported. (And that maximal figure assumes that everyone who was alive in 2012 is still living today, and that all of those people are receiving UNRWA assistance.)
In response to communication from CAMERA, AP commendably corrected the erroneous captions. The corrected captions, which now appears in the agency’s photo archive, accurately note that “UNRWA serves some 5 million Palestinians across the Middle East including refugees displaced by the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948 and their descendants”: 

For additional AP corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.