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Los Angeles Times

Error (Los Angeles Times, News Brief, 7/3/08): All the Lebanese prisoners to be freed by Israel are alive.

Fact: As part of the deal, Israel plans to return remains from nearly 200 Lebanese and other Arabs. The media carried reports about Israeli forces exhuming the remains in the days before the exchange.

Error (Los Angeles Times, Patrick McDonnell, 11/10/06): The bombing inquiry [in Argentina] has drawn praise from Washington, Tel Aviv and the Jewish community worldwide. . .

Fact: While Israel did praise the Argentinean inquiry, the praise originated in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv. In particular, the Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Bureau, located in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, issued a statement on the inquiry.

Error (Los Angeles Times, Tyler Marshall, 2/28/05): During the Clinton administration, in what has been described as a painful dialogue, the United States pressured Israel in 2000 to cancel a potentially lucrative sale to China of its Phalcon airborne early warning and control system, and then persuaded Tel Aviv to impound a fleet of anti-radar drone aircraft that was delivered in China in the mid-1990s but returned to Israel for upgrading.

Fact: This passage erroneously suggests that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. The correct reference is Jerusalem. In addition, while Marshall reports as fact that Israel cancelled its harpy drone deal with China, there are conflicting news reports about whether Israel did so. There were scattered reports that Israel cancelled the deal by either impounding the drones or sending them back to China without upgrading them. (See, for example, AFP’s “Israel fears huge fine over nixed drones export to China,” Jan. 12, 2005.) However, other news sources note that Israeli officials promptly denied those reports. Thus, Voice of Israel reported Jan. 11, 2005: “Israeli defence sources have ‘categorically denied’ reports that Israel has suspended a deal with China to upgrade drone aircraft.” And, Peter Enav of Associated Press reported the same day: “The Israeli military on Tuesday denied reports that Israel had suspended an upgrade for drone aircraft it sould to China in the 1990s. Rachel Niedak-Ashkenazi, spokeswoman for the Israeli Denfense Ministry, said Israel had not returned parts to the Chinese military as earlier reported.” Furthermore, Marshall’s language suggests that the Harpy drone aircraft issue arose during the Clinton administration, when it happened at the beginning of 2005.

Error (Los Angeles Times, Laura King, 4/24/04): Also Friday, Israel staged a series of raids in the West Bank that the army described as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants. Undercover troops killed three Palestinian men in an early-morning ambush in the town of Kalkilya, Palestinian witnesses said.

Fact: According to an IDF spokesman, in beeper messages and verbally the army described the raids as hunts for wanted Palestinian “terrorists.” Contrary to King’s statement, the army did not “describe [the raids] as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants” (emphasis added).

Error (Los Angeles Times, Tracy Wilkinson, 12/24/02): With the housing, a new settlers-only road has appeared as well as light posts that illuminate the night.

Fact: “Settlers-only roads,” though a common media misconception, do not exist. There are roads, however, that are open to anyone driving with a yellow license plate, which includes all Israelis--Arab and Jew alike--whether or not they are settlers. Because of security issues, these roads are not open to Palestinians from the territories (they have blue license plates.) No roads were barred to Palestinians before they began attacking Israelis, and even after the first Intifada, only one road--the Tunnel Road--was restricted to cars with Israeli license plates. All other roads were still open to cars with Palestinian license plates.

Error (Los Angeles Times, Tracy Wilkinson, 7/30/01): Police in riot gear used stun grenades and yellow rubber bullets–not live ammunition–to corral the Palestinians inside Al Aqsa and wrestled others to the ground.

Fact: While some Palestinians did claim that Israeli police used rubber bullets, Israel disputed this claim. Other major American papers which mentioned the rubber bullets made clear that it was a claim, and not necessarily fact. Moreover, they reported that Israel denied the allegation. For example, the Chicago Tribune reported that "Palestinian hospital officials said four of at least 35 injured demonstrators were struck by rubber-coated metal bullets, one in an eye. Israeli police, criticized in the past for using excessive force, denied using rifle fire."

Error (Los Angeles Times, Daoud Kuttab, 5/17/01): Israel suspended peace talks when Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister of Israel.

Fact: As the LA Times itself reported on Jan. 29, 2001, it was former Prime Minister Ehud Barak who suspended peace talks a week before Sharon was elected. Tracy Wilkinson’s January story, entitled "Barak Suspends Peace Talks Until After the Election," reports: "The once-promising era of Middle East peacemaking under the auspices of Ehud Barak’s current government came to a formal end Sunday night when Israel’s caretaker prime minister suspended diplomatic contacts with the Palestinians."