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West Bank

Error (Wall Street Journal, Joshua Mitnick, 3/3/14): Most of the international community considers Israeli building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal, including the U.S. . . .

Fact: Current United States policy does not dub the Israeli settlements "illegal" under international law. Although the Carter administration did consider the settlements illegal, subsequent administrations did not.

Error (San Francisco Chronicle, Saree Makdisi, Op-Ed, 12/20/06): Israel maintains two separate road networks in the West Bank: one for the exclusive use of Jewish settlers, and one for Palestinian natives.

Fact: There are no Jewish-only roads in the West Bank. Certain West Bank roads are open to Jewish, Muslim and Christian Israeli citizens (whose vehicles have yellow license plates) but off limits to non-Israeli residents of the West Bank (who have different plates).

Error (Ha'aretz, Nehemia Shtrasler, 3/21/06): . . the Ma'ale Adumim bloc will be connected to Jerusalem via E1, and cut the West Bank in half.

Fact: Even if E1 construction is completed, Palestinian-controlled areas would be connected by land east of Ma’aleh Adumim that is at its narrowest point approximately 15 kilometers wide. (It’s worth noting that is approximately the same distance as the strip of land separating the Green Line from the Mediterranean Sea near Herzliya.) Furthermore, three routes are available for West Bank Palestinians to travel freely from south to north, and a fourth is on the way. All of these are totally unaffected by the E-1 building plan. USA Today has already corrected the identical error.

Error (Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Austin American-Statesman from Cox News Service Article by Margaret Coker, 6/18/05): The withdrawal from Gaza will leave approximately 250,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Sharon says he has no intention of evacuating them ...

Fact: In the months before this article was published, Ariel Sharon did not say he has no intention of evacuating any of the West Bank settlers. On the contrary, he strongly implied that some of these settlers would be evacuated. He said the following during a Jan. 11, 2005 address to the foreign press corps:

... When Israel – and I hope that we'll be able to do it soon – has to follow the roadmap, Israel will not be able to hold all the Jewish communities .... If it will be quiet and I have said it many many times: for genuine, durable, real peace, Israel is ready to make painful concessions. Why painful? Because these concessions are in areas which are the cradle of the Jewish people.... (Q: Mr. Prime Minister, you have often been talking about painful concessions towards the Palestinians, also today. Can you be more specific, can you give us examples?) The areas that we speak about are areas in Samaria and Judea, or as you will refer to the as the West Bank. If you know the Bible, you do not need a guide book in this country, because you can hold the Bible and all the names, biblical names, are them. Jerusalem is Yerushalayim and the Jordan is Hayarden and Jericho is Jericho and Bethlehem is Bethlehem and Hebron is Hevron .... So when you see all these things and you see all those names, then you understand why it's painful.... And the Jewish people as Jews have existed for 4,000 years and never left this country. Therefore, it is painful, but painful steps will have to be taken.

Error (Philadelphia Inquirer, Trudy Rubin, 4/13/05): ... plans to build 3,500 housing units on the West Bank to connect the settlement of Maaleh Adumim with Jerusalem. This would cut the West Bank in half and isolate it from Arab areas of East Jerusalem.

Fact: The proposed neighborhood of Maaleh Adumim will neither cut the West Bank in half nor isolate it from eastern Jerusalem. For details, click here.

Error (Detroit News, Hasan Newash and David Finkel, 4/6/05): The completion of this wall -- under the cover of the "peace process" -- would leave less than half the West Bank (10 percent of historic Palestine) in Palestinian hands, divided into two disconnected mini-Bantustans ... .

Fact: Israel's separation barrier leaves at least 92 percent of the West Bank on the "Palestinian side" of the barrier. This land is not disconnected, but rather is one contiguous land mass.

Error (AP, Gavin Rabinowitz, 10/5/03): . . . a blanket closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. . . confined some 3 million Palestinians to their homes in advance of the Jewish holiday.

Fact: The closure barred Palestinians from entering Israel; it did not confine people “to their homes.” AP photographs taken during this period show Palestinians attending mass rallies in Ramallah and Gaza, Palestinians waiting at an Israeli checkpoint near Ramallah, Palestinians milling about the destroyed home of suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat in Jenin, and taxis waiting in line in Gaza.

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.