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Media Analyses





UPDATED: CAMERA Prompts AFP Correction: UN School Not Hit in Israeli Strike


Feb. 6 Update: Ynet Also Corrects 

Jan. 13, 2011 -- CAMERA staff prompted a correction this week on a Jan. 6, 2011 Agence France-Presse article which had falsely claimed that Israel hit a United Nations school in Gaza two years ago during fighting, killing 43. The error and correction follow:

Error(AFP, 1/6/11): Mahmud Zahar made the remarks during a memorial ceremony for 43 Palestinians who were killed at a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp during Israel's 22-day war on Gaza that began in December 2008. . .

Zahar was speaking on the second anniversary of an Israeli air strike on the United Nations' Al-Fakhura school in the northern Gaza Strip. . . .

Before an audience that included members of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, Zahar paid tribute to those who died in the school where they had taken refuge from the heavy fighting.

Correction(1/11/11): ATTENTION - CORRECTION: In Israel-Palestinians-conflict-Gaza-Holocaust-Jews moved Jan. 6, please read in paras 2,4 and 6 xxx near a UN school xxx sted at as sent. Herewith a corrected repeat:///

Mahmud Zahar made the remarks during a memorial ceremony for 43 Palestinians who were killed near a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp during Israel's 22-day war on Gaza that began in December 2008. . . .

Zahar was speaking on the second anniversary of an Israeli air strike near the United Nations' Al-Fakhura school in the northern Gaza Strip. . . .

Before an audience that included members of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, Zahar paid tribute to those who died near the school where they had taken refuge from the heavy fighting.

CAMERA commends the AFP's speedy correction making clear that the U.N. school was not hit in the Jan. 6 strike. However, the AFP neglected to clarify that the figure of 43 casualties from the Al-Fakhura Street incident is heavily disputed, and has not been proven. The Goldstone Report (hardly friendly towards Israel), acknowledged that it did not have definitive information on the number of casualties, but cited far fewer than 43. Paragraph 661 says that the reported three shells which hit "al-Fakhura Street killed at least 24 people. The witnesses estimate that up to another 40 were injured by the blasts. The Mission has not been able to verify those figures, but having inspected the site and viewed the footage, it does not consider these numbers to be exaggerated." (Emphasis added.) The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), in its list of casualties from the winter fighting, identifies 18 Palestinians who were killed "opposite" or "near" the Al-Fakhura school on Jan. 6.  The Israeli military, in an investigation of the incident, found that 12 to 17 people were killed in the strike, including several fighters (Jerusalem Post, April 24, 2009).

In addition, the article is marred by tendentious language. Israel did not launch a war "on Gaza," as evidenced by the nearly 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid that Israel transferred to the Gaza Strip during the fighting. Rather, Israel launched a war on Hamas.
 
Jan. 20 Update: Ynet Has Yet to Correct
 
The Israeli Web site Ynetnews.com posted the erroneous AFP article Jan. 6. When CAMERA staff brought the correction to the attention of Ynet editors, they promised to correct it. As of today, however, the original version still appears unchanged. Ynet editors cite technical problems in implementing a change.

Feb. 6 Update: Ynet Also Corrects

Ynet's corrected article can be viewed here.


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