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Media Analyses





STUDY: Associated Press Downplays Palestinian Road Map Obligations, Emphasizes Israeli Obligations


After noticing a number of Associated Press (AP) news stories that referred exclusively to the international Road Map peace planís demands on Israel, while overlooking the Road Map's requirements of the Palestinians—even in news reports about Palestinians flouting the plan—CAMERA undertook to determine whether these one-sided citations of the Road Map were anomalies, or part of a larger pattern.

A review of all September 2005 AP articles mentioning the Road Map peace plan did, in fact, find a striking discrepancy: In stories reporting actions that violate or meet obligations of the peace plan, the wire service was substantially more likely throughout the month to explicitly cite the Road Mapís demands on Israel than those on the Palestinians. Of the Associated Press stories referring to Israeli actions relevant to phase I of the Road Map, 78 percent specifically noted the corresponding Road Map demand on Israel. On the other hand, only 26 percent of stories referring to Palestinian actions addressed in phase I of the plan explicitly noted the corresponding Road Map clause. That is, AP stories reporting Israeli activities regulated by the plan are three times more likely to also cite the specific Road Map obligation than are AP stories reporting Palestinian activities regulated by the plan.

The net effect over time is to amplify the false notion that Israel is singularly under obligation to live up to the agreement and disproportionately in violation of it. At the same time, the Palestinians are, in effect, cast as more sinned against than sinning—with their required actions obscured.

This notable discrepancy in presenting events accurately and fully is especially significant considering the influence of the Associated Press in shaping peopleís perceptions about the Middle East.

Like other mainstream news media, AP is expected to avoid partisan advocacy for one side in a contentious conflict. In light of the findings, it would be hoped the influential news service would take immediate steps to ensure evenhanded reporting of the Road Map peace plan, and the Mideast conflict in general.

The Methodology section explains how data was gathered and classified.

The Results section shows the raw data. (For ease of reading, some tables noted in the Results section are published in a separate Tables section.)

The Discussion section discusses the significance of the study's findings.

Methodology

CAMERA evaluated every article dispatched by the Associated Press in September 2005 containing both the phrase "Road Map," and any derivative of the word "Israel" or "Palestinian." Each of these articles was categorized based on two criteria: a) whether it referred to actions by Israel, the Palestinians, both of the parties or neither of the parties that directly relate to specific obligations called for in phase I of the Road Map peace plan, and b) whether it explicitly cited the corresponding Road Map demand on Israel, the Palestinians, both of the parties or neither of the parties. (A list of the relevant Road Map phase I requirements can be found in Table 6 below.)

For example, a Sept. 21 AP story by Mark Lavie, "Israeli security chief warns of armed chaos in Gaza, al-Qaida infiltration," (article #17 in List 1) was classified as a) referring to both Palestinian and Israeli actions required in phase I, and b) explicitly identifying only the Israeli obligation under the peace plan.

The article described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbasí call for "militants to stop displaying weapons on the streets," and relayed Hamasí assertion that the group's cooperation with the Palestinian Authority "did not mean the militants would give up their weapons." This news related directly to phase I of the Road Map, which explicitly calls for "commencing confiscation of illegal weapons." The article also reported that some former Gaza settlers claimed they received permission to resettle in a new West Bank locale. This news related directly to the phase I provision calling on Israel to "freeze[...] all settlement activity ...."

But while the story referred to both Palestinian and Israeli actions called for in the Road Map, it informed readers only of the Israeli obligation. Settlement activity, Lavie wrote, "would violate Israeli pledges not to set up new settlements in the West Bank, contained in the internationally backed Ďroad mapí peace plan." On the other hand, he did not describe Hamasí suggestion that they would keep their arms as a violation of Palestinian pledges under the plan.

Each of the aforementioned stories was analyzed in this same manner.

Results

For the month of September, AP ran 61 articles (according to the LexisNexis news database) which included the phrase "road map," and some derivative of the word "Israel" or "Palestinian." List 1 shows the headlines, publication date, and other details about each of the articles, and assigns each article a unique number.

Of these 61, 21 were almost exact repeats of earlier dispatches, and were not considered for the study. (AP often sends out several slightly modified versions of the same story over the course of a day. Slightly modified, updated versions of stories by the same author which predominantly reported the same information with the same language were defined as "repeats." When modifications to a story changed its classification, the modified story was not considered a repeat, but was counted as a separate story.) Of the remaining 40, seven did not describe any explicit provision in phase I of the Road Map plan. 

Thus, there remained 33 unique AP stories referring to actions required by the first phase of the peace plan.

Of these 33 stories, 23 referred to actions required of Israel. Eighteen of those 23 (78 percent) also explicitly cited the Road Map obligation.

Twenty-seven of the 33 referred to actions required of the Palestinians. Seven of those 27 (26 percent) also specifically identified the Road Map demand. 
 
Table 1 (below) shows the breakdown of the 33 articles considered in the study.
 
Table 3 shows the classification of each individual AP article.
 
Table 1. Breakdown of the 33 AP articles discussing Israeli and/or Palestinian actions referred to by Road Map, Phase I.
 

# of articles that refer to activities addressed by Phase I of the Road Map

# of those articles that explicitly note corresponding Road Map demand on party

Percent of articles that reference Road Map obligation and also refer to corresponding Road Map demand on party

Israel

23

18

78%

Palestinians

27

7

26%

The above count includes 17 stories in which both Palestinian and Israeli actions relevant to the Road Map were mentioned. But of those 17 stories, eight cited the Road Mapís demands on Israel alone. Not one noted only  the planís demands on the Palestinians. Four pointed out the planís requirements on both parties, and five didnít specify the Road Mapís demands on either party. (See table 2 below.)

Table 2. Breakdown of each of the 17 AP articles referring both to Israeli and Palestinian actions required by Road Map, Phase I.

# of articles that cite Road Map demand on Israel alone

# of articles that cite Road Map demand on both Israel and Palestinians

# of articles that cite Road Map demand on Palestinians alone

8

4

0

 Tables 4 and 5 show the specific language in each of the 33 stories relevant to the study, along with the specific language of the Road Map obligation relating to Israel (Table 4) and to the Palestinians (Table 5).

Discussion

Spinning the Mideast conflict
APís emphasizing of Israeli obligations while overlooking Palestinian obligations can be best examined by looking at wider context.

The planning and launching of Palestinian violence in September 2000 was for many the definitive end to the flagging Oslo peace process. With the Oslo era considered over, many pro-Palestinian activists, overlooking the numerous Palestinian violations of the Oslo Accords—examples include the Palestinian failure to act against violence, continued anti-Israel incitement, proliferation of illegal weaponry and the deployment a Palestinian police force far larger than that allowed by the Accords—lobbied to show that Israel was entirely or mostly to blame for bringing to an end to the peace process. On the other side, pro-Israel activists countered the argument that Palestinians gained little after years of peace talks first by noting the Palestinians had in fact gained 40 percent of the West Bank and most of the Gaza Strip, self-government over virtually the entire Palestinian population and administration of Palestinian schools, hospitals, media and other civic structures; and second by noting they would have gained more but for Palestinian non-compliance with signed agreements. This battle for public opinion continues today, with some activists still hoping to rearrange public perceptions regarding the bygone Oslo era.
 
More relevantly, the ongoing "Road Map" era is also subject to attempts by activists to paint one party or the other as the foremost obstacle to peace.

Unlike activist organizations, whose purpose may be to denounce only one party in a conflict, the news media is expected to diligently avoid partisan framing of contentious issues. Mainstream journalists are to report the news objectively and hold parties to one consistent standard.

Fair reporting is not only a public expectation; it is one of the central tenets of journalistic codes of ethics, as well. The Associated Press Managing Editorsí (APME) Statement of Ethical Principles, for example, urges "impartial treatment of issues and dispassionate handling of controversial subjects."

It is disturbing, then, that the Associated Press, which describes itself as "the largest ... news organization in the world," appeared in September 2005 to have two separate standards when describing the Road Map obligations of Israel and the Palestinians.

Road Map
The introduction to the Road Map calls for "progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties," and notes that "progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below."

That the peace plan makes demands on both parties is clear. In both paragraph and bullet format, the plan forthrightly lays out its demands on the parties. See the text of Phase I here.

It should also be clear that both parties have not satisfied obligations of the Road Map. Although the Palestinians have accepted the plan and have taken some steps called for in the plan—primarily related to the "institution-building" clauses of the plan (e.g. the appointment of a Prime Minister and elections)—they have yet to carry out the "security" clauses of the plan. Armed with illegal weapons, members of terrorist groups sworn to Israelís destruction roam Palestinian cities with apparent impunity. Mortars and Kassam rockets continue to be launched from Gaza into Israel. The Palestinian security apparatus appears to be undertaking scant, if any, effort to arrest terrorists conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis. Israel has also agreed to the plan, but made clear that it expects "both at the commencement of and during the process, and as a condition to its continuance, calm will be maintained" by the Palestinians. With attacks against Israel continuing, Israeli officials have asserted that the parties remain in a pre-Road Map phase. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Washington Post: "We are not in the road map yet. We are in the pre-road map phase now. To enter the road map, there should be a full cessation of terror, hostilities and incitement." Thus, Israel has not yet frozen all settlement activity, nor has it dismantled all illegal settlement outposts.

Selective referrals to Road Map
Although the plan obliges both parties to act, and although neither party has fully executed its commitments under the plan, readers of Associated Press stories might be forgiven if they hold Israel as the principal violator of the plan. Eighteen articles in September referred to the Road Mapís demands on Israel. For example, a Sept. 9 AP story (article #42) stated:

Gravel-laden trucks rumbled up dirt roads, and laborers plastered walls of high-rise apartments in this fast-growing Jewish settlement, one of several across the West Bank where Israel is flouting its obligation under a U.S.-backed peace plan to freeze expansion.

By contrast, only seven September articles referred to the Road Mapís demands on the Palestinians. For example, a September 7 story (article #43) noted:

... Israel would allow Rafah to be reopened only if the Palestinians crack down on militants groups, a long-standing Israeli demand - and part of the "road map" peace plan - that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected.

Although Israelís Road Map obligations were mentioned by the Associated Press about 2.5 times more often than were Palestinian obligations, this was not because more AP news reports dealt with actual Israeli actions violating or satisfying the plan. On the contrary, 23 news reports discussed such Israeli actions, while corresponding Palestinian actions were discussed in 27 reports. That is, AP refers specifically to Israelís obligations under phase I of the Road Map in 78 percent of stories which relate to those obligations, while specifically mentioning Palestinian obligations in 26 percent of stories relating to that partyís obligations even though more story content focused on Palestinian actions that violated the plan.

This discrepancy is related in part to the wire serviceís habit of referring to Palestinian Road Map obligations merely as Israeli "demands," or as non-specific "calls." For example, a Sept. 30 article (#1) stated that "Abbas has urged militants to give up their weapons, but rejects Israel's demand that he confront the groups." A Sept. 4 article (#49) reported Israel "demanding that Abbas crack down on the Islamic Hamas group." And a Sept. 29 article (#2) asserted: "Abbas has rejected calls to confront militants."
 
Needless to say, substituting terminology that frames agreed-upon obligations as Israeli-imposed demands radically alters the message of the news story. Beyond removing the key matter of Palestinians needing to comply with important, accepted measures, the reference to "Israeli demands" may imply a degree of arbitrariness and brow beating on Israel's part that is pejorative and unwarranted 

The discrepancy is also consistent with articles such as the September 20 piece (#22) by Anne Gearan which make it appear that the Road Map calls only for Israeli steps:

He would not elaborate on the groupís agenda for capitalizing on Israelís withdrawal, other than to say the momentum will help the U.S.-backed peace program known as the road map.

The road map calls for a freeze on Jewish settlements in the larger West Bank, and the dismantlement of more than 100 unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts. European diplomats and others are eager to push Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to move quickly in the West Bank, but the Bush administration has made no loud demands of Israel.

Not a word is said about the peace planís demands on the Palestinians, despite Gearanís reference elsewhere in the article to "the militant group Hamas," and her quote of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying that "there is a fundamental contradiction between [Palestinian] armed activities and the political process."

Other September problems
Aside from the APís disproportionate focus on Israelís Road Map obligations, other disturbing issues became apparent in the wire serviceís September coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

One egregious example is the selective reporting in two September stories reporting about a Sept. 20 statement by the "Quartet"—the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia—that drafted the Road Map peace plan. Consistent with the trend highlighted above, the stories underscored the Quartetís call for Israeli actions while completely disregarding the groupís equally explicit call for Palestinian action.

In a Sept. 21 story (#20), APís Edith Lederer summarized the statement as follows:

In a final communique, it called for the Palestinians and Israelis to start meeting their road map obligations and to avoid unilateral actions which could prejudice final status negotiations.

While saying Israel's disengagement in Gaza had gone beyond the first phase of the road map, the Quartet expressed concern "that settlement expansion elsewhere must stop, and Israel must remove unauthorized outposts."

It noted "with concern" that the separation barrier has resulted in the confiscation of Palestinian land and cut off the movement of people and goods, undermining the Palestinians' trust in the road map process because it appears to prejudge the final borders of a Palestinian state.

And APís Nick Wadhams summarized the statement in a Sept. 23 story  (#12) as follows:

The Quartet praised the Gaza pullout but insisted it must be only one step toward further withdrawal and efforts to achieve a viable Palestinian state. It called for new action toward achieving the Road Map peace plan, launched in 2003, and insisted that further construction of Israeli settlements must stop, as the Road Map demands.

Although the above descriptions are technically accurate, they are inexplicably incomplete. The Quartet statement also pushed the Palestinians to "maintain law and order and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure, and reaffirms the continued importance of comprehensive security sector reform," and added:

Ultimately, those who want to be part of the political process should not engage in armed group or militia activities, for there is a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic state.

A Sept. 20 Anne Gearan piece (#22) charges Israel with tempering a "congratulatory mood" with what is described as the countryís "new demand that the militant group Hamas be barred from the upcoming Palestinian elections." Far from a "new [Israeli] demand," the barring of racist, violent and lawless groups like Hamas from Palestinian elections is a decade-old commitment, signed by Yasir Arafat, under the Oslo Accords. (See details here.) 

A Sept. 19 story by Sam Ghattas parroted the claim by an Arab official that Israel still occupies part of Lebanon, without clarifying for readers that, according to the United Nations, Israel has fully withdrawn from all Lebanese territory.

A Sept. 21 story by Laurie Copans (#19) was dispatched under the inaccurate headline: "Israel to establish new settlement in West Bank: official." Although the headline implies that an Israeli government official had announced Israelís intention to build a new settlement, the actual text reveals otherwise. The story reported that "former Gaza settlers said ... that they were informally assured of government backing" for a plan to move into a former army post in the West Bank, but later clarified: "One of the officials ... denied there was a plan to establish a new settlement." The only other Israeli official quoted in the article, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, also made clear that "The Israeli government is committed to not building new settlements so there can be no new legal settlements in the West Bank." In claiming that the source for the headline, which seemed to reveal Israeli non-compliance with the Road Map, was an Israeli official, the head line unprofessionally reported hearsay as fact.

The Spring and Fall 2005 issues of CAMERAís Media Report discuss accuracy problems which, despite some recent improvement, have plagued the APís Middle East coverage. (See here and here). Thus, the September problems highlighted in this study appear to be part of a wider trend of problematic coverage.

Conclusion
The greater the influence of a news organization, the more important that it adhere to the principles of journalistic ethics which have, in theory at least, been accepted by the industry. Arguably, then, the Associated Press, which describes itself as the "largest ... news organization in the world" has the paramount responsibility to be fair and impartial.

The APME Statement of Ethical Principles includes among those responsibilities: "The newspaper should guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortion through emphasis [and] omission...." Yet with its emphasis on Israeli obligations and omission of Palestinian obligations, the AP does not live up to those responsibilities.

Both the public and the organization itself would benefit from a critical re-evaluation by the AP of its coverage of the Road Map peace plan, and the Arab-Israeli conflict in general.

Tables

Table 3. The letter ĎIí signifies Israel; ĎPí signifies Palestinians. ĎBí signifies both Israel and the Palestinians. ĎNí signifies neither party. Refer to List 1 for headline and date of each article. The study considered all the articles except those classified as "repeat" or as N/N.

Article

 

Refers to actions by...

Cites Road Map demands on...

1

P

N

2

P

N

3

repeat

of 1

4

N

N

5

P

N

6

P

N

7

B

N

8

P

P

9

P

P

10

B

N

11

repeat

of 15

12

I

I

13

repeat

of 12

14

repeat

of 11

15

B

N

16

repeat

of 15

17

B

I

18

repeat

of 20

19

I

I

20

I

N

21

N

N

22

B

I

23

B

I

24

repeat

of 22

25

B

B

26

repeat

of 27

27

B

B

28

I

I

29

N

N

30

B

B

31

P

N

32

repeat

of 31

33

N

N

34

B

N

35

repeat

of 39

36

B

I

37

B

I

38

B

B

39

N

N

40

repeat

of 37

41

N

N

42

repeat

of 38

43

P

P

44

B

I

45

I

I

46

repeat

of 45

47

B

I

48

N

N

49

B

N

50

P

N

51

repeat

of 49

52

P

N

53

repeat

of 49

54

repeat

of 49

55

B

I

56

repeat

of 55

57

repeat

of 55

58

repeat

of 55

59

repeat

of 55

60

repeat

of 55

61

I

I

 

Table 4. Articles referencing Israeli obligations or violations under Road Map.

Article

 Reference

Specific Follow Up

Specific Road Map obligation or violation

(See Road Map obligations key for letter definitions)

7

Erakat also said the two leaders discussed "the continued (Israeli) settlement activities..."

Israeli aircraft also fired missiles at several Gaza targets, knocking out power in Gaza City for most of the night."

None.

B, E, G

10

Abdullahís talks with with Abbas will focus on "...ceasing all forms of violence..."

None.

E

12

The Quartet ... insisted that further construction of Israeli settlements must stop...

"...why does its government continue to build settlements and bring in settlers..."

Since the launch of the road map, Israel has started building at least 3,500 homes in the five fastest-growing settlements, according to ... Peace Now.

...further construction of Israeli settlements must stop, as the Road Map demands.

B, G

15

He demanded an immediate halt to the expansion of settlements...

None.

B, G

17

... a group of displaced settlers from Gaza said they had government permission to relocate at an old military base in the West Bank.

That would violate Israeli pledges not to set up new settlements in the West Bank, contained in the internationally backed "road map" peace plan...

B, G

19

Former Gaza settlers said ... they plan to move their mobile homes to a former army post in the West Bank and that they were assured of government backing.

...a settler leader, said government officials have given the Gaza settlers a verbal promise that they can move to Maskiyot, and that final approval should come within two months.

"The Israeli government is committed to not building new settlements so there can be no new legal settlements in the West Bank," Regev said.

Under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan, Israel is also required to freeze settlement construction.

B, G

20

Egyptís foreign minister called on Israel Wednesday to follow its withdrawal from Gaza by ... halting the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

"Until we reach that goal, Israel must stop settlement activities..."

the Quartet expressed concern "that settlement expansion elsewhere must stop, and Israel must remove unauthorized outposts."

None.

B, F, G

22

"Weíve then in the West Bank area got the issue of the extension of settlements."

... and the dismantlement of more than 100 unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts.

The road map calls for a freeze on Jewish settlements in the larger West Bank, and the dismantlement of more than 100 unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts.

B, F, G

23

... a freeze on Jewish settlements in the larger West Bank, and the dismantlement of more than 100 unauthorized settlement outposts.

The road map calls for a freeze on Jewish settlements in the larger West Bank, and the dismantlement of more than 100 unauthorized settlement outposts.

B, F, G

25

Israel continued to build settlements

The [road map] plan foundered shortly after its introduction two years ago because both sides failed to comply with initial provisions: Israel continued to build settlements ...

B, G

27

The Israeli leader made it clear on Wednesday that he had every intention of continuing to build on these lands.

Israel continued to build settlements...

The [road map] plan foundered shortly after its introduction two years ago because both sides failed to comply with initial provisions: Israel continued to build settlements ...

B, G

28

They are the prime occupants [of] illegal settlement outposts dotting West Bank hilltops.

Under the internationally backed "road map" Mideast peace plan, Israel is supposed to remove the outposts.

F

30

reiterated that Israel would continue building in West Bank settlements...

... Israel continued building settlements...

...even as he declared his intention to carry out the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan that expressly obligates Israel to halt such construction.

The road map stalled two years ago, shortly after its presentation, in part because Israel continued building settlements in defiance of an initial provision of the phased plan...

B, G

34

Israel will press forward with construction in its large West Bank settlements...

Sharon told the Washington Post that construction in the settlement blocs is continuing...

None.

B, G

36

...Washington expects Israel to dismantle unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts...

...in line with its obligations under the U.S.-backed road map peace plan.

F

37

...Washington expects Israel to dismantle more than 100 unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts...

...in line with its obligations under the U.S.-backed road map peace plan.

F

38

...in the West Bank where Israel is building hundreds of homes ...

One sign advertised 175 apartments under construction; another advertized 136. ...

... in Alfei Menashe ... a new neighborhood is being built on a hill separated from the "mother settlement"...

In Maaleh Adumim ... new construction is spreading deeper into the West Bank.

... plan to build a Maaleh Adumim satellite settlement ...

...in defiance of its obligation under a U.S.-backed peace plan to freeze expansion.

B, G

44

Israel has authorized construction of 117 homes in one of the West Bankís largest settlements and approved preliminary plans for another 3,000 housing units there...

... despite U.S. appeals that Israel freeze settlement expansion...

...repeatedly has demanded that Israel freeze all settlement expansion as called for in the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.

B, G

45

Israel, meanwhile, has approved construction of 117 houses in the Ariel settlement ...

... suggestions that much larger construction projects are in the pipeline...

Israel has started building at least 3,500 homes in the five fastest-growing settlements ... said ... Peace Now.

The United States has urged Israel not to expand West Bank settlements, in line with a construction freeze under the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.

B, G

47

... Israel said it approved construction of 117 new houses in the Ariel settlement ...

... Defense Ministry also approved preliminary plans for a new 3,000 home neighborhood in the southern part of his settlement.

The United States has urged Israel not to expand West Bank settlements, in line with a construction freeze under the internationally backed "road map" peace plan. ...

The United States, along with the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, has repeatedly demanded Israel freeze all settlement expansion, in line with the road map.

B, G

49

... announcement of more building in the West Bankís largest Jewish settlement.

None.

B, G

55

Israel has frozen plans to expand its largest West Bank settlement ...

The United States has asked Israel not to expand West Bank settlements ...

... in line with its commitment under the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.

B, G

61

Israel will hold onto the largest West Bank settlement forever and will build homes to connect it to Jerusalem "at the appropriate time..."

The United States has repeatedly stated its opposition to settlement construction, which violates an international peace plan known as the "road map." The plan outlines the establishment of a Palestinian state.

B, G

 

Table 5. Articles referencing Palestinian obligations or violations under Road Map.

Article

Reference

Specific Follow Up

Specific road map obligation or violation

(See Road Map obligations key for letter definitions)

1

Israel launched the wave of airstrikes and arrest raids last weekend in response to Gaza militantsí rocket attacks on southern Israeli towns.

The offensive raised pressure on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to act against militant groups and armed gangs, which operate openly in Gaza. Israel says there can be no peace talks until the groups are disarmed.

None.

A, C, D

2

Palestinian officials said they have begun enforcing a ban on public weapons displays. ...

Israel launched its military offensive last weekend in response to a series of Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israeli towns. ...

In Jenin, a militant fired at soldiers...

The leader of Al Aqsa ... said his group would no longer abide by an informal truce ... "We will fight back hard and there will be no limits to our responses from now on."...

Abbas has rejected calls to confront militants...

Early Thursday, Gaza militants fired an anti-tank misslie at an Israeli force inside Israel...

None.

A, C, D

5

...Israeli soldiers raided the Balata refugee camp outside the West Bank city of Nablus early Friday searching for wanted Palestinians, the army said. Gunment shot at the soldiers...

Israel launched the wave or airstrikes and arrest raids ... in response to Gaza militantsí rocket attacks on southern Israel...

The Palestinian police chief ... said ... there is no longer a reason for anyone other than security officers to carry weapons publicly...

...authorities arrested three men carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles Thursday and confiscated their weapons...

Hamas spokesman ... said the group would honor the ban on displays of weapons and parades, but ruled out surrendering weapons. ...

Abbas has urged militants to give up their weapons, but rejects Israel [sic] demand that he confront the groups.

None.

A, C, D

6

Sharon has said he is committed to the road map but peace negotiations cannot take place until the Palestinian leadership puts a stop to militant attacks on Israelis.

None.

A, C, D

7

"Brothers in Hamas refused this talk and started firing missiles on the Israelis..."

None.

A, C, D

8

Jones told the U.S. senate that he believed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would rein in the militant group Hamas...

...rein in the militant group Hamas, as required by a U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.

A, C, D

9

An Israeli business man was found dead Monday ... in what appeared to be a terror attack, police said. ...

The Israeli army said Palestinians shot at the soldiers as they unearthed the body.

Ezra called on the Palestinian Authority to dismantle Hamas and other militant groups as required in the international "road map" peace plan.

A, C, D

10

Abdullahís talks with Abbas will focus on "...ceasing all forms of violence..."

None.

A

15

But he said that after Israelís Gaza withdrawal, it was up to the Palestinians to "prove their desire for peace" by halting terror and disarming militants."

None.

A, C, D

17

...Palestinian police are incapable of controlling armed militants...

Diskin was commenting on the chaotic situation on the Gaza-Egypt border...when thousands crossed unchecked, bringing in large quantities of weapons into the coastal strip.

He also called on militants to stop displaying weapons on the streets, his strongest statement on the subject.

Hamas has credited its attacks for driving Israel out of Gaza, and is calling for redoubled efforts in the West Bank...

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have staged several large rallies featuring gunmen fireing in the air.

Siam said the commitment ... did not mean the militants would give up their weapons.

None.

A, C, D

22

The group also thanked the Palestinian Authority for "responsible behavior" in containing violence during the withdrawal.

... Israelís new demand that the militant group Hamas be barred from the upcoming Palestinian elections. ...

"There is a fundamental contradiction between armed activities and the political process..."

None.

A, C, D

23

Hamas leaders have said the group will continue to build its private army and carry out attacks in Israeli-controlled areas.

None.

A, C, D

25

...it was up to the Palestinians to "prove their desire for peace" by halting terror and disarming militants.

... and the Palestinians didnít disarm militants.

The [road map] plan foundered shortly after its introduction two years ago because because both sides failed to comply with initial provisions: ... the Palestinians didnít disarm militants.

A, C, D

27

...it was now up to the Palestinians to "prove their desire for peace" by halting terror and disarming militants.

... and the Palestinians didnít disarm militant factions.

The [road map] plan foundered shortly after its introduction two years ago because because both sides failed to comply with initial provisions: ... the Palestinians didnít disarm militants.

A, C, D

30

the Palestinians did not dismantle violent groups...

...another key provision [of the road map.]

D

31

...Sharon ... linked any further withdrawals to Abbasí ability to rein in militant groups....

Abbas refuses to confront militants, insisting he can disarm them peacefully....

"We shall know how to act decisively and intensively in the face of any terrorism..."

...in Gaza, where militants and armed gangs operate freely and wield considerable power.

... a Hamas leader in Gaza ... made clear that it has no plans to disarm as long as Israel controls the West Bank and Jerusalem.

None.

A, C, D

34

progress would depend on the Palestinian ability to crack down on militants.

...Abbas said his forces are not yet strong enough to forcefully disarm Hamas and other militant groups. ...

"They have an army," he said. ...

...Hamas has scaled back its armed activities against Israel.

None.

A, C, D

36

Arafatís eldest son, Manhal, was released ... by his fatherís killers, who belong to a group known as the Popular Resistance Committees. ...

...the unchecked power of armed gangs. ...

...the rival Hamas militant group planned its own military-style parades...

None.

D

37

The assassination of former Palestinian security chief Moussa Arafat in Gaza City by dozens of gunmen Wednesday undersocred the ... unchecked poser of armed gangs ...

...dozens of gunmen fired thousands of bullets in the air...

...vehicles carrying gunmen from the ruling Fatah movement.

None

D

38

...peace talks cannot resume so long as militants remain armed, Sharonís aids say.

And the Palestinians havenít kept their key promise under the "road map" plan - disarming militants.

D

43

foreign inspectors could be deployed there to ensure weapons and militants do not pass into Gaza over the border. ...

... Israel would allow Rafah to be reopened only if the Palestinians crack down on militants groups [sic]...

... a long-standing Israeli demand - and part of the "road map" peace plan - that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected.

C, D

44

The Palestinian Interior Ministry said the house was used by Hamas to manufacture bombs, and explosives detonated accidentally.

None.

A, C, D

47

Late Tuesday a rocket fired from Gaza exploded harmlessly in a field inside Israel. Such rocket fire has been rare since Israelís pullout began.

None.

A, C, D

49

... Abbas also pledged to bring diverse militias from the ruling Fatah movement under central control within three weeks. ...

... specifically demanding that Abbas crack down on the Islamic Hamas group.

"... It all depends on one issue, whether the Palestinians will be able to contain terror..."

"...Hamasí secretive military wing emerged from hiding Saturday, laying bare its command structure on its Web site, naming commanders and detailing how the group attacked Israelis. ... Hamas warned that it would use force if Palestinian police tried to disarm or arrest its members.

None.

A, C, D

50

Kaddoumi said ... that the armed resistance to Israeli [sic] is legitimate. ...

Israel wants to maintain some control over the border, fearing weapons could be smuggled into Gaza.

None.

A, D

52

... Abbas also pledged to bring diverse militias from the ruling Fatah movement under central control within three weeks.

None.

D

55

... Egyptian troops will take up positions there, starting this weekend, to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.

None.

D

 

Table 6. The letters used in tables 4 and 5 refer to the following passages in phase I of the Road Map peace plan.

Road Map obligations key:

A: "In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence..."

B: "Israel also freezes all settlement activity..."

C: "Palestinians ... undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere."

D: "Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.

E: "GOI takes no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attacks on civilians; confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure;

F: "GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

G: "Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)."

 

List 1. Complete list of all September 2005 AP stories with the phrase "Road Map" and any derivative of the word "Israel" or "Palestinian."

1. Palestinians enforce ban on weapons displays, in step toward ending lawlessness, The Associated Press, September 30, 2005, By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

2. Israeli soldiers kill three militants in West Bank; Sharon reaffirms support for U.S.-backed 'road map', The Associated Press, September 29, 2005, By ALI DARAGHMEH, Associated Press Writer, NABLUS, West Bank

3. Palestinians enforce ban on weapons displays, in step toward ending lawlessness, The Associated Press, September 29, 2005, By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

4. Sharon reaffirms commitment to road map, dispelling rumors of secret agenda for West Bank, Associated Press Worldstream, September 29, 2005, JERUSALEM

5. Two Palestinians killed in firefight with Israeli soldiers, Associated Press Worldstream, September 29, 2005, RAVI NESSMAN; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

6. Sharon confidants float possible unlilateral pullout from much of the West Bank, Associated Press Worldstream, September 28, 2005, STEVE WEIZMAN; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

7. Abbas seeks to enlist Egypt's help over deteriorating situation in Palestinian territories, Associated Press Worldstream, September 28, 2005, MAAMOUN YOUSSEF; Associated Press Writer, CAIRO, Egypt

8. New U.S. Ambassador to Israel presents credentials, Associated Press Worldstream, September 26, 2005, JERUSALEM

9. Israeli man found dead near West Bank town of Ramallah, Associated Press Worldstream, September 26, 2005, JERUSALEM

10. Jordan's King to visit Israel, Palestinian territories this week, Associated Press Worldstream, September 24, 2005, JAMAL HALABY; Associated Press Writer, AMMAN, Jordan

11. Palestinian minister: Gaza pullout could lead to peace - or could block a final settlement, The Associated Press, September 23, 2005, By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

12. U.N. envoy: Gaza withdrawal encouraging, but "road map" still only viable option for peace, The Associated Press, September 23, 2005, By NICK WADHAMS, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

13. U.N. envoy: Gaza withdrawal encouraging, but "road map" still only viable option for peace, Associated Press Worldstream, September 23, 2005, NICK WADHAMS; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

14. Palestinian minister: Gaza pullout could lead to peace - or could block a final settlement, The Associated Press, September 22, 2005, By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

15. Palestinian minister: Gaza pullout could lead to peace _ or could block a final settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 22, 2005, EDITH M. LEDERER; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

16. Palestinian minister: Gaza pullout could lead to peace _ or could block a final settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 22, 2005, EDITH M. LEDERER; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

17. Israeli security chief warns of armed chaos in Gaza, al-Qaida infiltration, The Associated Press, September 21, 2005, By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

18. Egypt says Israel should follow Gaza withdrawal with final status negotiations, The Associated Press, September 21, 2005, By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

19. Israel to establish new settlement in West Bank: official, Associated Press Worldstream, September 21, 2005, LAURIE COPANS; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

20. Egypt says Israel should follow Gaza withdrawal with final status negotiations, Associated Press Worldstream, September 21, 2005, EDITH M. LEDERER; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

21. After Gaza withdrawal, Israel seeks better relations with Arab states, The Associated Press, September 20, 2005, By NICK WADHAMS, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

22. U.S., other Mideast peacemakers take stock after Gaza withdrawal, The Associated Press, September 20, 2005, By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer, UNITED NATIONS

23. US, other Mideast peacemakers take stock after Gaza withdrawal, Associated Press Worldstream, September 20, 2005, ANNE GEARAN; AP Diplomatic Writer, UNITED NATIONS

24. U.S., other Mideast peacemakers take stock after Gaza withdrawal, Associated Press Worldstream, September 20, 2005, ANNE GEARAN; AP Diplomatic Writer, UNITED NATIONS

25. Sharon meets Jordan's king, further sign of warming relations with Arab nations, The Associated Press, September 16, 2005, By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

26. Sharon says Israel has no desire to rule over Palestinians, The Associated Press, September 15, 2005, By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

27. Sharon says Israel has no desire to rule over Palestinians, Associated Press Worldstream, September 15, 2005, AMY TEIBEL; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

28. Settlers infiltrate evacuated West Bank settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 14, 2005, JERUSALEM

29. Swedish PM says country should end dependency on fossil fuels by 2020, Associated Press Worldstream, September 13, 2005, MATTIAS KAREN; Associated Press Writer, STOCKHOLM, Sweden

30. Sharon advises Palestinians to curb chaos, withholds judgment on whether they can, Associated Press Worldstream, September 13, 2005, AMY TEIBEL; Associated Press Writer, NEW YORK

31. Triumphant Palestinians take over abandoned Jewish settlements, set empty synagogue buildings on fire, The Associated Press, September 12, 2005, By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer, NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip

32. Triumphant Palestinians take over abandoned Jewish settlements in chaotic celebration, The Associated Press, September 12, RAVI NESSMAN, MARIAM FAM, Associated Press Writers, RAFAH, Gaza Strip

33. Diplomatic payback awaits Sharon in New York after Gaza pullout, but Muslim states waiting for more overtures, Associated Press Worldstream, September 12, 2005, AMY TEIBEL; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

34. Sharon interview: Israel continues to build up large West Bank settlements, Associated Press Worldstream, September 11, 2005, JERUSALEM

35. U.N. summit to give world leaders face time to evaluate global hotspots, The Associated Press, September 9, 2005, By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

36. Israel demolishes last military installations, all soldiers to leave by Tuesday, The Associated Press, September 9, 2005, By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

37. Israeli army destroys its last facilities in Gaza ahead of handover to Palestinians, The Associated Press, September 9, 2005, By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

38. Hundreds of apartments being built in West Bank settlements, despite freeze calls, The Associated Press, September 9, 2005, By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer, BETAR ILLIT, West Bank

39. Key attraction for world leaders at next week's U.N. summit is "face time", Associated Press Worldstream, September 9, 2005, EDITH M. LEDERER; Associated Press Writer, UNITED NATIONS

40. Israeli army destroys its last facilities in Gaza ahead of handover to Palestinians early next week, Associated Press Worldstream, September 9, 2005, AMY TEIBEL; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

41. Rice asks China, Russia, India to support U.N. action against Iran's nuclear program, Associated Press Worldstream, September 9, 2005, BARRY SCHWEID; AP Diplomatic Writer, WASHINGTON

42. Hundreds of apartments being built in Israeli settlements in West Bank, despite road map's demand for construction freeze, Associated Press Worldstream, September 9, 2005, KARIN LAUB; Associated Press Writer, BETAR ILLIT, West Bank

43. Israel to close vital crossing, considers letting foreign observers monitor Gaza-Egypt border, Associated Press Worldstream, September 7, 2005, RAVI NESSMAN; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

44. Israel approves construction of homes in Ariel settlement, The Associated Press, September 6, 2005, By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

45. Israeli government approves construction of 117 homes in Ariel settlement, The Associated Press, September 6, 2005, By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

46. Israeli government approves construction of 117 housing units in Ariel settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 6, 2005, JERUSALEM

47. Gunmen kill former Palestinian security chief Moussa Arafat in his home, Associated Press Worldstream, September 6, 2005, IBRAHIM BARZAK; Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

48. Jordan urges Israel, Palestinians to resume peace talks, The Associated Press, September 4, 2005, By JAMAL HALABY, Associated Press Writer, AMMAN, Jordan

49. AP Interview: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says peace talks should resume immediately, Associated Press Worldstream, September 4, 2005, STEVEN GUTKIN; Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

50. Jordan urges Israel, Palestinians to resume peace talks, Associated Press Worldstream, September 4, 2005, JAMAL HALABY; Associated Press Writer, AMMAN, Jordan

51. AP Interview: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says peace talks should resume immediately, The Associated Press, September 3, 2005, By STEVEN GUTKIN, Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

52. AP News in Brief, The Associated Press, By The Associated Press

53. AP Interview: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says peace talks should resume immediately, Associated Press Worldstream, September 3, 2005, STEVEN GUTKIN; Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

54. AP Interview: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says peace talks should resume immediately, Associated Press Worldstream, September 3, 2005, STEVEN GUTKIN; Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

55. Vice Premier: Israel has frozen expansion plans for largest West Bank settlements, The Associated Press, September 2, 2005, By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

56. Israel freezes plans to expand largest West Bank settlements, The Associated Press, September 2, 2005, By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

57. Vice premier: Israel has frozen expansion plans for largest West Bank settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 2, 2005, JERUSALEM

58. Israel freezes plans to expand largest West Bank settlements, Associated Press Worldstream, September 2, 2005, KARIN LAUB; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

59. Vice premier: Israel has frozen expansion plans for largest West Bank settlement, Associated Press Worldstream, September 2, 2005, JERUSALEM

60. Israel freezes plans to expand largest West Bank settlements, Associated Press Worldstream, September 2, 2005, KARIN LAUB; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

61. Minister says Israel will hold onto largest West Bank settlement forever, Associated Press Worldstream, September 1, 2005, JERUSALEM


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