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Journalists





Reuters Corrects: Gaza Concrete Ban Only For Private Imports


Reuters is the second media outlet in less than 24 hours to correct the inaccurate assertion that Israel had imposed a 45-day ban on the import on concrete to the Gaza Strip. In fact, the ban, imposed April 3 and lifted yesterday, had applied only on deliveries to private entities, and did not affect international aid groups or states.
 
As Agence France Presse accurately reported yesterday:

Private cement deliveries to the Gaza Strip resumed on Monday after Israel lifted a nearly two-month ban it imposed over the alleged diversion of materials by an official in the Palestinian territory.

Israel imposed the ban in early April in the territory run by Islamist movement Hamas which is still rebuilding after a devastating 2014 war.

The ban affected private providers, meaning Qatar, a major donor to Gazan reconstruction, and the United Nations were still able to bring in cement to Gaza, under an Israeli blockade for nearly a decade.

Raed Fattouh, who oversees the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, said private deliveries had resumed for the first time since April 3.

A Reuters headline and article yesterday both inaccurately reported that Israel resumed cement shipments after a 45-day break. The article, headlined "Israel resumes cement shipments for Gaza reconstruction after 45-day break" (screen capture below), began:
Israel resumed cement shipments to the Gaza Strip on Monday, ending a 45-day-old ban it imposed after it accused the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers of seizing some of the stock meant for rebuilding homes destroyed in a 2014 war.
 
Nidal Al-Mughrabi's Reuters article did not indicate that the concrete ban applied only to private importers.
 
CAMERA's Israel office contacted Reuters editors and also tweeted about the error.
 
 
Editors promptly corrected both the headline and the article. The corrected headline indicates that the ban applied to private reconstruction ("Israel resumes cement shipments for private reconstruction after 45-day break").
 
 
In addition, the amended text now makes clear that the ban only applied to private imports:
Israel on Monday resumed deliveries to the Gaza Strip of cement for home reconstruction by private individuals, ending a 45-day-old ban it imposed after it accused the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers of seizing some of the stock. …
 
The Israeli ban had not affected cement deliveries for housing projects overseen by international aid groups and foreign governments.
Editors also commendably appended a note alerting readers to the change:
This story has been corrected to clarify suspension affected only privately-imported cement.
In 2013, CAMERA prompted a series of corrections on a very similar topic at media outlets including the Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio. CAMERA also prompted The New York Times correction yesterday.
 
For all Reuters corrections prompted by CAMERA, see here.

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