ABC Corrects False Suggestion Israel Violated Ceasefire

After CAMERA’s communication with senior editors, ABC corrected a piece that had wrongly suggested Israel was in violation of a ceasefire agreement that had not yet come into effect. 

ABC’s initial headline and lede.

ABC’s corrected headline and lede.

Both the headline and ;lede had communicated to readers that Israeli airstrikes were in violation the truce deal. The intial Nov. 22 headline stated: “IDF continues to bombard Gaza despite reaching deal on truce, hostages.” The opening paragraph echoed the false insinuation: “Despite reaching an agreement with Hamas on a temporary cease-fire in exchange for the release of dozens of hostages, the Israeli military continued to bombard the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning.”

At the time of ABC’s writing on Wednesday, it was already clear that the ceasefire, which would be accompanied by the release of some the hostages held by Hamas, would not begin until the following day. (It was later delayed until Friday.) Indeed, ABC admitted as much in its final sentence—a belated admission doesn’t eliminated the need for clear and accurate headlines and ledes that inform readers instead of misinforming. 

Additionally, several paragraphs in, the piece had acknowledged: “meanwhile, rockets launched by militants continued to be fired toward Israel on Wednesday.” It is noteworthy that this fact isn’t reflected in either the headline or the lede. It should be of no less importance than Israel’s strikes, shouldn’t it?

CAMERA’s outreach prompted ABC to amend the headline and lede so that they no longer suggested Israel was attacking “despite” a ceasefire, and gave equal weight to the indiscriminate and illegal Palestinian rocket fire.  

The new headline reads, “Hostilities continue before deal on hostages, temporary truce goes into effect.” The opening paragraph now states, “IDF and Hamas continued hostilities hours after reaching a deal for a temporary truce and the release of some of the hostages being held by Hamas.” An appended postscript explains that the piece had been updated for clarity. 

We commend ABC for clearing the record. We urge them to look into how such a misleading piece could have been published in the first place, and to delete or amend their social media posts, which continue to mislead with the problematic language. 

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