AP Erases Palestinian Firebomb Attacks in Sheikh Jarrah

3:33 pm ET UPDATE:

AP Adds Sentence on Molotov Cocktail Attacks

Following communication from CAMERA and the publication of this post, AP added a sentence about the firebombing attacks which failed to identify the perpetrators (Palestinian teens) and the targets (Jewish homes). See below for a detailed update.

As violence flares again in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the Associated Press today delivers a highly selective account, ignoring the Palestinian firebomb attacks against Jewish homes which apparently started the clash. In "Palestinians, settlers clash in tense Jerusalem neighborhood," Laurie Kellman and Joseph Krauss write:

Palestinians and Jewish settlers hurled stones, chairs and fireworks at each other overnight in a tense Jerusalem neighborhood where settler groups are trying to evict several Palestinian families, officials said Tuesday.

Israeli police and border officials said they arrested four suspects in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. It was unclear who started the brawl. One woman was reportedly injured when she was hit in the back by a stone, police said.

The Red Crescent emergency service said its crews treated 20 Palestinians, including 16 suffering from pepper spray and tear gas and others wounded by rubber-coated bullets. Two other people were wounded, including an elderly man who was hit in the head, it said.

The Red Crescent said settlers threw stones at one of its ambulances and Israeli forces sprayed skunk water on a second ambulance belonging to the service.

The AP's 500-word article includes not one word about the Palestinian Molotov cocktail attacks targeting Jewish homes despite the fact that the violence apparently began with the firebombings. According to today's Haaretz ("Twenty Palestinians Injured, Firebomb Lobbed at Jewish Home in Sheikh Jarrah"):

Twenty Palestinians were injured and a firebomb was hurled at a Jewish home amid renewed clashes between Jewish settlers, Palestinians and police on Monday in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. 
 
Two 14-year-old Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of throwing a firebomb at a Jewish home, which appeared to set off the violence.
 
Following the firebombing, which did not cause significant damage, a settler pepper sprayed Palestinian residents. Jews and Palestinians then threw chairs and stones at each other, and Palestinians shot off firecrackers at settler homes.  (Emphasis added.)

Nor were last night's firebomb attacks the first in recent days. On Sunday evening, Army Radio reporter Shachar Glick tweeted video of Molotov cocktails targeting a police position near a Jewish home in Sheikh Jarrah.

CAMERA has contacted AP to request that editors update the story to acknowledge that Palestinians lobbed firebombs at Jewish homes, and those attacks were the apparent start of the Sheikh Jarrah violence overnight.

3:33 pm ET Update: AP Adds Sentence on Firebombings Targeting Jewish Homes

Following communication from CAMERA and the publication of this post, AP added the following information to the third paragraph of the article:

The officials said someone launched fireworks at police forces and residents’ houses and that “several Molotov cocktails were thrown and stones were thrown.” 

Nevertheless, the added sentence fails to make clear who (Palestinian teens) threw Molotov cocktails at whose (Jews') homes. This failure to identify the Palestinian perpetrators and the Jewish targets stands in contrast to the clear wording several paragraphs later: "The Red Crescent said settlers threw stones at one of its ambulances and Israeli forces sprayed skunk water on a second ambulance belonging to the service." The amended version including the information about the firebombing attacks appears in numerous secondary media outlets including The Los Angeles Times, The Charlotte Observer, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. (An archived version of the original story is available here.)