CAMERA Arabic Prompts Reuters Correction on ‘Palestine’

CAMERA Arabic last week prompted a correction of  a June 4 Reuters article which contained an erroneous reference to “Palestine.”

The Arabic article, entitled “Palestinian Security Services forbids members of a Salafist group from performing the Eid [al-Fitr] prayer during the last day of Ramadan,” reported on the force’s intervention to prevent a local Salafist group in Hebron from observing the first day of Eid al-Fitr holiday. Only in Saudi Arabia and parts of the Gulf had that day been determined to be the date of the holiday, and the Palestinian religious establishment disputed that ruling. The Salafists, publicly commemorating Eid a day earlier, were therefore punishable by imprisonment under Palestinian Authority law.

The report concluded:

Several countries have celebrated the first day of Eid al-Fitr today, among them Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while others have declared tomorrow to be the first day of Eid al-Fitr, among them Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. [Translation and emphasis by CAMERA Arabic].

Screen shot of Reuters article which originally referred to “Palestine”

Given that references to modern “Palestine” in the West Bank and Gaza are inaccurate, CAMERA Arabic urged Reuters to correct the statement. Editors commendably and quickly replaced “Palestine” with “Palestinian territories.” In August 2017 and in December 2016 The New York Times commendably corrected this identical error. Other media outlets which have corrected in the past include The New York Post, National GeographicThe Los Angeles Times, and Voice of America.

Reuters’ corrected text referring to the Palestinian territories