CAMERA Prompts AP Correction on Construction Materials for Gaza

Following communication with CAMERA staff, the AP promptly published a thorough clarification regarding a Dec. 31 article which falsely stated that Israel had, for five years, banned construction materials from entering the Gaza Strip. As detailed yesterday on CAMERA’s Web site, the ban had applied only to the private sector, and tens of thousands of trucks containing building materials for projects sponsored by international aid groups have entered the Gaza Strip since June 2010. The error and correction follow:

Error (AP, Aron Heller and Ibrahim Barzak, 12/31/12): In a major concession to Gaza’s Hamas leaders Monday, Israel dropped its five-year ban on construction materials crossing into the territory and raised hopes there that rebuilding could begin following a damaging eight-day Israeli air campaign.

Correction (1/1/13): In a story Dec. 31, The Associated Press reported that Israel dropped a 5 1/2-year-old ban that prevented construction materials from entering the Gaza Strip. The story should have made clear that the ban applied to Gaza’s private sector. Under the closure, imposed following the Hamas militant group’s takeover of Gaza in June 2007, Israel allowed small amounts of construction goods into Gaza for humanitarian projects. In 2010 it began allowing such materials for projects under the auspices of the United Nations. Monday’s announcement by Israel, part of a cease-fire deal reached with Hamas in November, further eases the ban by allowing private businesses to ship in building materials.  

CAMERA commends the AP on its timely and informative clarification. We call on the many media outlets which had published the original misleading information from AP to likewise follow up with a clarification. They include the Los Angeles Times, Time, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Houston Chronicle, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and countless more. The International Herald Tribune also published an erroneous headline which requires correction. CAMERA will continue to seek corrections at these media outlets, among others.

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