CAMERA Prompts LA Times Correction: ‘Palestinian Journalist’ Was Islamic Jihad

Following communication from CAMERA staff, the Los Angeles Times has clarified a Nov. 20 article by Jerusalem bureau chief Edmund Sanders which wrongly identified Ramez Harb, an Islamic Jihad leader killed last week in an Israeli air strike, as a “Palestinian journalist.” The error and correction follow:

Error (Los Angeles Times, Edmund Sanders, 11/20/12): On Monday, Israel attacked the Sharouk communications building in Gaza City where it said four senior members of the Islamic Jihad militant group were meeting.

Among the dead was Ramez Harb, a Palestinian journalist. Israel said he was a legitimate target because he served in the information department of Islamic Jihad.

Correction (11/23/12): Gaza fighting: In the Nov. 20 Section A, an article about attacks by Israel and Hamas referred to Ramez Harb, who was killed in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, as a journalist. Although initial reports said Harb worked for a Palestinian news agency, he was a member of the militant group Islamic Jihad.

While CAMERA appreciates the Times’ clarification noting that Harb was an Islamic Jihad member, and not a “Palestinian journalist,” editors should have made clear that he was a senior military figure in the group, considered a terror organization by the United States. As reported last week in CAMERA’s Snapshots blog:

As was widely reported elsewhere, Islamic Jihad itself texted reporters that its top military leader, Harb, was killed. As AP reported:

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad says an Israeli strike on a Gaza media center has killed one of its top militant leaders.

Monday’s strike in downtown Gaza City was part of a widening 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire.

It’s the second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor.

Islamic Jihad has sent a text message to reporters saying that Ramez Harb was killed in the strike Monday. Harb is a leading figure in their militant wing, the Al Quds Brigades.

Thus, the Times correction’s implied excuse for the erroneous report, that at first it was not known that Harb was an Islamic Jihad member, is false. AP had reported on the day of the attack, hours before the Los Angeles Times went to press, that Islamic Jihad texted reporters informing them that Ramez Harb is a leading figure in the Al Quds Brigade.

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