In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, The Christian Science Monitor has corrected an otherwise informative and thoughtful editorial which had erroneously misplaced Israel’s Karish gas rig in disputed waters.
The Sept. 14 editorial (“A peace-shaping deal for the Middle East“) had erred:
The boundary-setting talks, however, are threatened by Hezbollah, Lebanon’s powerful militant Shiite group that serves as an Iranian proxy. It warns of an attack on Israel-backed drilling rigs in the disputed waters … (Emphasis added.)
In fact, while a northern portion of the Karish gas field is in territory claimed by Lebanon as disputed, the rig itself is entirely within the area both Israel and Lebanon agree is outside Lebanon’s EEZ. Therefore, the rig is not in disputed waters.
As Haaretz‘s in-depth investigation found (“Gas Rig Is In Israeli Territory, Not In Disputed Zone With Lebanon, Satellite Images, Files Show“):
An analysis of the gas extracting vessel’s updated location, based on satellite images from this week, and of documents Lebanon submitted to the UN as part of its negotiations with Israel, shows that the new rig and a further drilling vessel belonging to the gas company are located 10 kilometers (6 miles) southwest of the official southern border Lebanon submitted to the UN, a boundary Lebanon claims is the southern border of its exclusive maritime economic zone.
BBC Arabic corrected after publishing the identical error, erroneously placing the Israeli rig within disputed waters.
Following communication with CAMERA on this point, editors commendably deleted the erroneous reference to the rig’s supposed location in “disputed waters.” The amended text now reports: “It warns of an attack on Israel-backed drilling rigs even as Israel promises massive retaliation if Hezbollah strikes.”
Furthermore, an editor’s note commendably appended to the bottom of the article notes: “An earlier version of this editorial mischaracterized the placement of the Israeli rig.”