DPA Corrects Erroneous Captions on ‘Palestinian Territories’

CAMERA’s Israel office this week prompted correction of multiple photo captions published by Deutsche Presse-Agentur which erroneously referred to disputed West Bank land where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes to extend sovereignty – in the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlements – as “Palestinian territories.” The June 10 English-language captions had stated:

June 2020, Israel, Jerusalem: Heiko Maas (l, SPD), German Foreign Minister, meets Benjamin Netanyahu (R), State Premier of Israel. During his trip with the new government in Israel, Maas will mainly talk about the planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territories. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek.Net/dpa

Florian Gaertner / photothek.net / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP

Israel captured the West Bank in 1967 from the Kingdom of Jordan, which had occupied the territory since its 1948-49 war with Israel. Prior to 1948, the West Bank, like Israel, was administered by the United Kingdom. 

In the 1990s, when Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed the Oslo peace agreements, the sides agreed that the status of the West Bank would be decided in negotiations between the sides, and today its rightful and ultimate disposition remains under contention.

The The New York Times twice recently corrected after erroneously referring to the West Bank as “Palestinian territory.” The April 22 correction stated:

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to West Bank territory Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel would like to annex. The land is occupied by Israel. The Palestinians want it for a future state but do not have sovereignty over it.

Other major media outlets which corrected the identical point include Voice of AmericaThe Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Postand The Wall Street Journal.

In response to communication from CAMERA, DPA commendably amended the captions. The corrected captions now state:

HANDOUT – 10 June 2020, Israel, Jerusalem: Heiko Maas (l, SPD), German Foreign Minister, meets Benjamin Netanyahu (R), State Premier of Israel. During his trip with the new government in Israel, Maas will mainly talk about Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians claim for a future independent state Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek.Net/dpa
Florian Gaertner / photothek.net / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP