Media Ignore, Downplay Infiltration of Armed Gazans Close to Israeli Community

Jan.26 UPDATE:

i24News English Corrects; Reuters Declines to Clarify

Reuters editors have declined to clarify their story. i24News English, which had likewise reported on an "attempt to infiltrate" has corrected. See below for a detailed update.

Photo by Gilad Skolnick

Amidst concerns that the Hamas terror organization will seek to disrupt the World Holocaust Forum, a major conference set to begin today in Jerusalem with dozens of world leaders in attendance, three armed Palestinians crossed hundreds of meters into Israel from Gaza last night. According to The Times of Israel, the Palestinian assailants were in a wooded area near the community of Kibbutz Kissufim when they fired explosives at Israeli soldiers who shot them dead. As of this writing (5:30 am EST), the severe incident went virtually unreported by much of the mainstream Western media. Wire services including Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, and Deutsche Presse-Agentur were the notable exceptions, and their coverage was quite uneven: some reports (such as Agence France Presse and Deutsche Presse-Agentur) were straightforward and factual. Reuters, on the other hand, failed to convey basic information.

Thus, Reuters' report yesterday ("Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians in Gaza border attack"), inaccurately states that the slain Palestinians were "attempting" to cross the border. In fact, they had succeeded — and were several hundred meters inside southern Israel — when they threw explosives at the Israeli soldiers who shot them dead.

The article begins: 
Israeli troops on Tuesday shot and killed three Palestinians who threw an explosive towards them after attempting to cross the border from neighboring Gaza, Israel’s military said.
 
The next paragraph adds that the assailants were seen "crossing the frontier," but does not make clear that in fact they had crossed and were deep inside Israeli territory:
 
The military said troops had cordoned off an area near the southern end of the Palestinian coastal enclave after spotting “three suspects” crossing the frontier.
 
As Haaretz reported, the trio were well inside Israel:
 
Three Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers after crossing 400 meters into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, an army spokesman said. No Israeli casualties were reported.
According to the Times of Israel, the infiltrators were in a wooded area next to the community of Kibbutz Kissufim.

The IDF's tweet about the incident, which was released a couple of hours before the Reuters report, made clear that the assailants "crossed the security fence."
Moreover, Reuters' misleading headline fails to make clear that Palestinians were the perpetrators of the attack, and that the attack was within Israel.
The Associated Press' headline similarly obscures that Palestinians were the assailants, stating: "Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians after attack at Gaza fence." The headline suggests that it was the Israeli army which did the attacking, when the reverse was the case, and places the location of the incident at the Gaza fence, when in fact it was well inside Israel.
This distorted depiction is not consistent with the accompanying AP story, which clearly reports in the first sentence:
The Israeli military said its soldiers killed three Palestinians who crossed the Gaza border fence and threw an explosive device at troops on Tuesday.
In contrast, AFP's coverage, both the article and headline, were perfectly clear that the slain Palestinians were assailants ("Israel troops kill 3 Palestinian attackers from Gaza: army"). DPA's coverage also clearly reported that the Palestinians were assailants, and that they were inside Israel ("IDF: 3 Palestinians who targeted Israel [sic] soldiers shot dead."

Jan. 26 Update: i24News Corrects

Like Reuters, i24News English had initially reported the incident as an "attempt to infiltrate." The headline originally misled: "IDF: Three Palestinians killed in an attempt to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel." Similarly, the first paragraph inaccurately reported: "Three Palestinians were killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fire after attempting to cross into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, Hebrew-language outlet Haaretz reported on Tuesday night." In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended both the text and headline. The digital article now accurately reports:

Three Palestinians were killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fire after crossing into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday night.

The corrected i24 headline now reads: "Three Palestinians killed after infiltrating from Gaza into Israel." Reuters editors, in contrast, have declined to amend their report.