CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted Reuters corrections of an Oct. 18 report in both English and Arabic which erroneously characterized all of Israel’s Karish gas field as claimed by Lebanon.
Energean’s rig sits in undisputed waters (Photo by Energean)
The original Arabic version
of this article was even more problematic. It had wrongly reported: “The urgency of Hochstein’s mission increased in June when an Israeli gas rig arrived offshore to explore in the Karish field – which is in the waters which Lebanon said were in its exclusive economic zone.” (Translation by CAMERA Arabic. Emphasis added.)
In fact, only a northern portion of the Karish gas field is in territory claimed by Lebanon since 2021 as disputed, while the rig itself is entirely within the area both Israel and Lebanon agree is outside Lebanon’s EEZ. Therefore, the rig is not in water claimed by Lebanon.
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 submittedto the UN, a boundary Lebanon claims is the southern border of its exclusive maritime economic zone.
In response to CAMERA’s communication, Reuters editors commendably amended the report in both languages and appended clarifications. The improved English wording notes that Lebanon laid claim to only a northern portion of the gas field, stating:
The urgency of Hochstein’s mission increased in June when an Israeli gas rig arrived offshore to explore in the Karish field – waters claimed by Lebanon but which Israel said were in its exclusive economic zone.
In addition, editors commendably added a note to the top of the article noting the change: “(This Oct. 18 story has been corrected to reflect that only the northern part of Karish lies within what Lebanon has claimed as its territorial waters.)”
Similarly, the amended Arabic report now accurately cites, “the Karish field, the northern part of which is in waters Lebanon says lie in its exclusive economic zone.”
Moreover, the straightforward correction posted prominently at the beginning of the article makes clear: “Correction to clarify that that only the northern part of the Karish field falls within what Lebanon says are its territorial waters.”
Previously, BBC Arabic corrected
after publishing the identical error erroneously placing the Israeli rig within disputed waters. Similarly, The Christian Science Monitor corrected
after wrongly citing “Israel-backed drilling rigs in the disputed waters.”