Reuters’ Gaza Parkour Article Contorts on Israeli-Egyptian Blockade

The Rafah crossing from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, 2020 (Photo by Gigi Ibrahim/Wikimedia)

Reuters’ Dec. 22 article, “Gaza’s parkour athletes jump for joy over new training facility,” notes the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, but ignores the far more stringent Egyptian blockade.

 Thus, the article states that parkour “provides its own sense of freedom of movement in an area locked in conflict with neighbouring Israel, which blockades the enclave, citing security concerns.”

In 2020, 25,069 people have exited the Gaza Strip via the Egyptian-controlled crossing into Egypt, according to the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In contrast, also this year, some 58,000 Gazans have left the territory via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing into Israel, according to OCHA. Thus, the number of exits from the Gaza Strip via Israel is more than double the number of exits via Egypt, so why does Reuters cite the former’s much more porous blockade and not the latter’s? Moreover, all commercial and industrial imports, plus fuel, go through the Israeli-controlled go through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing — not via Egypt.

Reuters practice in the past has been to rightly note the more stringent Egyptian blockade alongside the Israeli blockade. See, for instance:

“Israel says the restrictions on Gaza imposed by itself and Egypt . . . ” (Aug. 28, 2020)

  • “Many of Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians have never left the 360 sq km (140 sq mile) enclave, which Israel and Egypt have largely blockaded for years” (Aug. 11, 2020)
  •  ” . . . its borders sealed off by neighbouring Israel and Egypt.” (Sept. 30, 2020)
  • “The 40-km-long area is flanked by Israel to the north and east and Egypt to the south. Both countries have imposed restrictions on movement, citing security concerns over Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.” (Aug. 24, 2020)
  • “Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt tightly restrict cross-border movement with Gaza, territory controlled by Hamas Islamists.” (Aug. 11, 2020)

Screenshots from OCHA’s website

CAMERA has brought the omission to Reuters’ attention. Stay tuned for any updates.