CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Voice of America article which erroneously reported that Israel announced plans to advance 5000 settlements. The Oct. 26 article, “US Envoy Urges Fresh Approach to Middle East Peace,” had erred:
Many council members on Monday also expressed concern about Israel’s Oct. 15 announcement that it is advancing 5,000 settlements.
Earlier this month, Israel announced plans to advance 5,000 residential units in pre-existing settlements; it did not announce plans to advance 5,000 settlements.
As Times of Israel reported Oct. 12:
Among the approvals Thursday are 629 units in Eli, 357 in Geva Binyamin, 354 in Nili, 286 in Bracha, 211 in Yizhar (known as among the most extreme settlements, where police, troops and others are regularly attacked) and 178 in Einav. Most of the settlements are in outlying parts of the West Bank that Israel would likely not hold onto as part of land swaps in any realistic peace deal.
According to the settlement watch group Peace Now, additional communities over the Green Line (Israel’s pre-1967 armistice line with the West Bank) include Karnei Shomron, Einav, Peduel, Yakir, Ma’ale Shomron, Yitzhar, Efrat, Ma’ale Mikhmas, Nili, Psagot, Beit El, and Kerem Reim, Shim’a, Telem and others.
The VOA article itself goes on to acknowledge that the new plans apply to units in settlements, as opposed to settlements: “The U.N. said about 85% of the units are in settlements in outlying locations, deep inside the West Bank, and all are in areas that would impede the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.”
In response to communication from CAMERA, VOA agreed that a correction is in order, and noted that the error apparently originated in the editing process, and not with the reporter. Editors immediately amended the text to refer Israel’s “announcement that it is advancing 5,000 settlement housing units.” In addition, VOA commendably appended the following clarification to the bottom of the article: