In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, the Agence France Presse yesterday corrected an article which had alleged that “[s]ome 17 journalists were killed covering the July-August Gaza war” (“Israel ministry video lashes out at foreign journalists“). [The AFP article was also published at the Daily Mail, but editors at that publication have yet to correct their version.]
As noted yesterday on CAMERA’s Snapshots blog, the influential wire service initially did not attribute this figure to any source, but stated it as fact. The number is a Palestinian (Hamas) claim, disputed by the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which has documented that eight of the 17 on the Hamas list were Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror operatives or worked for Hamas or Islamic Jihad media outfits.
According to the Meir Amit center (“Examination of the Names of 17 Journalists and Media Personnel Whom the Palestinians Claim Were Killed in Operation Protective Edge,” Feb. 11, 2015):
About a week after the end of Operation Protective Edge the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate issued a list of 17 names, allegedly of journalists who had been killed in [the summer 2014 Gaza] operation. The list was published by the PA’s Wafa News Agency, which received it from the Hamas-controlled Gaza office of the ministry of information.
AFP promptly followed up by republishing the article. Commendable changes include the attribution of the figure of 17 journalists killed to Hamas, as opposed to just reporting it as fact, and the addition of the fact that the Meir Amit center disputes Hamas’ figure. The amended article states:
The Hamas-run ministry of information said 17 journalists were killed covering the July-August Gaza war . . . .
That statistic is disputed by the privately run Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, which says Hamas-linked media operatives or combatants were counted as journalists in Palestinian figures.
The International Federation of Journalists says at least 13 media workers were killed.
It should be noted that the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) list of 13 journalists killed in Gaza last summer includes several whom the Meir Amit center has identified as operatives of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Among them is Izzar Dheir, killed July 29, and shown below (photo courtesy of Meir Amit center) wearing an Islamic Jihad cap and holding an M-16 rifle.