A Financial Times article published on June 20th focusing on Israel’s battle with kite bombs launched from Gaza included the erroneous claim that Israel has prevented Palestinians in the strip from leaving “except for a few medical emergencies”.
In fact, tens of thousands of Gazans each year are issued permits to cross the border to receive medical care in Israel and PA hospitals – not to mention the thousands of permits issued to Gazans to cross the border for other humanitarian and economic reasons.
We immediately tweeted the journalist, Mehul Srivastava, alerting him to the error and providing statistics that UK Media Watch had received previously from COGAT, the Israeli authority responsible for coordinating humanitarian crossings from the Palestinian territories into Israel.
Your @FT article claims Gazans are prevented from entering Israel except for "a few medical emergencies"
But, per @cogat_israel, 1000s cross for medical reasons ever year
In 2016, 35,647 medical permits were issued
In 2017, 29,113 medical permits were issued pic.twitter.com/oD0b0wDzDy
— UK Media Watch (@UKMediaWatch) June 20, 2018
We followed up with an email to the journalist, forwarding him the email from COGAT confirming the statistics on medical permits that we tweeted. To his credit, Mr. Srivastava agreed to consult with his editors and ultimately amended the sentence to the following:
The new wording “except for medical purposes” is far from perfect, but nonetheless represents a significant improvement over the original “except for a few medical emergencies”.
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