Sky News errs in claim Israeli occupation is “illegal”

An Aug. 31st Sky News article (“Historic first direct flight between Israel and UAE in wake of deal to normalise relations”) included the following claim:

The normalisation deal materialised after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to shelve plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territories which it illegally occupies in the West Bank.

However, as we’ve noted previously, though West Bank settlements are deemed illegal by much of the international community, that’s not the case with the ‘occupation’ itself (Israeli control of Judea and Samaria), where there is no such legal consensus.

Kochav Hashachar (Photo by CAMERA UK)

You can read a good short analysis here on why it’s incorrect to refer to the occupation as illegal.

In fact, in 2016, our colleagues prompted a correction at the NY Times on the same issue. Here’s the NY Times editor’s note noting the correction:

An article on Jan. 13 about a divestment action against Israeli banks by the United Methodist Church pension board referred incorrectly to the Palestinian territories, where, the board said, the banks help finance Israeli settlement construction. While most of the world officially considers the territories to be occupied, and the settlements illegal, there is no consensus that the occupation itself is illegal.

Further, also in 2016, CAMERA UK prompted a correction at a British publication on the same issue.

Unfortunately, our efforts to convince Sky News to correct the claim have thus far not been successful.

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