A Sky News report (Trump’s UAE-Israel deal has shifted Middle East politics, but the core conflict remains, Sept. 15) included two erroneous claims.
Here’s the first one, where the reporter notes a conversation he had with an Israeli settler:
There are not settler-only buses or bus stops in the West Bank. All Israeli citizens, foreigners, and Palestinians with proper permits (such as work permits), can use public buses (or bus stops) that travel between settlements – or connect settlement cities with non-settlement cities.
In fact, as the NY Times reported, in 2015 Israel shelved a proposal – following widespread criticism, including from the prime minister – that would have, for the first time, “prohibited Palestinians from riding home to the West Bank on the same buses as Israelis headed to Jewish settlements”.
Following communication with Sky News, the sentence containing the erroneous claim was corrected, and now reads:
At a bus stop used by settlers to shuttle them to and fro around the settlements as well as in and out of the West Bank, I met Rachel Gordon, from London originally.
Now, for the second false claim, made in the context of the failure of Oslo to achieve peace:
The Palestinians continue their struggle for a nation state – a largely peaceful struggle in the West Bank, less so in Gaza.
There are many falsehoods packed in the 20 word sentence, beginning with the suggestion that most Palestinians and their leaders merely want a “nation state”.
First, even if you accept that PA leaders truly support nothing more than a two-state solution (an assumption which, at best, is highly questionable), it is undeniable that Hamas, which controls Gaza, openly desires the annihilation of the Jewish state.
Moreover, a recent poll by the respected Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research showed that support for a two-state solution among all Palestinians have dropped below 40%, and support for the ‘resumption’ of armed struggle surged to 45%.
Now, let’s turn to the claim that the Palestinian struggle in the West Bank has been “largely peaceful”.
CAMERA UK’s monthly posts on how frequently the BBC reports on terrorist attack in Israel demonsrated that the Sky News claim isn’t accurate. Here are the relevant paragraphs from our most recent report about Palestinian terrorism in August.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during August 2020 shows that throughout the month a total of 120 incidents took place: 67 in Judea & Samaria, 39 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’…
In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 85 attacks with petrol bombs, six attacks using pipe bombs, two shooting attacks, eight arson attacks, three stabbings and two rock-throwing attacks.
One civilian was murdered during August and six people (two civilians and four members of the security forces) were wounded.
As you can see from our report (and from our previous monthly reports on Palestinian terror) the claim that the Palestinian “struggle” in the West Bank is often violent. Indeed, our reports show that there hasn’t been a month in recent years where at least dozens of attacks haven’t taken place. Finally, in Gaza, there have been, to date, 112 rockets attacks launched by Palestinian terrorists targeting Israeli communities in 2020. In 2019, there were over 400 such rocket attacks. (We should note also, that these figures don’t include planned Palestinian terror attacks thwarted by Israeli security personnel.)
Though we’re pleased Sky News revised their erroneous claim about ‘segregated’ bus stops, we’re disappointed that, contrary to journalistic convention, there’s no editor’s note informing readers of the change.