In June, we complained to the Independent about an op-ed (“‘We came here to redeem a land and we end up contaminating it’: Israel’s pollution problem in Palestine”) that included several false claims, including the following:
“Any materials Israel considers ‘dual purpose’, ie materials that can be used for either civilian or military purposes, including basic construction materials such as cement, is not allowed in the Strip.”
We argued in our complaint that such dual-use items, such as construction materials, are indeed subjected to processes to lessen the likelihood that it will be used by Hamas for weaponry. But, under schemes such as the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, instituted after the 2014 war, literally billions of tonnes of such materials have freely entered Gaza.
We recently noticed that, many weeks after our complaint, editors did correct the sentence, which now reads:
Any materials Israel considers ‘dual purpose’, ie materials that can be used for either civilian or military purposes, including basic construction materials, is subject to severe restrictions and scrutiny, which delay and sometimes make repairing damaged infrastructure impossible
Of course, what the op-ed, including the revision, omits is that Hamas consistently uses such putatively civilian materials, including cement or even water pipes, for military purposes – such as rockets and terror tunnels. (In May, for instance blogger Elder of Ziyon shared a video published by Hamas showing its men digging up rockets and converting them into rockets.)
The Independent also added the following Editor’s note at the bottom of the article
The article was amended on June 28th and Amit Gilutz’s quote amended. He was previously quoted as saying that ‘dual purpose’ materials were not allowed into the strip, whereas these materials are not banned outright, but tightly controlled.
However, the other, far more serious error regarding the alleged dumping of nuclear waste in the West Bank has still not been corrected. See our post for background.