A Guardian piece by Bethan McKernan refers to Salah Hamouri as a “human rights lawyer” (“Human rights lawyer in Israeli prison goes on hunger strike“, Sept. 28), despite acknowledging – in the 8th paragraph – his 2005 conviction for plotting to assassinate Israel’s former Chief Rabbi.
Hamouri, a French-Palestinian whose conviction also included terrorism funding, and recruitment for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, was released in December 2011 as part of a swap for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Guardian piece begins with the following grossly misleading omission about his current detention:
A prominent Palestinian-French human rights lawyer has gone on hunger strike in protest against his imprisonment without charge by Israeli authorities for the last six months.
As we noted in a complaint to Guardian editors this morning, at the time of his detention, it was reported that Hamouri was accused of being a member of PFLP, designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
Our complaint was upheld, and the following paragraph added:
In a statement, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that Hamouri was detained on suspicion of activity in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel’s western allies.
Though we commend editors for the correction, the fact that McKernan referred to a convicted Palestinian terrorist as a “human rights” lawyer is another example of how the Guardian’s coverage of the region can be best described as pro-Palestinian advocacy, rather than real journalism.
*Here’s a cached version of the original article, with the reason for his detention omitted.