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March 15, 2007

New NY Times Reporter Errs on Lebanon War

Hezbollah launched rockets at northern Israel at the same time as it conducted a cross-border raid into Israel, capturing, killing and wounding soldiers. One of the wounded is loaded into an ambulance/Photo by Reuters

Isabel Kershner joined the Jerusalem bureau of the New York Times just over a month ago. An error in her article today highlights the value, especially for a newer staff member, of fact-checking by revisiting the paper's archives.

Her error is:

Several days into the war, Mr. Olmert justified the military campaign in Lebanon that followed the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of three more in a cross-border raid by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group. Hezbollah responded to Israeli retaliation by bombarding northern Israel with rockets.

To write that Hezbollah rocket attacks came after an Israeli reaction to the capture of the soldiers is absolutely false; Hezbollah attacked Israel with rockets during the course of the Hezbollah raid on sovereign Israeli land in which IDF soldiers were killed and captured. As the New York Times' own Greg Myre and Steve Erlanger reported on July 13:

The Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah surprised Israel with a bold daylight assault across the border on Wednesday [July 12].... The fighting on the Lebanese border erupted around 9 a.m., when Hezbollah attacked several Israeli towns with rocket fire, wounding several civilians, the Israeli military said. But that attack was a diversion for the main operation, several miles to the east, where Hezbollah militants fired antitank missiles at two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, the military said. Of the seven soldiers in the two jeeps, three were killed, two wounded and two abducted, the military said. (Clashes Spread to Lebanon as Hezbollah Raids Israel, July 13, 2006)

Stay tuned for word on a correction.

Posted by TS at March 15, 2007 07:03 AM


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