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February 03, 2015

Updated: New York Times Understates Hamas Rocket Attacks, Relocates Hezbollah Attack

Update: NY Times Corrects: Thousands, Not Hundreds, of Rockets Targeted Israel

In recent days, The New York Times has misreported attacks by both Hamas and Hezbollah directed at Israel. Today, The Times grossly understates the number of rockets that Palestinians in Gaza fired at Israel during this summer's conflict ("Leader of War Crimes Inquiry Into 2014 Gaza Conflict Resigns"). Somini Sengupta refers to "the Gaza conflict, in which Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel."

In fact, Palestinians launched thousands, not hundreds, of rockets at Israel during this summer's conflict. Israel identified 3,852 rocket hits on Israeli territory. The Iron Dome intercepted another 735 rockets. These figures do not include the hundreds of mortars that Palestinians fired at Israel. Nor does it include the rockets that Palestinians fired at Israel, but which fell short, landing in the Gaza Strip.

Last week, The Times' Isabel Kershner correctly cited the number of rockets that Palestinians fired at Israel this summer, writing on Jan. 28 ". . .Hamas and other militant groups fired thousands of rockets into Israel . . . "

In a separate article last week, The "Paper of Record" incorrectly reported that Hezbollah's fatal attack on Israeli soldiers last Wednesday took place on the disputed strip of land called Mount Dov/Shabaa Farms, next to the border with Lebanon. In fact, the attack took place near, but not on, Mount Dov.

The Times reported ("Hezbollah Kills 2 Israeli Soldiers Near Lebanon," Jan. 29):

Hezbollah antitank missiles killed two Israeli soldiers as they drove in a disputed area along the Lebanese border on Wednesday . . .

The Israeli soldiers were killed at Shebaa Farms -- known in Israel as Mont Dov -- a strip claimed by Israel, Lebanon and sometimes Syria near the intersection of all three and adjacent to the Golan Heights.

A photograph accompanying the article also had a caption identifying last week's attack as having taken place in a "disputed area."

nyt soldiers disputed area.jpg

In addition, a Times correction yesterday inaccurately states:

An article on Thursday about the death of two Israeli soldiers in a missile attack by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite movement, as they drove in a disputed area near the Lebanese border misstated the surname of one of the soldiers in some editions. . . .

The map (below), provided by Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner, shows the location of the attack on Route 999, near, but not on, Mount Dov.

999 Hezbollah attack.jpg

Thus, the attack did not take place in a "disputed area," nor did it occur on Shebaa Farms. Lerner has confirmed this information with CAMERA by telephone. Also, on its Web site, the IDF notes that the attack took place "near Mt. Dov."

The Associated Press accurately reported Jan. 28:

The Israeli military said five anti-tank missiles hit the soldiers as they were traveling near Mount Dov and Chebaa Farms, along a disputed tract of land where the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet.

The soldiers were in two unarmored white vehicles without military insignia when they were struck from a distance of about three miles (five kilometers) away, according to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman.

On a separate note, while the article states that Mount Dov is a strip "claimed by Israel, Lebanon and sometimes Syria," it omits mention of the fact that the United Nations agrees with the Israeli view that the territory is part of the Golan Heights, and thus had been part of Syria, not Lebanon.

UPDATE, 8:30 a.m. EST:
The New York Times has informed CAMERA that the understated figure for the number of Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel is an editing error, and will be corrected. Editors are also considering a correction on the location of the Hezbollah attack last week.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m. EST: The Times has fixed the online article and commendably appended the following correction to the bottom of the article:

nyt correction thousands.JPG

We expect that a correction in the print edition will appear in the coming day or so.

Posted by TS at February 3, 2015 06:33 AM


The New York Times is about as accurate as the National Enquirer.

Posted by: Andrew at February 4, 2015 12:57 PM

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