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January 02, 2013

NPR Also Must Correct Gaza Ban Error

NPR is another media outlet which must correct the false claim that Israel allowed construction materials into the Gaza Strip this week for the first time in five years. As noted yesterday on CAMERA's Web site, the ban applied only to the private sector, and according to the United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since June 2010, 40,041 truckloads of building goods entered the Gaza Strip from Israel, earmarked for construction projects sponsored by international aid groups.

OCHA construction materials Gaza.jpg

The AP yesterday published a commendable clarification on the issue, and the International Herald Tribune informs us that their correction will appear tomorrow.

Listen to Sheera Frenkel's inaccurate report on "All Things Considered" yesterday:

Audie Cornish introduces the piece, erroneously stating:

For the first time in five years, Israel is allowing shipments of gravel, cement, and other construction materials into Gaza.

Later, Frenkel states:

Israeli officials says they banned construction material because they feared Hamas would use the goods to build bunkers and tunnels.

Listeners then hear from Guy Inbar, a spokesman for Israel's Defense Ministry, who states:

These new steps are especially for the private sector for the population in Gaza, in order to distinct [sic] between the civilian population and the Hamas terrorist.

Given that NPR's Cornish has already stated that "for the first time in five years, Israel is allowing shipments of gravel, cement, and other construction materials," listeners would have no way of understanding that Inbar, whose English is not perfect, actually means that the ban, in fact, only applied to the private sector. The NPR story gives no indication that contrary to Cornish and Frenkel's claims, tens of thousands of trucks loaded with construction material have crossed from Israel to Gaza in the last five years. NPR must follow the commendable lead of the AP, and broadcast a correction.

Posted by TS at January 2, 2013 06:42 AM


Actually, by the standards of Sheera Frenkel's usual reporting, this was outstanding journalism. The fact that she quoted people who exist and knew what part of the world she was reporting on is something that has often been missing from her coverage. She isn't even a hardcore pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel advocate. She's just someone who sucks really badly at her job.

Posted by: Ben at January 2, 2013 08:24 AM

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