Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Reuters errata and broken boilerplate

In a story about the Arab League agreeing to support "indirect" negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, Reuters digs into the broken boilerplate bin and comes up with:
[PA President] Abbas broke off talks with Israel to protest its offensive in Gaza launched in December 2008.
No.  As we have documented numerous times, negotiations had effectively ended months prior to the war in Gaza when Abbas refused then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert's offer of 97% of the "West Bank" (also, Judea and Samaria) for a comprehensive peace settlement; when the Palestinian Arabs were unable to coerce the Quartet to stipulate that a Palestinian state be set up on the 1949 Armistice Lines with Jerusalem as their capital; and due to imminent elections in Israel.  Abbas supported Israel's efforts in Gaza to rid the strip of Hamas:
At the start of Israel's offensive, one of Abbas' top aides said Hamas was "110 per cent" to blame for the Gaza attack — an unpopular, if not suicidal, stance among Palestinians, whose ire was directed at Israel. Even as the civilian death toll climbed, Abbas delayed several days before criticizing the Israeli offensive. In the West Bank, which Abbas controls by dint of the presence of the Israeli army, his security forces cracked down brutally on fellow Palestinians protesting the Israeli offensive. Palestinians ask why Abbas did not go to Gaza during the fighting to show solidarity with its residents, or organize blood or food help for Gaza's victims.
Reuters continues with more false assertions:
He [Abbas] has resisted U.S. and Israeli calls for a resumption of direct negotiations, saying Israel must first halt all Jewish settlement building on occupied lands where the Palestinians aim to establish a state.
No.  Abbas has insisted that Israel halt building on all land outside of the 1949 Armistice Lines including land which is and has been legally owned by Jews going back over eighty years.

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