Friday, July 1, 2011

Reuters quietly renounces earlier libel

In a recent story about Israel closing the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza following a successful Palestinian attempt to murder Israeli school children with an anti-tank missile, Reuters correspondents Nidal al-Mughrabi and Allyn Fisher-Ilan openly libeled Israel by suggesting, falsely, that basic medicines in Gaza were lacking due to the border closure.  We pointed out that the chronic shortage of medicines was due, not to Israeli policies, but rather to ongoing disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

In a new appeal to pity about living conditions in Gaza, al-Mughrabi, assisted by current Jerusalem Bureau Chief Crispian Balmer and former Bureau Chief Alastair Macdonald, corrects Reuters' previous libel -- well, sort of:
Mahmoud Daher, the Gaza office director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said shortages of medicine and medical equipment were at an "unprecedented" level, forcing the cancellation of some operations and evacuation of patients.
However, this problem cannot be blamed directly on Israel.
Daher said the two main reasons were a failure by the Palestinian authorities to pay suppliers on time and a lack of cooperation between health authorities in the West Bank and Gaza, which are governed by rival Palestinian movements.
With this story, Reuters has abandoned its previous calumny against Israel but, in violation of its Trust Principles and Handbook of Journalism, fails to openly retract the earlier false allegation.

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