Media 32: Guardian report given much-needed balance by Reuters
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The Guardian has, in the past, been accused of being biased against Israel; is it now leaning towards the other extreme? And if so, why?
Did its August report, headed by this picture, go too far?
In eight paragraphs on Friday, it reported, “An Israeli living in a West Bank settlement has been attacked and killed”. Not a word was written about the extreme provocation of Palestinians, though a day before Reuter reported that settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are becoming increasingly aggressive. The 100 unauthorised settlements on the West Bank contravene international law and are considered illegal even under Israeli law.
For the record: three Israelis and 15 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank this year
In July, the Israeli Defence Ministry itself announced a crackdown on ‘settler vandals’, saying they were tantamount to terrorists and their attacks could fan sectarian violence.
Settlers have attacked Palestinian communities 586 times so far this year, up from 370 in all of 2012, according to Ghassan Daghlas, who tracks settler violence for the Palestinian Authority.
A week in the life of Palestinian villagers
- On Monday, witnesses told Reuters that branches were hacked off more than a dozen ancient olive trees in a third Palestinian village next to a settler outpost
- On Wednesday afternoon, around 15 settlers pelted a school in another Palestinian village with stones, Palestinian officials said. Frightened teachers and students locked the doors and hid inside until the assailants left.
- They then spray-painted the phrase “Zion’s redemption”, a Star of David and the name of an Israeli soldier who was killed last month in the West Bank on the wall of the local mosque-cum-primary school in the village of Burqa.
- Last Thursday Jewish settlers torched three Palestinian cars
David Ha’ivri, a Jewish settler activist, did not dispute the villagers’ account of the latest incident and told Reuters that the settlers’ leadership “frowns on acts of violence and speaks out against such acts”.
The Israeli military said that it has arrested four suspects.