Times of London

Times of London falsely claims Israel ‘formally annexed’ land in the West Bank

The Times of London, on Sept. 2, published an article by Gregg Carlstrom about a recent decision by Israeli authorities to declare 988 acres in the Gush Etzion region of Judea and Samaria (close to where three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered in June) ‘state land’ (Israel makes biggest land grab in 30 years after teens murdered). 

Here’s a map of the area in question:


Map created by Ha’aretz

The Times of London article (behind a pay wall) included this opening passage:


However, it is completely inaccurate to say that Israel “formally annexed” the land in question, as such formal annexation would require legislation and approval in the Knesset, a formal process that only occurred in two cases – east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.  

The term “annexation” implies sovereignty, and any area that was “formally annexed” would mean the application of Israeli law to that territory. This is not the case when Israel merely declares an area to be “state land”, which does not imply sovereignty.

Even Peace Now (the group referred to in the Times of London article) doesn’t claim that the land in question was “formally annexed”, only that it was “declared state land”.

Additionally, none of the other UK papers reporting on the story that we reviewed (including the Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, Daily Mail and Independent) included the word “annexed” in their accounts.

After contacting editors at Times of London, they slightly revised the sentence in question, deleting the word “formally”.

However, the change is completely insufficient, as the passage’s inclusion of the word “annexation” is extremely misleading.

8 replies »

  1. The incredible shrinking “land grab” stared at 1,000 acres, became 990, now is 988 … and the map above doesn’t show the reality, which is that this “massive land grab” is incredibly tiny – about 1.5 sq miles, or about the size of Central Park spread out as a ribbon of land mostly less than 1/2 a km wide running along the Green Line with a piece connecting to Gush Etzion of about the same dimensions..

  2. Of course they ignore the fact that all the land does belong to Israel legally and that the Arabs have not one single legal claim.

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