On June 16th, we posted on the latest version of the frequent smear that Israel uses water as a weapon against Palestinians, cruelly denying the population an adequate supply. Both the Independent and Times of London, last week, amplified erroneous Palestinian claims that Israeli authorities intentionally cut off water to Palestinians during Ramadan.
We demonstrated, based on our communication with both COGAT (the Israeli authority in the territories) and Mekorot (Israel’s water carrier), the following facts:
- There have indeed been water shortages since the start of Ramadan, but these were caused naturally by an increase in demand during the hot weather months and a shortage of supply from the mountain aquifer.
- This water shortage has affected both Jewish and Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- Israel actually increased the water supply to Palestinians in Hebron and Bethlehem, and to all Palestinian communities at night, to accommodate Palestinian Muslims observing the holiday of Ramadan.
Unfortunately, following our complaints to editors at both publications, only minimal and relatively superficial revisions to the original stories were made. The Independent added Israel’s denial to the strapline, while Times of London added text to note a relatively insignificant cut water line in the West Bank.
So, we’re asking you to help us, by contacting the Independent and Times of London to request (under the terms of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code) either full retractions, or more substantive corrections to their original pieces.
For the Independent, please use this form to complain.
For the Times of London, use this form.
See this important update.