Times of London

The Times corrects description of convicted terrorist as ‘alleged militant’


An article in The Times on the surge of Palestinian violence late last week (“Three killed in West Bank clashes”, Feb. 6) includes the following claim:

In the early hours of this morning, the army went into Jenin to demolish the home of a man it described as a “militant” but faced resistance which turned into a riot.

However, he wasn’t merely “described as a militant”. As multiple media outlets make clear, the Palestinian man, Ahmed al-Qanba, was a “convicted” terrorist – a member of the cell that murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevah in Havat Gilad in 2018.

Rabbi Raziel Shevah, killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2018 (MFA)

Additionally, the Times article included this, regarding a car-ramming attack that same day.

Three Palestinians have been killed in clashes in the West Bank and 12 Israeli soldiers injured in a ramming attack in Jerusalem in the worst surge in violence since President Trump announced his “deal of the century” peace plan last week.

The soldiers were young recruits said by the army to have been on a group “heritage tour” of Jerusalem’s Old City, part of the area of the city already annexed by Israel, when they came under attack in the early hours of this morning. A car deliberately drove into them from behind, before speeding off.

We argued, in a tweet to the Times journalist, and in a formal complaint to editors, that the soldiers were not rammed in the Old City. They were rammed in West Jerusalem, at a popular entertainment venue called First Station.

Times editors upheld both of our complaints.

Here’s the revised language to the first error – the sentence on the Palestinian “described” as a “militant”

In a separate incident, also in the early hours, troops faced resistance when they went into the West Bank town of Jenin to demolish the home of a man who is in prison for terrorist offences.

The other sentence, falsely suggesting that rammed soldiers were in “annexed” east Jerusalem, was also revised, and no longer describes the attacks as taking place in the Old City.

We commend editors for the prompt correction.

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4 replies »

  1. The media couldn’t care less that they have been obliged to correct a report. They know full well that the impact of the report is all that counts, and that any subsequent correction is of little consequence and unlikely to be read by very many. They persist year in year out with this egregious policy because they can get away with it.

  2. You’re very quick to “commend” a mealy-mouthed update, Adam.
    Saying a man “is in prison for terrorist offences” conceals he was convicted of murder.

    • If you want to be technical about it, Adam clearly said he commended the editors for the prompt correction, meaning their actions, not their words.

      And I love how anonymous folks like to give Adam a hard time for running his blog. Thank you, Internet.

  3. I don’t think you should capitalize the “W” in “west Jerusalem.” Doing so reinforces the canard that it’s a separate city (which I know is not your intent). I suggest “western Jerusalem.”