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Critics: US media often omit context of Israeli-Palestinian violence

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Media v Israel-Palestinian conflictAs violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories returns to the headlines, critics are complaining that many prominent U.S. news outlets often omit or misrepresent contextual information vital to understanding the conflict. And perhaps predictably, partisans on both sides are targeting media coverage for different reasons.

A common complaint among some critics concerns some major U.S. media outlets’ characterization of neighborhoods and the legal and political context of the Israeli presence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. “The biggest problem … is total lack of context in reporting in which all of this is taking place,” said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

He and others point to the frequent omission of references to settlements and the occupation when describing East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of how Palestinians’ daily lives are affected by Israel’s occupation of those territories.

As an example, he and others called out a New York Times article published Monday, in which Pisgat Ze'ev — where two Palestinian teens were shot (one was killed, and one was seriously injured) after stabbing a 13-year-old Jewish boy — was referred to as a “section” and “a Jewish area” of East Jerusalem. Pisgat Ze'ev is an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, which, like the rest of the West Bank, is internationally regarded as occupied territory.

Israel’s claim to have annexed East Jerusalem after capturing it the war of June 1967 is not recognized by any other countries, including the United States. And all settlement of Israeli civilians in areas occupied since 1967 is deemed by the United Nations Security Council a violation of international law.

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