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April 5, 2023 11:00 am

Hamas’ Helpful Editors: AFP Deletes Genocide Call From Terror Statement

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avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld


Palestinian children compelled to participate in a Hamas military parade. Photo: Twitter.

The guiding principles of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) wire service contain a clear ban on manipulating quotes, and instruct journalists to “report sources accurately, without modifying what was said or selectively using quotes that misrepresent the sense of the statement.”

But these editorial standards did not deter the AFP from distorting a quote about Israel in a March 31, 2023, article. Reporting on a missive by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, the AFP cited “Gaza’s Islamist rulers” as issuing the following warning:

The seizure of land by the Israeli occupation and the colonial expansion of settlements are doomed to fail.

Yet their story, “Thousands commemorate Palestinian Land Day in Israel, Gaza,” which was reprinted by France24 and focused on Palestinian Land Day protests in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip failed to inform readers what “occupation” and “settlements” mean exactly in Hamas’ dictionary.

This, even though Hamas — the US-designated terror group — is shockingly forthright about its intentions to annihilate the only Jewish state and seven million of its citizens.

In fact, the AFP appears to have gone out of its way to remove all references to Hamas’ explicit plans to murder and expel the world’s largest Jewish community, with the full statement in Arabic and English reading as follows:

We will not give up an inch of our historical Palestine [sic], from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, and reiterate that the seizure of land by the Israeli occupation and the colonial expansion of settlements are doomed to fail. [emphasis added]

HonestReporting also discovered that AFP edited out the part where Hamas hailed “the steadfast Palestinian people” in what it dubbed “the territories occupied in 1948 [sic],” which, if included, would have dispelled the prevailing media narrative that Land Day somehow advocates peaceful co-existence with Israel.

Erasing Palestinian Land Day’s Violent Background

Unfortunately, the erasure of Hamas’ genocidal antisemitism is just one example of how Agence France-Presse, which supplies news copy to thousands of organizations worldwide, misinformed media consumers about the true nature of Hamas and Palestinian Land Day.

Each year on March 30, members of Israel’s Arab minority, in addition to Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza, stage protests as they mark Land Day, commemorating six Israeli Arabs who died in clashes that followed a 1976 proposal to appropriate land — including some owned by Arab farmers — in the Galilee. Many members of the security forces were also wounded in the March 1976 riots.

Notably, only about 30 percent of the land slated for expropriation was Arab-owned, and the Rabin government concurrently intended to expand the Arab town of Kafr Kanna.

Land Day rallies, which have often devolved into violent confrontations, primarily serve to legitimize the bogus Palestinian claim to a “Right of Return” to all of Israel that would — if ever actualized — destroy the country by weight of numbers.

In 2018, Land Day marked the beginning of the brutal, Hamas-orchestrated “Great March of Return,” that targeted the Gaza border fence, where some participants spoke openly about their wish to “rip a Jew’s head off.”

This year’s “protests” in the coastal enclave included young children in military fatigues posing with a map of “Palestine” that erased all trace of what is now Israel.

However, while the AFP notes that “hundreds marched along the heavily guarded border” and “Israeli soldiers fired bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd,” the violent background of Land Day is completely excised from the story.

Meanwhile, when mentioning the “Israeli-led” blockade of the Gaza Strip, the news agency fails to mention that Egypt has also imposed strict border restrictions since the Hamas terror organization staged a violent coup and took over control from the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in 2007.

The piece furthermore twists the historical record by claiming that the 1948 war simply “coincided” with the creation of the State of Israel, removing agency from those who rejected the re-establishment of the Jewish state by force. In actuality, the combined force of the five Arab armies attacked the nascent country in response to David Ben-Gurion’s declaration of Israeli independence on May 14, 1948.

Accordingly, the article likely runs afoul of AFP’s avowed commitment to ethical journalism, as well as the standards set by the European Fact-Checking Standards Network and the International Fact-Checking Network.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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