CAMERA Questions LAT Designation of Gaza Clash Victim as ‘Palestinian Journalist’

On Monday, as part of a report about the latest violence in the Middle East, LA Times Jerusalem bureau chief Edmund Sanders wrote the following:

Among the dead was Ramez Harb, a Palestinian journalist. Israel said he was a legitimate target because he served in the information department of Islamic Jihad.

On Tuesday, a blogger for Boston-based watchdog the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) challenged the designation of the victim as a “journalist:”

The Los Angeles Times does it again. Last month it transformed a slain Hamas gunman into a “Palestinian man.” Today Sanders transforms a slain top Islamic Jihad commander into “a Palestinian journalist…”

It’s not just that Israel “said” that Harb served in Islamic Jihad’s “information department.” Israel said he was a senior figure in Islamic Jihad’s military wing. And you know what? Islamic Jihad said the same thing. As was widely reported elsewhere, Islamic Jihad itself texted reporters that its top military leader, Harb, was killed.

Blogger TS goes on to suggest that Sanders is guilty of some critical omissions in his report about the location of Harb’s death. When contacted about this matter by FishbowlLA, a spokesperson for LA Times said: “We are looking into this.”

Update – 11/25/12: The LA Times posted the following correction on Friday:

FOR THE RECORD Gaza fighting: In the Nov. 20 Section A, an article about attacks by Israel and Hamas referred to Ramez Harb, who was killed in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, as a journalist. Although initial reports said Harb worked for a Palestinian news agency, he was a member of the militant group Islamic Jihad.