Sign at the entrance to a Palestinian town warning Israelis to stay out. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) AP Photo/Nasser Nasser
Mideast Palestinians Attacks

An AP article on Israel vaccinating Palestinian workers gets the facts wrong, again.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

It is long known that the media has a tough time getting the facts right on Israel, but an Associated Press story over the weekend leaves you scratching your head, wondering how the details were so wrong when the facts were easily available.

In a story about the decision to give coronavirus vaccinations to Palestinians who work in Israel, the AP joins the anti-Israel bandwagon that falsely claims Palestinians are totally beholden to Israel.

In its report, AP decided that COGAT, the branch of the IDF that implements civilian policy in parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is now “the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.”

Whoa, AP! That’s just not true! The AP reporter clearly didn’t bother checking the facts, and a simple visit to the COGAT website shows that the agency clearly states: “The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) implements the government’s civilian policy within the territories of Judea and Samaria and towards the Gaza Strip.”

And if the reporter clicked on the “About” section, he would have seen that “The Unit for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is responsible for coordination and liaison with the Palestinian Authority.”

COGAT’s job is to coordinate with the Palestinian Authority, because they are the ones who are actually “responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.”

Anybody covering the Israeli-Palestinian issue should know the difference, as should the copy editor checking the story. However, the AP got it wrong and should have known better – especially after the months of fake news claiming Israel is “responsible” for vaccinating all the Palestinians even though the Palestinians themselves have full control over their health system and ordered vaccines months ago.

Yet when the Palestinian Authority failed to get the vaccines on time, they took the regular easy way out and blamed Israel, with an eager foreign press more than willing to lap up any fake news that the PA provides.