The New York Times added an editor's note acknowledging past murder and terrorism convictions of Marwan Barghouti on Monday, who recently wrote an Op-ed explaining the reason for his incarceration and why he had chosen to lead a hunger strike by more than 1,100 Palestinian security prisoners.
The paper's amendment comes amid heavy criticism for failing to acknowledge his past crimes in the original version.
The initial text of the op-ed referred to Barghouti as a "Palestinian leader and parliamentarian," attracting fierce criticism for the crucial key omissions of Barghouti’s past record by many who interpreted the decision as the paper's exercise in intentional deception.
Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid wrote contemptuously of the article. Barghouti “was involved in dozens of terror attacks that made people lose family (members), that maimed innocents, that ruined people’s lives. The New York Times ‘forgot’ to tell its readers that,” Lapid wrote.
"This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted," the note read. "They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy."
1,187 Palestinian security prisoners—out of a total of 6,200 currently held in Israeli prisons—began a hunger strike Monday morning.
The Israel Prison Services (IPS) is making efforts to prevent incitement by moving prisoners who they consider to be leading the strike, among them Barghouti, to other prisons in an attempt to prevent them from becoming organized.
On Monday thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in support of the hunger strike. Even though concerns were raised by the defense establishment over possible clashes between protestors and security forces, no such incident occurred aside from one near Bethlehem where two protestors were injured after confronting the police.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)