Monday, October 2, 2017

Surprise? Indy story on Gaza student “denied” visa to study in UK riddled with distortions - by Adam Levick

...Further down in the article, the Indy contextualises COGAT’s putative delay of Awad’s travel request by alleging that “permission to leave Gaza is notoriously difficult to obtain for the enclave’s two million residents”, an Israeli process characterized by McKernan as “Kafkaesque”. However, the statistics tell a completely different story.

Adam Levick..
UK Media Watch..
01 October '17..

A Sept. 27th article in the Independent by Bethan McKernan claims that a 28-year-old Palestinian student named Mohammed Awad was due to begin a masters programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, but may have to forfeit his place because of an “Israeli delay in approving his travel papers”.

Awad, from Jabalia, north of Gaza City, is quoted by the Indy expressing his frustration at the “red tape and lengthy delays” at COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) in processing his application.

However, we contacted COGAT to inquire about travel visa, and they responded by emphatically denying the Indy’s version of what occurred. A spokesperson told us that his application was approved for travel on Nov. 14th, the exact date requested by the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. Though the article was updated (at some point after it was first published) to note a response by COGAT confirming that Awad’s application had been “submitted” for travel on Nov. 14th, McKernan failed to make clear that it was in fact “approved”.

The headline accompanying McKernan’s article is even more misleading. It not only fails to reflect the reply from COGAT, but actually claims Awad’s application was “denied”, despite the fact that the article doesn’t make this claim.

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