The Associated Press (AP), the world's largest news agency, issued a writing guide for reporters covering the Hamas-started war against Israel in which its writers were instructed not to refer to Hamas as terrorists, Ynet reported this evening (Tuesday).

The guide states: "The terms terrorism and terrorists have been politicized, and are often applied inconsistently. Because these terms can be used to label such a wide variety of actions and events, and because the debate surrounding them is so intense, detailing the events is more accurate and serves the audience better."

The news agency specified when Hamas can be defined as a terrorist organization: "AP does not use these terms in the context of acts or when it comes to specific groups, unless they are direct quotes. Instead, we will describe specific atrocities, massacres, bombings, assassinations, and other actions of this type."

"In the past, AP used these terms very carefully. We continue to use these terms in broader references to terrorism - as a threat, counter-terrorism efforts, fear of terrorism, etc."

On the other hand, the AP said that the term "State of Palestine" should not be used: "Do not use 'Palestine' or the 'State of Palestine' in other situations, as it is not a fully independent and unified state. For territory, refer specifically to the West Bank or Gaza, or to the Palestinian territories with reference to both."

The organization also wrote that "When approaching the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has lasted 75 years, it is important to understand the deep wells of anger, hurt, bitterness, and resentment that have deepened over generations of Israelis and Palestinians who have lived with conflict all their lives, and who have seen many failed attempts at negotiation and mediation. In some ways, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most unsolvable problem in the world."

"Words must be chosen carefully to reflect respect for different perspectives on the conflict. Palestinians are divided between more moderate and more extreme perspectives. Similarly, among Israelis, some take a more extreme right-wing and ultra-nationalist approach to Palestinian demands and aspirations, and there are those who would like to achieve coexistence In peace. Avoid stereotypes, and discuss nuances, and broadly maintain a balanced perspective. When talking about attacks, remember that in a long-standing conflict there are often many precedents.

The AP responded to the report: "The Associated Press regularly reviews its standards for language, especially in times of war, to be as accurate as possible. The AP reports as fully and factually as we can about the actions in the conflict, including repugnant details and crimes."