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On April 10, The News reported on the deaths of three Arab youths in Gaza who were said to have been shot to death by Israeli troops while playing soccer. This item was repeated in part the next day in a front-page article that also made reference to Palestinian "militants" firing mortars on Jewish homes in response to the deaths.

However, there was no mention on April 12 of the admission by the commander of Palestinian forces in Gaza, Mussa Arafat, to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, that the youths were in fact engaged in illegal smuggling in a prohibited area, and could easily have been involved in acts of terrorism.

Without this latest information, readers are left with the distinct misimpression that Israeli defense forces -- trained like no other armed forces in the world to avoid civilian casualties -- deliberately and irresponsibly fired on innocent teenagers playing soccer.

This lack of critical information is unfortunate. Given the documented increase in anti-Jewish acts here in the United States, it is the responsibility of our newspapers to provide complete information to readers, in the form of continuing reports, even if the news does not support the original story line.

Lawrence M. Ross