As is well documented, the first rocket attack carried out by terrorists from the Gaza Strip took place on January 30th, 2001 when the village of Netzarim was targeted. For the next couple of months, it was Israeli villages inside the Gaza Strip which bore the brunt of attacks with this new weapon, but in March 2001 the first rocket was fired over the ‘green line’ at Kibbutz Nachal Oz. In the almost twelve years since then, the capabilities of the rockets have extended and the numbers fired now run into the tens of thousands.
In June 2007, after the violent coup which led to the internationally-recognised terrorist organisation Hamas taking over control of the Gaza Strip and the abrupt end of the influence there of the Palestinian Authority (the body recognised by Israel and the world as representing the Palestinian people), the partial blockade on the Gaza Strip was brought into effect to prevent, in as far as possible, the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip for use by terrorists.
Now we have laid out the simple chronological facts already known to most people, let’s hear what the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Wyre Davies has to say in this report from November 21st which appears on the BBC News website and was broadcast on television.
First, note this sentence in the report’s synopsis – once again marred by binge scare-quoting:
“Dozens of people were injured and three required surgery following an explosion on a bus in Israel’s commercial capital, Tel Aviv, in what one Israeli official described as a “terrorist attack”.”
Then one can hear Davies making the most of what may well be his final opportunity to re-promote some of the themes the BBC has been pushing over the last week such as the notion that it was the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari which started the latest round of escalation, the charge that Israel has been targeting the media and the citing of unverified casualty figures with suspect civilian to combatant ratios.
Next, at 01:03, we hear Davies telling us: [emphasis added]
“If there’s to be a lasting truce, this destructive cycle has to be broken. At the end of a conflict, Gaza is allowed to rebuild its institutions and infrastructure but – increasingly frustrated with the Israeli blockade and all of its restrictions – Palestinian militants fire more and more rockets into Israel. Then there’s an overwhelming Israeli military response and much of what has been built up is destroyed.”
In other words, Davies is telling viewers that the rockets are a result of the blockade, rather than citing the historical facts which prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the rockets began to be used by Hamas and its affiliates as a means of terrorizing the Israeli civilian population a whole six and a half years before the blockade came into being.
Once again, sloppy agenda-driven reporting trumps the BBC’s obligation to accuracy.