BBC News ignores Gaza missile attack again – in English

On the evening of January 24th a missile fired from the Gaza Strip once again sent residents of the Sha’ar HaNegev region of the western Negev running for cover. Fortunately, the projectile landed in a field belonging to one of the local communities and no injuries were caused. Several hours later the IDF responded with strikes on a Hamas training facility.BBC Arabic response missile fire 25 1

There was no coverage of that missile attack on the BBC’s English language website but – in line with a pattern seen frequently since the end of the 2014 conflict – the Israeli response was reported on the BBC Arabic website under the context-free headline “Two Israeli air strikes on Gaza“.

The same pattern was also seen earlier this month, meaning that since the beginning of 2016, the BBC’s record of reporting Gaza based terror groups’ missile attacks against Israeli civilians in the English language stands at 0% whilst its record of reporting Israeli responses to those attacks in the Arabic language stands at 100%.

 

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – December 2015 and Q4 summary

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during December 2015 shows that throughout the month a total of 246 incidents took place: 194 in Judea & Samaria, 43 in Jerusalem, two inside the ‘green line’ and 7 incidents in the Gaza Strip, including one missile attack, two shooting attacks and two attacks with IEDs.  

The agency recorded 183 attacks with petrol bombs, fifteen shooting attacks, 29 attacks using explosive devices, six vehicular attacks and 12 stabbing attacks.

Three Israeli civilians were killed in stabbing attacks. Forty-four people were wounded: 5 in shooting attacks, 16 in stabbing attacks and 21 in vehicular attacks.

The first reporting on the BBC News website of any attacks during December came on the 4th of the month when three incidents were reported in an article titled “Four Palestinians killed after attacks on Israelis in West Bank”. Prior to the appearance of that report there had been a ten-day hiatus in reporting and following it there was no additional reporting of attacks against Israelis for over two weeks.

On December 23rd the BBC News website covered an attack in Jerusalem in which two people were killed and one wounded. The victims – Rabbi Reuven Birmajer and Ofer Ben Ari – were not named in the report.

On December 24th three additional incidents were briefly mentioned in a report on another topic.

The third fatality of the month was Gennady Kaufman who died on December 30th after having been seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in Hebron on December 7th. Neither the original attack nor Mr Kaufman’s later death received any BBC News coverage.

In summary, the BBC News website reported seven of the 246 attacks which took place during December. Two of the three fatalities were reported but – in contrast with BBC reporting on a shooting attack in America during the same month – the victims were not named or personalised.

Table Dec 15

As of the end of December 2015, the BBC News website had reported on 3.2% of the terror attacks which took place since the beginning of the year. Coverage of Israeli fatalities stood at 77% whilst 100% of Palestinian fatalities and 100% of foreign national fatalities had been reported.

The BBC’s public purpose remit includes ‘Global Outlook’ which is interpreted by the BBC Trust as meaning that audiences “can expect the BBC to keep them in touch with what is going on in the world, giving insight into the way people live in other countries” and includes the pledge to “build a global understanding of international issues” and “enhance UK audiences’ awareness and understanding of international issues”.

With the BBC News website having covered of just 3.2% of the terror attacks against Israelis throughout 2015 and with none of those reports, or any other, having clarified the all-important context of the scale of attacks as a whole, it is obvious that neither global nor domestic audiences are being adequately provided with “insight” into how Israelis live.

The absence of that information is important because it means that audiences are unable to properly understand Israeli counter-terrorism measures such as the anti-terrorist fence or checkpoints. It also means that when Israel is obliged to respond to rising terrorism (as seen for example in the summer of 2014), audiences and BBC journalists alike are unable to put events into their appropriate context and thus arrive at uninformed and inaccurate conclusions.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – November 2015

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part one

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part two

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2015 & Q3 2015

 

BBC News ignores Gaza missile attacks, BBC Arabic reports Israeli response

Late on the evening of January 1st residents of communities bordering the Gaza Strip once again had to scramble for cover from incoming missiles.BBC Arabic report response 1 1

“Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in Israel on Friday night, in the south’s Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. No one was injured and there were no reports of damage.

A further two rockets at least were thought to have fallen short and landed inside the Gaza Strip. […]

Several explosions were heard after a rocket alert sounded at 11:07pm in Sderot and communities in Sha’ar HaNegev. Residents were told to enter shelters and safe rooms.”

Hours later the IDF responded with strikes on terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

In line with a pattern often seen since the end of the summer 2014 conflict, the missile attacks received no English language coverage on the BBC News website but the Israeli response was reported in an article headlined “Israel launches attacks on sites in the Gaza Strip” which appeared on the BBC Arabic website on the morning of January 2nd.

Omission and equivalence in BBC News report on rockets from Lebanon

Early on the evening of December 20th residents of communities in the Western Galilee region had to scramble for cover in air-raid shelters as sirens warned of incoming missiles from Lebanon. Lebanese media reported that the missiles were fired by a Palestinian terror group.

“According to reports in Lebanon, the rockets were fired from south of Tyre. According to Lebanese security officials cited on local media, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was behind the rocket fire. According to the report, the rockets were transported to the launch site from one of the Palestinian refugee camps near Tyre. According to the report, the attack was a symbolic response to the assassination of Samir Kuntar, attributed to an Israeli airstrike by Hezbollah. PFLP members have fired rockets at Israel from the same area in the past.”

Additional reports suggested that the PFLP-GC had claimed the missile fire.

“The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a Syria-based Palestinian terror group, took responsibility for the rocket fire, according to Lebanese media cited by Israel’s Channel 2. […]

UNIFIL chief Luciano Portolano added that he was in contact with officials in Lebanon and Israel in a bid to restore calm.

“This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area. It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack. Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations in coordination with the LAF to prevent any further incidents,” Portolano said, according to the UNIFIL statement.”

Israel later responded to the attacks with artillery fire.missiles W Galilee 20 12

The BBC News website reported on the incident in an article carrying a headline implying equivalence between missile attacks aimed at civilian targets and retaliatory fire against the initiators of the attacks – “Fire traded over Israel-Lebanon border after militant’s death“. Notably, the headline once again uses the term “militant” to describe the murderer of four Israelis in 1979.

The very brief and superficial description of the incident found in that December 20th report failed to provide readers with any information about who launched the attacks which sparked the incident – but did name the responding party. The fact that the missiles were aimed at civilian communities and the ensuing dash by Israeli citizens for cover was apparently not considered newsworthy.

“Fire has been traded over the Israel-Lebanon border hours after a Lebanese militant was killed in a rocket strike in Syria.

The Israeli army said had fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon in response to rocket fire. There are no reports of injuries on either side.”

The rest of this article is comprised of text previously found in the BBC’s earlier report about Samir Kuntar and it hence recycles the issues appearing in that report. Problematic reporting was apparently not confined to the BBC’s English language website.

Tweet BBC persian Kuntar

Related Articles:

Terrorist murderer of four Samir Kuntar dubbed ‘militant’ by BBC News

Faux equivalence, ‘last-first’ reporting in BBC report on rocket attack from Lebanon

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – November 2015

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during November 2015 shows that throughout the month a total of 326 incidents took place: 265 in Judea & Samaria, 52 in Jerusalem, 5 inside the ‘green line’ and 4 incidents in the Gaza Strip, including two missile attacks and one mortar attack.

The agency recorded 249 attacks with petrol bombs, ten shooting attacks, 38 attacks using explosive devices, eight vehicular attacks and 17 stabbing attacks.

Ten people were killed in those attacks (nine Israelis and one Palestinian citizen). Five of the fatalities were the result of shooting attacks, four occurred in stabbing attacks and one in a vehicular attack. Fifty-eight people were wounded: 12 in shooting attacks, 22 in stabbing attacks and 24 in vehicular attacks.

The first BBC News website reporting of any incidents came on November 8th and it followed a hiatus in coverage which had in fact begun in the latter part of the previous month.

Among at least ten attacks ignored by the BBC during the first week of November was a vehicular attack which took place on November 4th at Halhul junction. Those wounded in that attack included St. Sgt. Binyamin Yakobovitch who succumbed to his injuries four days later. There was no BBC News coverage of the attack itself or of St.Sgt Yakobovitch’s later death.

In a report relating to another topic which appeared on the BBC News website’s US & Canada page on November 9th brief, vague and inaccurate references were made to four attacks which took place on November 8th and 9th.

“Six Israelis were wounded in knife attacks by Palestinians on Sunday. A Palestinian who drew a knife on Israeli guards was shot dead on Monday. […]

On Monday morning a Palestinian woman was shot dead when she ignored warnings to stop after approaching security guards with a knife at a crossroads in the West Bank, Israeli officials said.

In the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, four Israelis were struck by a car driven by a Palestinian man, who was then killed by security forces.”

An article appearing on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on November 10th documented three attacks which took place on that day.

The murders of Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son Netanel near Otniel on November 13th were reported in an article titled “Israelis killed in West Bank as Palestinians shot dead“.

The murders of Rabbi Aharon Yesayev and Reuven Aviram in Tel Aviv on November 19th and the murders of  Ezra SchwartzYaakov Don, and Shadi Arafa at Alon Shvut junction on the same day were reported in an article titled “Palestinian attacks in Israel and West Bank kill five” although none of the victims were named.

An attack in Kiryat Gat on November 21st in which four people were wounded was reported and on the next day the BBC News website reported three incidents, including the stabbing attack at Gush Etzion junction in which Hadar Buchris was murdered.

On November 23rd the BBC News website announced “Fresh deaths in Jerusalem and West Bank violence“. Three of four incidents which took place on that day were reported, including the murder of Cpl. Ziv Mizrahi at a petrol station on Route 443.

Terror attacks which took place between November 25th and November 30th inclusive did not receive any coverage on the BBC News website.

In all, the BBC News website reported seventeen of the total 326 attacks which took place during November. Nine of the ten fatalities were reported although fewer than half were identified by name.

Missiles fired from the Gaza Strip on November 17th and November 23rd and two additional incidents in that location did not receive any BBC News website coverage.

Table Nov 15

As of the end of November 2015, the BBC had reported on 3.25% of the terror attacks which took place since the beginning of the year. Coverage of Israeli fatalities stood at 78% whilst 100% of Palestinian fatalities and 100% of foreign national fatalities had been reported.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part one

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part two

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2015 & Q3 2015

 

BBC News ignored most terror attacks in first half of December

Since the beginning of December 2015 the BBC News website has published one report on the subject of the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israelis. That December 4th article came after a ten-day hiatus in reporting on terror attacks and was followed by a further ten days (to date) in which the BBC refrained from covering any of the terror attacks which took place, including the December 14th vehicular attack in Jerusalem later claimed by Hamas.No news

“A terrorist from East Jerusalem plowed his car into a group of Israeli civilians at a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, injuring 14 people. A 15-month-old baby was badly hurt, and two other people were moderately hurt, one of them a woman in her 70s. The infant’s mother was also among the injured.

Police named the terrorist as Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna, a 21-year-old resident of the neighborhood of Beit Hanina. He was shot dead as he tried to exit the car. A new axe and a new screwdriver were found in the vehicle.”

A stoning attack on the same day in which three people were wounded was likewise ignored. Acts of terrorism which the BBC has not found it necessary to report since the beginning of December also include:

The corporation is clearly not fulfilling the pledge made to its funding public “to keep them in touch with what is going on in the world, giving insight into the way people live in other countries”.

BBC WS passes up opportunity to tell audiences about Hamas media censorship

A year ago, former AP journalist Matti Friedman wrote an article about Western media coverage of the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas:

“In previous rounds of Gaza fighting, Hamas learned that international coverage from the territory could be molded to its needs, a lesson it would implement in this summer’s war. Most of the press work in Gaza is done by local fixers, translators, and reporters, people who would understandably not dare cross Hamas, making it only rarely necessary for the group to threaten a Westerner. The organization’s armed forces could be made to disappear. The press could be trusted to play its role in the Hamas script, instead of reporting that there was such a script. Hamas strategy did not exist, according to Hamas—or, as reporters would say, was “not the story.” There was no Hamas charter blaming Jews for centuries of perfidy, or calling for their murder; this was not the story. The rockets falling on Israeli cities were quite harmless; they were not the story either.”

Hamas censorship of both local and foreign media did not of course begin in the summer of 2014 but that conflict provided some particularly outstanding examples of the phenomenon – including the BBC’s failure to report on the terror group’s use of human shields. The subsequent verbal gymnastics employed by various BBC bodies to justify that lack of reporting when called to account by members of the public making complaints were particularly remarkable.

It was therefore all the more notable that when the topic of Hamas censorship of the media came up recently in a BBC World Service radio broadcast, it was addressed very superficially.

In a programme called ‘The Conversation’ broadcast on December 1st, two women working in the media discussed their experiences with presenter Kim Chakanetsa.  One of those women – Ameera Ahmad Harouda – is a fixer working in the Gaza Strip. From 13:00 the discussion went as follows:The Conversation

KC: “Ameera; I’m curious about your work because you have to really maintain good relations with the authorities but you also have to hold them to account. How do you maintain that line?”

AAH: “This is the issue here in Gaza; that you can’t deal with them as [though] they are not the authority even if they are not legal, you know, or even if they finish their election time and they just need to quit. They are the authority; they are controlling Gaza and they are doing their job here so you have to be in a good contact with them.”

KC: “And by the authorities we mean Hamas who control Gaza.”

AAH: “Eh…of course sometimes I’m facing some difficulties in this aspects because it’s not easy, you know, and specially when I start and when they taking over of Gaza, I faced serious difficulties with them because they want to prevent me of working: to stop me of working as a freelancer producer here in Gaza and to work under their umbrella, which I completely refused because I have my ideas, I have my beliefs and, you know, I can’t just work through their umbrella and under their ideas or the stories we want to work on it. You know, some journalists they ask for this story and even if it’s against them [Hamas] or it’s not with them, always I find the door, you know, to talk with them about it. It’s not easy but at the same time it’s not difficult.”

KC: “When you say working under their umbrella, you mean they wanted to make the suggestions of what stories you should cover?”

AAH: “Stories we should cover, people we should talk and some other stories we shouldn’t talk about at all.”

KC: “So it’s important to you to remain independent?”

That part of the conversation ends there: listeners did not gain any insight into why Hamas tries to censor some stories or what sorts of topics are deemed out-of-bounds. Likewise, they received no concrete information on how local and foreign media function under Hamas censorship or what sort of pressures are applied to ensure compliance. The opening question of how the Hamas authorities are ‘held to account’ was not answered.

Given that audiences worldwide have their opinions shaped by the quality and content of reporting coming out of the Gaza Strip, the issue of Hamas censorship of the media is obviously one which deserved much more meaningful examination. 

Later on in the same programme (from 19:30) listeners heard Chakanetsa ask Ameera Ahmad Harouda “what is the one story that stands out for you that you’ve covered?”

AAH: “…we were filming with Al Jazeera and we were filming a film about journalists here in Gaza and they call it ‘Shooting the Messenger’ – it’s like three parts. And during that time when we were filming, we filming with one of the cameramen – his name is Fadel Shana’a, he works for Reuters in that time – and we cover, you know, his work; to be a cameraman working in the field like this. Eh…Fadel also get attacked by the Israeli army and he was killed.”

The highly partial Al Jazeera programme concerned can be found here. Following that context-free presentation of the story, Kim Chakanetsa presented a seven and a half year-old statement which listeners could also have found on Wikipedia.

KC: “At the time of Fadel Shana’a’s death the Israeli Defence Force said ‘the IDF wished to emphasise that – unlike terrorist organisations – not only does it not deliberately target uninvolved civilians; it also uses means to avoid such incidents. Reports claiming the opposite are false and misleading’.”

After that, Harouda was allowed to continue with more context-free portrayal of that incident in particular and the Gaza Strip in general, with Palestinian actions and terrorism being completely erased from the portrayal presented to World Service listeners.

AAH: “So it’s very hard, you know, to being with people that you know them very well and sometimes you work with them then suddenly you just find out that they disappeared – they just go on, you know, because of this attack or that attack. [….] It’s not easy, you know, to go [get] over this feeling because you live with it all the time when there is an attack, when there is a war or when there is any invasion. You just lost some people that you know or some people that you love. Or a place: you get used to go to it; suddenly you can’t find it because it just disappeared; it just, you know, vanish.”

The background to the April 2008 incident in which Fadel Shana’a was killed is obviously completely absent from the account presented in this programme.  

“On the morning of April 16 an IDF force operating along the border fence near Kibbutz Be’eri (4 km, or about 2 ½ miles, southwest of the Karni Crossing) observed two armed Palestinians attempting to place IEDs near the security fence. In trying to prevent their actions the force entered the Gaza Strip and was ambushed by a squad of six terrorists. The squad, which had been in hiding, shot at the IDF force, exploiting the fog covering the area. In the exchange of fire three IDF soldiers were killed and three more were wounded. The terrorist operatives apparently managed to escape into the Gaza Strip. Hamas claimed responsible [responsibility] for the killings. […]

On the same day, during an action in the northern Gaza Strip in the Nahal Oz area, and IDF force identified and attacked ten armed Palestinian terrorists. During the exchange of fire mortar shells and anti-tank missiles were fired at the IDF soldiers, from, among other places, inside a mosque on the outskirts of Sajaiya, where large quantities of explosive devices and weapons had been hidden. During the attack an IDF soldier was moderately wounded.

After the clash the Israeli Air Force carried out a number of strikes against suspicious vehicles and individuals suspected of being terrorist operatives. The Palestinian media reported that the strikes had killed 12 Palestinians and wounded 25. Among those killed was Fadel Shana’a, a Reuters photographer, who went to the area to document the events and was killed by mistake. The IDF expressed regret and examined the circumstances of his death. […]

At the same time as the aforementioned attacks, the terrorist organizations fired massive barrages of rockets at the western Negev towns. On April 16 and 17 more than 30 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory.”

In other words, Fadel Shana’a was accidentally killed whilst the IDF was engaged in action against Palestinian terrorists who initiated attacks against Israeli targets almost three years after Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Listeners to this programme, however, were denied that all-important context and were left with the materially misleading impression that ‘attacks’ and ‘wars’ are exclusively Israeli initiated events.

Hamas’ media department could hardly have wished for more.

BBC still misleading audiences on cause of 2014 conflict

On November 30th the BBC News website published an article titled “Mohammad Abu Khdair murder: Two Israelis found guilty” on its Middle East page. The article has undergone numerous amendments since its initial publication and the changes made to one paragraph in particular are of interest.

The first two versions of the report told readers that:

“The murder of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdair fuelled spiralling violence between Israel and Palestinians which led up to a war with militants in Gaza.”

Later, that passage was amended to read as follows:

“Mohammad Abu Khdair, 16, was killed in apparent revenge for the murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

The killings set off an escalating cycle of violence, leading to a war between Israel and militants in Gaza.” [emphasis added]

Still later, more amendments were made and the version currently available reads:Abu Khdeir art

“Mohammad Abu Khdair, 16, was killed in apparent revenge for the murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

The killings were part of an escalating cycle of violence, culminating in a war between Israel and militants in Gaza.” [emphasis added]

The BBC began promoting the erroneous notion of a “cycle of violence” as the cause of the conflict of summer 2014 even while the hostilities were still going on. In August 2014, for example, BBC audiences were told that:

“Israel accused Hamas of responsibility for the disappearance of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach and launched a crackdown on the group in the occupied West Bank, detaining hundreds of members despite Hamas denying any involvement.

Then on 2 July, a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem was abducted and burned alive in an apparent revenge attack two days after the bodies of the Israeli teenagers were found. The killings set off an escalating cycle of violence and led to the current conflict in Gaza.”

In September 2014 BBC audiences were told that:

“The abduction of the teenagers was a trigger of the recent conflict in Gaza.[…]

Israel launched a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank following the abduction, detaining hundreds of members.

Then on 2 July, a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem was abducted and burned alive in an apparent revenge attack two days after the bodies of the Israeli teenagers were found. One Jewish man and two youths have been charged with the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair, 16.

The killings set off an escalating cycle of violence, leading to a 50-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip that claimed more than 2,000 lives.”

In January 2015, BBC audiences were again informed that:

“The teenagers’ murders in June set off an escalating cycle of violence and led to a 50-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.”

Like those previous reports, this latest one’s framing of the summer 2014 conflict as having been brought about by a “cycle of violence” erases the real cause of the hostilities. As has been noted here before:

“In the weeks which preceded Operation Protective Edge attacks from the Gaza Strip escalated with 52 missiles fired during June 2014 and 237 missiles and dozens of mortars fired in the first week of July – eighty of them on July 7th alone.”

That escalation in missile fire from the Gaza Strip began immediately after the disappearance of the Israeli teenagers on June 12th and continued throughout the three weeks of search and rescue operations.

It was of course that incessant missile fire on Israeli civilians – which is repeatedly erased by the BBC in its portrayal of events – that was the reason for the military operation, with the later discovery of dozens of cross-border tunnels prompting the subsequent ground operation. The military operation could have been avoided had Hamas elected to take advantage of the ample opportunities it was given to stop the missile fire before July 8th 2014, but the terrorist organisation chose not to do so – for reasons by no means exclusively connected to Israel.

“A Hamas official, who did not give his name to Palestinian news agency Sawa, said overnight Friday-Saturday [July 4th /5th 2014] that “those who expect Hamas to stop the rocket fire [on Israel], should to turn [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister] Rami Hamdallah.”

The official was alluding to the fact that the salaries of 40,000 Hamas clerks in Gaza were still unpaid, which was reportedly a key Hamas demand since agreeing to a unity government deal in late April with the Palestinian Authority.”

There is unfortunately nothing novel about this article’s promotion of the erroneous notion of an irresistible “cycle of violence” but such framing of events materially misleads BBC audiences with regard to the real causes of the conflict of summer 2014 and the fact that it could have been prevented had Hamas so chosen. It is of course worth remembering that this inaccurate portrayal will become part of the “historical record” available to the public.

 

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part two

As was noted in part one of this post, most of the eleven fatalities resulting from terror attacks in Israel during October 2015 were reported by the BBC News website (where archive material becomes “historical record“) with the exception of one case in which a victim of an attack on October 13th succumbed to wounds sustained two weeks later.

The BBC News website’s reporting of non-fatal attacks resulting in injuries to the victims was notable for the fact that although it began reasonably well, it came to an unexplained halt three weeks into the month. Although the word terror was not used by the BBC in any of its many reports except when quoting others, attacks in which Israelis were wounded between October 1st and October 20th inclusive were for the most part reported, even if only briefly.

With the exception of attacks in Beit Shemesh on October 22nd and at the Jalame Crossing on October 24th which were also briefly reported, other attacks between October 21st and 31st in which Israelis were wounded (at least 20 incidents) did not get BBC coverage.

As noted above, seven missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip in five separate incidents during October 2015. The BBC News website reported two of those incidents on October 10 and October 11. Four shooting attacks (two by snipers), one attack with an anti-tank missile and one petrol bomb attack in the Gaza Strip border area were not mentioned in BBC coverage. 

The Israel Security Agency also recorded four incidents categorized as terror attacks by Jews: two cases in which vehicles belonging to Palestinians were torched and two stabbing attacks – one in Dimona on October 9th and one in Kiryat Ata on October 13th. Both those stabbing attacks were reported on the BBC News website – here and here.

Whilst the BBC obviously made efforts to report some of the attacks which took place during October 2015, audiences did not get a real sense of the scale of incidents with just 40 of the total 620 incidents having been reported or mentioned in BBC coverage.

Table Oct 15

As of the end of October 2015, the BBC had reported on 2.9% of the terror attacks which took place since the beginning of the year. Coverage of Israeli fatalities stood at 71% whilst 100% of Palestinian fatalities and 100% of foreign national fatalities have been reported.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2015 & Q3 2015

 

 

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2015 – part one

As readers are no doubt aware, we compile a monthly review of the BBC News website’s coverage of terror attacks taking place in Israel. The month of October 2015 was – for obvious reasons – much more complicated to document and analyse than usual and hence this review has been somewhat delayed.

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during October 2015 shows that throughout the month a total of 620 incidents took place: 485 in Judea & Samaria, 117 in Jerusalem, 7 inside the ‘green line’ and 11 incidents in the Gaza Strip including seven missiles fired in five separate attacks.

The agency recorded 483 attacks with petrol bombs, twenty-four shooting attacks (not including those originating in the Gaza Strip), 57 attacks using explosive devices, three vehicular attacks and 42 stabbing attacks.

Eleven people were killed in those attacks and eighty wounded – 37 of them moderately or severely. Four of the fatalities were the result of shooting attacks, five occurred in stabbing or combined shooting/stabbing attacks and two in vehicular attacks.

Most – but not all – of those fatalities were reported on the BBC News website. The murders of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin in a shooting attack near Itamar carried out by a Hamas cell on October 1st were covered in two BBC reports – here and here.Pigua Lions Gate art vers 1

The murders of Aharon Banita-Bennett and Nehemia Lavi in a stabbing attack near Lions Gate on October 3rd were reported in an article which had to have its problematic headline changed several times and in a follow-up  report

The murder of Yeshayahu Krishevsky in a vehicular/stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Makor Baruch neighbourhood on October 13th was reported in an article which also noted the murders of Chaim Haviv and Alon Govberg during a combined shooting/stabbing attack on passengers on a city bus in Jerusalem earlier on the same day but did not name any of the victims of either attack. The death of a third victim of the same bus attack – Richard Lakin – two weeks later did not receive any BBC coverage.

The terror attack on October 18th at Be’er Sheva bus station in which Sgt Omri Levy and Eritrean national Habtom Zerhom were killed was covered in a BBC report.  An additional article focusing on the investigation into the death of Habtom Zerhom, which appeared on the BBC News website between October 19th and 21st inclusive, inaccurately represented the victim’s name and age, calling him “Mr Mulu” aged 19.

The murder of Avraham Hasno on October 20th at al Fawar junction was briefly mentioned in an article about the UN Secretary General’s visit to Jerusalem but the victim was not identified.

In conclusion, of the eleven fatalities (ten Israelis and one foreign national) caused by Palestinian terror attacks during October 2015, ten were reported on the BBC News website and one was ignored. Five of the victims were named, one was identified inaccurately and four of the victims were not identified at all.

BBC reporting of the non-fatal terror attacks which took place during October 2015 was less consistent – as will be seen in part two of this post. 

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2015 & Q3 2015