Political propaganda from the BBC’s Lyse Doucet in Beit Sahour

On November 24th two loosely sports-themed filmed reports – apparently also shown on BBC television news programmes – appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.Knell Krav Maga

One – titled “Israeli form of self-defence ‘on rise’” – is by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell and its synopsis reads as follows:

“Following a recent increase in knife attacks by Palestinians, there has been a dramatic rise in Israelis taking self-defence lessons.

Many study Krav Maga, an Israeli method developed for the military and incorporating different fighting techniques.

Our Middle East Correspondent, Yolande Knell, went along to a class.”

To her credit, Knell managed to keep politics out of her report – which is a lot more than can be said for her colleague Lyse Doucet who used her report – titled “The Palestinian runners pounding the pavements” – to promote blatant political messaging and inaccurate information.

The synopsis of that report reads:

“As tensions remain high between Israelis and Palestinians, lives of young people on both sides of the divide are being affected.

Three years ago two Danish aid workers and a Palestinian basketball player founded a running group.

What began as a Palestinian marathon has grown into a global running club which is as much about rights as it is about running.

Lyse Doucet met the Palestinian co-founder of the Right to Movement in the West Bank city of Beit Sahour.”

Doucet’s interviewee is George Zeidan who – like one of those “Danish aid workers” mentioned in the synopsis – used to be employed by the political NGO DanChurchAid.Doucet Beit Sahour

As was the case when her colleague Jon Donnison showcased ‘Right to Movement’ over two years ago, Doucet makes no attempt to provide BBC audiences with an impartial portrayal of the political agenda of the organization she highlights and promotes. Hence, viewers hear the following from George Zeidan – with no effort made by Doucet to inform them that Beit Sahour has been under the full control of the Palestinian Authority for two decades.

“Any runner outside Palestine have to just put on his running shoes and tie his shoes and go out to run. To me if I want to do this I take several other steps that I have to plan. I have to plan which street I’m going, when, and that’s because of the Israeli occupation.”

Doucet also adds her own inaccuracies to the cocktail:

“Pounding crowded streets in the city of Beit Sahour wouldn’t be any runner’s first choice. But these runners say they haven’t much choice; not when tensions are now running so high in an area surrounded by Israeli checkpoints and Jewish settlements.” [emphasis added]

Beit Sahour lies to the east of Bethlehem and to the north of a number of Palestinian villages located in PA controlled Area A or in Area B. It is not “surrounded” by either “Israeli checkpoints” or “Jewish settlements” at all.

And – despite the fact that in the last two months 21 people have been killed and 189 wounded in 74 stabbings, 10 shooting attacks and 12 car rammings by Palestinian terrorists – Doucet gives her interviewee a platform from which to tell BBC audiences who they should view as really being under “continuous threat”.

“We’re running here every Saturday for three years. But nowadays, with the current issues between Palestinians and Israelis and the continuous threat from the Israeli soldiers to be….for a Palestinian to be attacked….we just not comfortable and safe to be here.”

Doucet refrains from clarifying to viewers that no Palestinian has been “attacked” by Israeli soldiers for jogging and hence the “threat” is obviously a figment of her interviewee’s political agenda. Her subsequent claims regarding a “dirt track” which supposedly “lies on privately owned Palestinian land” but is “under Israeli military control” are of course impossible to substantiate given the absence of exact coordinates but she fails to clarify that the division of territory into Areas A, B and C came about under the terms of the Oslo Accords – signed by the recognized representatives of the Palestinian people.

Doucet’s supposed nod to ‘impartiality’ in this report comes in the form of the following statement:

“You say that you’re worried about the settlers but now the Israelis are worried about the Palestinians because of the stabbings. They say they’re the ones who are threatened.”

That statement is in fact merely a cue for her interviewee to introduce his own political statement:

“I’m more concerned that the Palestinians are under occupation.”

Doucet’s conclusion to the report is as follows:

“They take to the streets to say they’re telling a different story. But the old story here of conflict and confrontation is far louder and never seems to end.”

Those closing words reinforce the underlying theme seen in this report and much of the BBC’s other coverage over the last two months: the injection of the false notion of equivalence into the story of the current wave of terrorism against Israelis.

Here we have two filmed reports supposedly telling different sides of the same story. But whilst Yolande Knell’s report tells of Israelis trying to augment their personal security during a wave of terror attacks by taking self-defence classes, Doucet’s report is nothing more than the provision of a platform for opportunistic political propaganda which does nothing to contribute to the BBC’s public purpose remit of building “understanding of international issues”.  

 Related Articles:

BBC’s Donnison promotes Bethlehem Marathon as non-political event

BBC deems parts of Israeli right of reply statement “irrelevant”

Bethlehem Marathon: the bit the BBC did not report




Behind the BBC’s ‘lone wolf’ portrayal of terrorism in Israel

Over the past few weeks BBC audiences have been repeatedly told that the current wave of terrorism in Israel is characterized by “lone wolf attacks”. For example:

“This amateur video was filmed in the Old City last Saturday. The distant screams are from an Israeli woman whose husband had just been killed in a lone wolf knife attack.” (Orla Guerin, BBC television news, October 9th 2015)

“It is proving a struggle to prevent the sporadic lone wolf attacks by young Palestinians. These have been motivated by deep anger over access to al-Aqsa Mosque and the current political situation. There is a danger that a heavy-handed Israeli police response could exacerbate the situation.” (Yolande Knell, BBC News website, October 9th 2015)

“Israelis have been targeted in a growing number of apparent lone-wolf attacks.” (BBC News website, October 22nd 2015)lone wolf attacks

That description conceals the links of some of the perpetrators of recent attacks to terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also ignores the fact that whilst some of the individual terrorists may indeed have operated outside an organised command structure, they did not act within a vacuum.

A very interesting essay titled “What Do Palestinians Want?” by Daniel Polisar at Mosaic magazine provides insight into the backdrop to the current wave of terror.

“Absent almost entirely from this discussion has been any attempt to understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians. Yet it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, and that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom. Whether commentators are ignoring the views of mainstream Palestinians out of a mistaken belief that public opinion does not matter in dictatorships, or out of a dismissive sense that they are powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers, the omission is both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening. In this essay I aim to fill the lacuna by addressing what Palestinians think both about violence against Israelis and about the core issues that supply its context and justification. […]

Though they may be lone wolves in the technical sense of not belonging to an organizational command structure, they are anything but alone within their communities. To the contrary, they are surrounded by people who share many of their core beliefs, who justify the attacks they are carrying out, who see their actions as potentially valuable in furthering Palestinian goals, and who can be counted on to venerate them and their families.”

The full essay – which addresses issues conscientiously and consistently avoided by BBC correspondents confined to reporting within a very specific narrative – can be found here.  



Palestinian Authority news BBC audiences will not get from Yolande Knell

As we know, the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell recently produced filmed and audio reports from Hebron which, like the rest of the BBC’s coverage of the ongoing wave of terror attacks in Israel, made no effort to inform audiences of the role played by the Palestinian Authority in inciting such attacks and its related glorification of terrorism.

In recent days the Palestinian Authority has held state funerals with military honours for terrorists killed whilst carrying out attacks on Israelis. Palestinian Authority officials were present at the funerals of five terrorists in Hebron on October 31st.

Photo: Maan

Photo: Maan

According to Channel 10’s veteran Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli, this is the first time that terrorists have been given military funerals by the PA and the order to do so came directly from the president, Mahmoud Abbas. Yehezkeli adds that although the PA officially bans the flying of Hamas flags in Hebron, such flags were permitted at the recent funerals there.

Channel 10 also reports that Mahmoud Abbas has ordered financial grants to be paid to the families of the terrorists killed whilst carrying out recent attacks.

The BBC refrained from covering any and all aspects of those recent funerals, meaning that BBC audiences remain uninformed with regard to the PA’s glorification of terrorism as well as its incitement and are therefore deprived of vital information necessary for them to understand this particular “international issue” – information which the public purpose remits as defined in the BBC’s charter oblige it to provide.


BBC World Service ‘Newshour’: using ‘alleged’ and ‘fact’ for framing

In addition to the filmed report from Hebron shown on BBC television news programmes on October 30th, Yolande Knell also produced a similar audio report which was broadcast on the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ (available here from 37:15).Newshour 30 10

Like the filmed version, that audio report promotes the notion that Israelis living in Hebron are ‘illegal settlers’ – despite the signing of the 1997 “Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron” by Palestinian representatives.

Failing to explain the context to the picture she portrays, Knell tells listeners:

“Hebron is unique in the West Bank because it’s divided. Part is under full Palestinian control and the other part […] is under full Israeli control.”

“The soldiers are here right in the heart of the Old City because just along here there are families of Jewish settlers.”

“A few hundred Israelis live here in the occupied part of Hebron and about 40,000 Palestinians. The settlers’ presence here is seen as illegal under international law but Israel doesn’t agree.” [emphasis added]

It is of course Knell’s failure to clarify to listeners that the existing arrangements in Hebron are the result of an agreement between Israel and the PLO which allows her to promote the politically motivated narrative of an “occupied part of Hebron”.

That narrative is also advanced by her interviewee Issa Amro, who is once again inadequately introduced as “a local activist”, with no effort made to comply to BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality by clarifying his political affiliations and agenda.

In common with the filmed item, Knell’s radio report is notable for the fact that it too provides backwind for the Palestinian propaganda seen in recent weeks which attempts to portray terrorists as ‘innocent victims’. 

“As violence has flared in the past few weeks there’ve been a lot of stabbings and alleged stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians in and around Hebron. There’s a big poster being held up here showing all the young Palestinians from the city who’ve been shot and killed as a result. We’re going to meet the mother of one of them. Twenty year-old Saad al Atrash is said to have tried to stab an Israeli soldier.” [emphasis added]

Saad al Atrash is “said to have tried to stab an Israeli soldier” because that is exactly what he did on October 26th – but those listening to Knell’s account would not be sure of that.

The same theme is also promoted by host Owen Bennett-Jones in both his introduction and closing remarks, providing an opportunity to examine what the BBC sees fit to describe as “alleged” and what it is comfortable portraying as fact.

In his introduction, Bennett-Jones tells listeners: [emphasis added]

“At least twenty Palestinians from Hebron have been shot dead in attacks and alleged attacks.”

At the end of the item Bennett-Jones says:

“Now to bring you up to date, there have been protests across the West Bank again today, including in Hebron. In Bethlehem an eight month-old baby living close to the site of clashes died of tear gas inhalation. Earlier, Israeli police said they shot dead a Palestinian who’d tried to carry out the first stabbing attack in Jerusalem in two weeks. In Nablus, two Palestinians allegedly tried to stab members of the Israeli security forces near a checkpoint. Both were shot – one died and one was wounded.” [emphasis added]

The death of a baby, supposedly due to tear gas inhalation, is presented to BBC audiences as fact even though investigation showed that claim from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health to be unfounded and Palestinian doctors dismissed the claim, saying that the infant had an existing health problem which was described by relatives as a birth defect.

An attack in Jerusalem in which a man was moderately wounded by a terrorist with a knife is presented to listeners as an attempted attack.  

An incident at Tapuach Junction in which two Palestinians arrived at the scene on a motorbike and then approached a Border Police officer whilst wielding knives is portrayed as ‘alleged’.

This narrative-driven selective framing is obviously not conducive to meeting the BBC’s professed standards of accuracy and impartiality and does not contribute to meeting its remit of enhancing audience understanding of the story.


Absurdity of BBC’s ‘international law’ mantra exposed by Yolande Knell

Nearly nineteen years ago, in January 1997, Israel and the PLO signed an agreement called the “Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron“. That document came about under international tutelage like the rest of the Oslo Accords, which have been described as follows:

“This overall series of commitments and obligations constitutes a contractual framework of obligations between Israel and the Palestinians, signed as witnesses and guarantors by the King of Jordan, the Presidents of the U.S. and Egypt, the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation and Norway, the EU and endorsed by the UN.”

Under the terms of that agreement, Israel would administer the area defined as H-2 and the PA the area defined as H-1, with both Israelis and Palestinians continuing to live in the city of Hebron.

However, the BBC’s Yolande Knell has apparently not heard of that agreement willingly signed by the internationally recognised representatives of the Palestinian people.  

After a hiatus of almost a week in its reporting on the current wave of terrorism in Israel, on October 30th the BBC News website’s Middle East page published a filmed report produced by Knell for BBC television news programmes under the title “Tensions rise in Hebron between Israelis and Palestinians“.Knell Hebron 30 10

During that report, Knell told viewers that:

“Hebron is unique in the West Bank because it’s divided. Part is under full Palestinian control and the other part is under full Israeli control, although most of the people living there are Palestinians.”

So far, so good – except that Knell makes no effort to explain to viewers that the arrangement she portrays came about because the Palestinians agreed to it. She then takes viewers through a checkpoint.

“As you can see, it’s guarded by Israeli soldiers. […] The soldiers are here right in the heart of the Old City because just along here there are families of Jewish settlers.”

No attempt is made to inform audiences of the historic background to Jewish settlement in Hebron. After a brief interview with someone described on screen as a “settler leader”, Knell tells BBC audiences:

“The presence of Jewish settlers here is seen as illegal under international law, but Israel disagrees.”

So too, apparently, does the PLO because it agreed to their “presence” in Hebron back in 1997.

Knell’s insertion of the BBC’s standard mantra on ‘international law’ may not be at all surprising, but it does raise an interesting question. Her application of that standard insert to a place where Israelis live according to the terms of an agreement signed between Israel and the Palestinians suggests that either the BBC is either woefully under-informed or – in similar fashion to its bizarre approach to Israel’s capital city – considers itself qualified to over-rule and ignore existing documents and agreements which do not fit in with its political narrative.

It would of course be very helpful were the BBC to issue a clarification on that topic.

Additional noteworthy features in this report by Yolande Knell include the provision of backwind for the Palestinian propaganda seen in recent weeks which attempts to portray terrorists as ‘innocent victims’. [all emphasis added]

“As violence has flared this month there have been a lot of stabbing attacks and alleged attacks on Israelis in and around Hebron. A lot of young Palestinians have been shot and killed as a result.”

An on-screen caption preceding an interview with the mother of a terrorist who attacked a soldier with a knife on October 26th read:

“Saad al Atrash is said to have tried to stab a soldier. He was shot dead.”

Also notable is the inclusion of an interview with Issa Amro in this report and – not for the first time – the inadequate description of that relatively frequent BBC interviewee as a “Palestinian activist”. With Amro’s employment by an anti-Israel organization concealed, viewers would of course have been unable to put the claims he made into their appropriate context.

Knell closed this report by telling BBC audiences that the story of the current wave of terrorism in Hebron is all about ‘narratives’.

“Basically on the ground here you get two starkly contrasting narratives. Speaking to the Israelis over there, they see all of this as hateful, senseless violence. But Palestinians here say that their anger stems from the political situation and their feelings of despair. This is really a nationalistic struggle but increasingly, it’s also taking on a religious dimension.”

Of course this wave of terrorism has been fueled by religiously themed incitement from the start, but the BBC continues to downplay that aspect of it by both failing to report that incitement (and Hamas’ strength in Hebron) and focusing instead on a narrative with which Western audiences – and journalists – are much more at ease. 

Disturbing themes in BBC coverage of the wave of terror in Israel

After almost four weeks of BBC coverage of the current wave of terror attacks in Israel, the promoted themes – and the deliberate omissions – which reflect the corporation’s editorial approach to the story have become clear and we will be addressing that topic fully in a future post.

One particularly disturbing aspect of some of the BBC’s coverage in recent weeks (especially given the corporation’s global outreach) has been the amplification of baseless conspiracy theories concerning Temple Mount – as was noted in this article:

“According to that conspiracy theory, Israel seeks or intends to change the status quo on Temple Mount and whilst assorted versions of that libel have been published and broadcast by the BBC, the corporation has to date not told its audiences in its own words that they are baseless. At best, it has opted to tell them that “Israel says” it has no intention of changing the status quo at the site. At worst, it has lent the BBC’s reputation of reliability to such lies.”

As can be seen in the above link, on September 13th listeners to the BBC World Service were told by BBC Arabic’s Nawal Assad that Temple Mount is a “Muslim site” and that: [all emphasis added]

“The Israeli government seems like it’s going towards a situation where there would be shared times of prayers in that area which Muslims consider it to be their third holiest mosque.”


“Muslims in Jerusalem are petrified that Israel plans to rebuild the Temple Mount which means that they will have to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque.” 

Nawal Assad also promoted the Palestinian narrative according to which all of Temple Mount is “the al Aqsa Mosque”.

On October 9th viewers of a filmed report broadcast on  BBC television news programmes heard Orla Guerin also promoting the inaccurate notion that all of Temple Mount is “the al Aqsa Mosque” when she told them that “It’s [the Old City of Jerusalem] home to the Al Aqsa Mosque; sacred to Muslims and Jews“.  

On October 13th an interviewee in a report by Yolande Knell told viewers of BBC television news programmes that al Aqsa Mosque had been ‘invaded’ and ‘disrespected’ and that Israel is “fighting our religion” – Islam. Not only did Yolande Knell fail to relieve viewers of the misleading impressions created by those inaccurate claims, she went on to amplify them yet again in an audio report broadcast two days later on BBC Radio 4.

On October 16th the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen also told viewers of a filmed report shown on BBC television news programmes that Temple Mount is “the Aqsa Mosque”.

“Only Muslims can pray in the compound around the golden Dome of the Rock at the Aqsa Mosque.”

On October 24th in an audio report aired on BBC Radio 4 Kevin Connolly likewise promoted the notion that Temple Mount is “al Aqsa compound” – and that the entire site is solely “Islamic”.

“The victory brought the holy places – the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Jewish Western Wall and the Islamic al Aqsa compound – under Israeli control…” 

Prior to that, on October 18th, Connolly had also told listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World This Weekend’ (from 25:41 here – the rest of the item will be discussed in a separate post) that the “identity” of Temple Mount is “Islamic”:The World This Weekend

“There’s a nagging fear that Israel might be planning to erode the Islamic identity of the sacred compound around that golden dome in the distance.”

Refraining once again from clarifying to listeners in his own words that such claims are entirely baseless, he continued:

“Israel repeatedly denies having any such plans but the denials fall on deaf ears. That is an issue with the power to provoke a kind of anger which is just not understandable in Europe or North America.”

Had BBC audiences received comprehensive information over the past four weeks on the topic of the incitement concerning Temple Mount which has been put out by Palestinian Authority sources and officials of the highest level (among others), they might have been able to understand what causes those “deaf ears”.

Likewise, had they been informed of the religious motifs evident in much of that incitement, they would have been better placed to join the dots between the whipping up of anger to a point at which young Palestinians murder Jews on the street in Jerusalem and the murders of cartoonists and Jews in a shop in Paris or a British soldier on a London street. 

But of course the topic of the incitement fueling this wave of terror – and in particular that disseminated by the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority and its ‘secular’ president – has been studiously avoided by the BBC over the last few weeks, except when alluded to briefly using the standard ‘Israel says’ formula. The reason for that is that the religious aspect of this story is one which does not comfortably fit into the BBC’s wider narrative and so it has been consistently sidelined in favour of ‘contextualisation’ featuring ‘occupation’, ‘humiliation’ and ‘failure of the peace process’.

However, as can be seen in the examples above, the BBC apparently has no problem accepting – and amplifying – the falsehood that Temple Mount (significant to all three Abrahamic religions) is “the al Aqsa Mosque” and exclusively “Islamic” or “Muslim”. The aim of that narrative is of course to deny Jewish history and negate Jewish links to Jerusalem.

Who would have thought that we would have reached a point where the self-styled “standard-setter for international journalism” has embraced the role of amplifier of a false narrative rooted in religious and racial intolerance? 


BBC backgrounder manipulates audience perceptions of wave of terror in Israel

Those visiting the BBC News website’s Middle East page may have come across an article currently going under the title “Is Palestinian-Israeli violence being driven by social media?” which was actually first published on October 13th and has undergone numerous changes since then.backgrounder

The article, which purports to function as a backgrounder on the topic of the current wave of terror in Israel and has hence been promoted via links in several other reports, currently opens as follows:

“Violence between Israel and the Palestinians is once again spiralling, with casualties mounting by the day.

Here are some key questions and answers about what is going on.”

The question posed in its headline is addressed in a relatively small section of the report (fewer than 200 words) which actually does little to inform readers of the scale and significance of the role of incitement spread via social media in fueling the current wave of terror, of the kind of content appearing on such platforms or of the use of social media by official Palestinian groups other than Hamas – including Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party

“While there is no clear evidence that the attacks have been centrally organised, some Palestinians have taken to social media to champion them.

Posts praising and encouraging attacks on Israelis have emerged on YouTube and Facebook, while Twitter hashtags including “Jerusalem Intifada” or “Intifada of the Knives” are gaining traction among Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin has described the inflammatory use of social media as “Osama Bin Laden meets [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg”.

A staged online video in the name of Hamas, the militant group which dominates Gaza, which portrayed an Arab bystander stabbing two “Jews” for bullying Arab children and called for a new intifada, was removed from Hamas’ YouTube channel after Israel’s foreign ministry complained that it glorified violence.

Many of the attacks and aftermath have been filmed on mobile phones and CCTV, getting quickly uploaded and shared. Israeli officials have expressed fear that images of assailants being shot could fuel anger and inspire further attacks.

Experts have also noticed a marked increase in anti-Arab rhetoric on Israeli social media sites, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. It says the use of inciteful language among Israelis on the internet soared in the wake of the first stabbing attacks.”

The article purports to inform readers on the subject of “What is happening between Israelis and Palestinians?” and a photograph appearing under that sub-heading – which shows one of the fatalities from the October 13th terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem being removed from the scene – promotes a theme seen in much other BBC content:

“Israelis have been targeted in a growing number of apparent lone-wolf attacks”

Notably, one of the terrorists who carried out that attack was lauded by Hamas on social media.

The BBC’s account of “what is happening” of course does not include the use of the word terror.

“There has been a wave of stabbings and some gun attacks on Israelis by Palestinians since early October, and one apparent revenge stabbing by an Israeli.

The attacks, some of which have been fatal, have struck in Jerusalem, across Israel and in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has tightened security and clashed with rioting Palestinians, leading to deaths on the Palestinian side.

There has also been associated violence in the border area inside the neighbouring Gaza Strip.”

Embedded under the sub-heading “What’s behind the latest unrest?” is the previously published problematic backgrounder on Temple Mount by Yolande Knell. Readers are told that:

“Violence between the two communities has spiralled since clashes erupted at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site in mid-September.

It was fuelled by rumours among Palestinians that Israel was attempting to alter in favour of Jews a delicate long-standing religious arrangement governing the site. Israel repeatedly dismissed the rumours as incitement.”

No mention is made of the fact that the intention of the violent rioting on Temple Mount “in mid-September” was to prevent Jews from visiting during a holiday – as was similarly the case previously on Tisha B’Av and later at Succot. The article then goes on to mislead readers by stating that stabbing attacks against Israelis “began” on October 3rd when in fact sixteen such attacks had already taken place in the first eight months of 2015.  

“Soon afterwards, two Israelis travelling with their four children were shot dead by Palestinians in the West Bank. Two days later the stabbing attacks began.

Both Israel and the Palestinian authorities have accused one another of doing nothing to protect each other’s communities.

Israel says the Palestinian leadership is inciting attacks, and that the attackers are driven not by political frustration but by a radical religious ideology which opposes Israel’s very existence.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has blamed “acts of aggression” by the Israeli authorities and Jewish settlers for the latest violence.”

As has been the case in all BBC coverage of this wave of terror, this backgrounder fails to tell readers in its own words that there is no basis to the conspiracy theories concerning a change in the status quo on Temple Mount and also neglects to inform them on the issue of Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement promoting that theme.

The article’s next sub-heading asks the rhetorical question “But isn’t there more to it than that?” and that section is illustrated using a photograph captioned:

“The war which followed Israel’s creation left generations of Palestinian refugees”.

Naturally, no effort is made to explain exactly why “generations” of Palestinian refugees inherit that title even whilst living under PA or Hamas rule or why those in Arab countries have been deliberately kept in that status. As usual, Jewish refugees from Arab lands do not get a mention in this article.

Readers are then told that the answer to the subheading’s question lies in “narratives” – with the BBC’s portrayal of the Palestinian narrative erasing the religious themes seen in the incitement fueling the current wave of terror from audience view and its paraphrasing of Israel’s position failing to inform readers of the legal basis for Israel’s existence. 

“Yes. Much more. The current violence stems from decades of unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. At its most basic, it is a fight over land and national rights.

There are rival and seemingly incompatible historical narratives. The Palestinian position is that Israel was created on their land in 1948, turning many into refugees, and further occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in the 1967 Middle East war. They say any hoped-for future Palestinian state is being undermined by Israeli settlement-building in the occupied territories. The settlements are seen as illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Added to this is Israel’s expansion in East Jerusalem, where the proportion of Jewish Israeli inhabitants has swelled compared to the number of Palestinian residents, and where Palestinian districts suffer from poor infrastructure and services.

Israel’s counter-position is that its right to exist is incontestable and that the Palestinian refugee problem is the result of wars forced on it by Arab neighbours. It says the Palestinian leadership – despite officially recognising Israel – have not proven they are willing to accept its permanence nor give up violence to achieve their aims.

Peace talks aimed at ending the conflict by creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel have repeatedly collapsed over the years and many on both sides have lost faith in the process.”

One paragraph in that account is particularly notable. Readers are told that “in East Jerusalem […] the proportion of Jewish Israeli inhabitants has swelled compared to the number of Palestinian residents”.

Quite how the BBC compares a “proportion” of Jews to a “number” of Palestinians is unclear but notably, no mention is made of the fact that all Jews living in what the corporation defines as “East Jerusalem” – which as we know, includes the Jewish Quarter of the Old City – were forcibly displaced by the Jordanian invasion in 1948. Hence, if even one Jew went to live in “East Jerusalem” after the Six Day War, the proportion of Jews living there would have risen.

But do the available statistics actually back up the BBC’s implication that there are more Jews than Palestinians in “East Jerusalem” either proportionally or in terms of actual numbers and that their proportion of the population in that area is ‘swelling’?

According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, in 2003 a total of 403,263 Jerusalemites lived in areas the BBC defines as “East Jerusalem” including 173,500 Jews (some in neighbourhoods which did not exist before 1967, some in those which existed before 1948 such as Neve Ya’akov and the Jewish Quarter)  and 224,028 Muslim and Christian Arabs.  In other words, in 2003 Jews made up 43.02% of those living in “East Jerusalem”.

Ten years later, in 2013, the number of Jerusalemites living in the areas the BBC defines as “East Jerusalem” had risen to 509,440 and included 197,250 Jews (a rise of 23,750) and 305,470 Muslim and Christian Arabs (a rise of 81,442). In other words, Jews made up 38.7% of those living in “East Jerusalem” in 2013.

So in fact, contrary to the BBC’s claim that “in East Jerusalem […] the proportion of Jewish Israeli inhabitants has swelled compared to the number of Palestinian residents”, the actual number of Arab residents in those parts of the city rose more than the number of Jews and the percentage of Jews making up the total population of “East Jerusalem” fell during the decade 2003 – 2013.

Had the BBC confined itself to stating that the number of Jews living in what it terms “East Jerusalem” has risen since 1967, that claim would of course have been accurate – although sadly lacking in historic context. The claim as it stands, however, is inaccurate and misleading.

This backgrounder falls short of meeting its declared aim of providing “answers about what is going on” because it adheres to the selective framing of the story adopted by the BBC from the beginning of its coverage of the current wave of terror.

Any backgrounder genuinely seeking to provide information which would help audiences understand this topic could not ignore the issue of Palestinian Authority incitement and glorification of terrorism, would not obscure the religiously themed – and frequently racist – nature of that incitement and would not herd readers towards a view which obscures those uncomfortable issues by means of ‘contextualisation’ of the current wave of terrorism as “a fight over land and national rights”.

An article intended to mould readers’ perception of the story and advance a wider political narrative would, however, do exactly that. 

More conspiracy theory amplification from BBC’s Yolande Knell – and why it matters

“No-one becomes a terrorist from a standing start. It starts with a process of radicalisation. When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.

Anti-Israel rally, London, UK, 17/10/2015

Anti-Israel rally, London, UK, 17/10/2015

It may begin with hearing about the so-called Jewish conspiracy and then develop into hostility to the West and fundamental liberal values, before finally becoming a cultish attachment to death. Put another way, the extremist world view is the gateway, and violence is the ultimate destination. […]

First, any strategy to defeat extremism must confront, head on, the extreme ideology that underpins it. We must take its component parts to pieces – the cultish worldview, the conspiracy theories, and yes, the so-called glamorous parts of it as well.

We must demand that people also condemn the wild conspiracy theories, the anti-Semitism, and the sectarianism too.”  (PM David Cameron, July 2015)

Over the past few weeks a particularly inflammatory conspiracy theory has been repeatedly amplified on a variety of BBC platforms. According to that conspiracy theory, Israel seeks or intends to change the status quo on Temple Mount and whilst assorted versions of that libel have been published and broadcast by the BBC, the corporation has to date not told its audiences in its own words that they are baseless. At best, it has opted to tell them that “Israel says” it has no intention of changing the status quo at the site. At worst, it has lent the BBC’s reputation of reliability to such lies.

One example of unchallenged amplification of that conspiracy theory came in a filmed report by Yolande Knell on October 13th. Two days later, the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ broadcast an item by Knell (available from 00:44 here) which – among other things – again promoted the words of the same interviewee.FOOC 15 10 Knell

Presenter Kate Adie’s introduction to the item was notable for her use of qualifying terms to describe terrorists and violent rioters – including minors.

KA: “The Israeli army has been deploying hundreds of troops across the country to try to combat the worst surge in violence there in months. Yesterday police in Jerusalem shot dead two Palestinians who they say tried to stab Israelis in separate incidents. So far this month, seven Israelis have been killed in attacks and at least thirty Palestinians have died – including alleged assailants and several children.” [emphasis added]

Adie continued, failing to provide listeners with the full story behind Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks.

“The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of executing Palestinian children in cold blood – a remark denounced as lies and incitement by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yolande Knell says the violence if fueling a sense of panic in Israel and raising fears of a new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.”

Yolande Knell’s relatively long account began as follows: [all emphasis in bold added]

YK: “It’s a scene so familiar that it could be from almost any time over the past three decades. Palestinian teenagers wearing jeans and T-shirts and checkered keffiyeh scarves fling stones and marbles at heavily armed Israeli soldiers. And today there’s a swift response: an army jeep tears down this hotel-lined road in Bethlehem, firing out white ribbons of tear gas. Soon we hear the crack of gunfire. Recently there’ve been almost daily battles like this across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Anti-Israel rally, London, UK, 17/10/2015

Anti-Israel rally, London, UK, 17/10/2015

The anger’s fueled by a row over access to al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City which is built in a place that’s both sacred to Muslims and Jews. Despite official Israeli denials, many Palestinians believe there’s a plan to change long-standing rules and give Jews the right to pray openly at the site they call Temple Mount.

‘This started because Israelis entered our al Aqsa Mosque and disrespected it’ a young protester Ahmed tells me, referring to an incident last month. During a Jewish holiday, Palestinian worshippers clashed with Israeli troops after the forces went briefly inside the mosque in response – they say – to stone-throwing rioters.”

Knell’s description of violent rioters as “worshippers” is obviously misleading, as is her attempt to claim that the rioting was caused by the actions of the Israeli police. All the incidents in which the police have been obliged to keep order at the site over the last weeks began because of organised Palestinian attempts to violently disrupt visits by non-Muslims to the site. This of course is not the first time that Knell has misrepresented those events. The report continues with Knell once again amplifying the particularly inflammatory falsehood that Israel is conducting a “fight” against Islam.

“‘It’s a red line’ Ahmed goes on. ‘All our lives we’ve been dealing with Israel’s occupation as a political struggle but now they’re turning it into a fight against our religion’. The activist has already spent four years in an Israeli prison for rock throwing. Now he hopes for a third Palestinian uprising and tells me he’s ready to go back to jail. On a nearby street I also meet Mustafa who’s 25 and says he’s prepared to die for the nationalist cause. ‘I like to go and throw stones and whatever happens, happens’ he remarks. ‘It’s for al Aqsa, it’s for our martyrs and all our humiliations’.”

Demonstration in London, UK, 2010

Demonstration in London, UK, 2010

Next, Knell revisits one of her regular themes: misrepresenting the anti-terrorist fence in the vicinity of Bethlehem whilst failing to clarify to audiences that it exists because of Palestinian terrorism.  

“The shop worker describes a daily life where he’s hemmed-in by checkpoints, by the concrete wall that surrounds much of Bethlehem – part of Israel’s separation barrier – and expanding Jewish settlements near his home on the edge of the city. Despite his university education, his career prospects are limited. Mustafa connects his feelings of anger to local unrest in the West Bank and the recent spate of knife attacks and shootings across Jerusalem and Israel. Amateur video of almost every assault is posted on social media and he watches them all. ‘Maybe this will be the stabbing Intifada’ he says.”

Downplaying the violence of the first Intifada – during which around a thousand Palestinians were murdered by Palestinian vigilantes – Knell goes on:

“The first Palestinian Intifada which began in 1987 was marked by coordinated popular unrest while the second, starting from 2000, produced suicide bombings by militants. Together, they claimed the lives of over 5,000 Palestinians and over 1,100 Israelis. The latest stabbings have so far caused several deaths and dozens of injuries. Police blame most on lone-wolf attackers making personal decisions to act. But while the intensity and pattern of the violence may not match the experience of previous uprisings, it’s stirred up old fears for Israelis.” […]

Knell’s closing words include whitewashing of the incitement coming from Mahmoud Abbas and completely ignore the issue of incitement from official PA and other Palestinian sources. 

“The Israeli authorities have struggled in their response to the recent crisis. Some far-right politicians are demanding action over Temple Mount. Meanwhile, security officials and the Israeli prime minister have largely held back – worried about exacerbating the troubles. On the Palestinian side, Islamist groups have declared the attacks heroic while the ageing secular president says he supports popular protests but not violence. The current unrest isn’t organized in any meaningful sense. It has no clear and unified goal. It comes as a generation of young Palestinians have lost faith in their leaders. They’ve watched peace talks fail to deliver a promised independent Palestinian state. For all those reasons, it’s very hard to predict what will happen next and whether those who are trying to bring the situation under control really can do so.”

Of course listeners to this programme would be incapable of putting Knell’s makeover of Mahmoud Abbas into its appropriate context because the BBC has studiously refrained from informing its audiences of what “secular” Mahmoud Abbas says to his people in Arabic.

This message, for example, was broadcast on PA TV nineteen times in three days during October 2014.

More recently, this was shown on official PA TV:

Obviously, the fact that the BBC gives unchallenged amplification to conspiracy theories concerning Temple Mount is a problem. The fact that it also refrains from clarifying to its audiences in its own words that Israel has no intention of changing the status quo at that site is another, as is the fact that the BBC has consistently concealed from its audiences the religiously themed rhetoric and incitement fueling the conspiracy theories surrounding Temple Mount.Al Aqsa UK FOAA  

Those problems do not just raise questions about the BBC’s ability to report on this Israel-related topic accurately, impartially and responsibly. They also have the potential to affect British domestic issues because conspiracy theories about Temple Mount and al Aqsa Mosque are by no means confined to the Middle East – as this page from the website of the Leicester-based group ‘Friends of Al Aqsa’ and scenes from the anti-Israel rally held in London just last weekend demonstrate.

Prime Minister David Cameron clearly understands that a vital part of combating extremism in the UK is confronting and exposing conspiracy theories.  With its unrivalled outreach, the BBC is of course well placed to play a part in contributing to that aim – should it so choose. 

Yolande Knell’s BBC backgrounder on Temple Mount fails to cut the mustard

Recent visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page may have noticed a filmed report dated October 15th by Yolande Knell titled “Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/ Haram al-Sharif explained” which was not only promoted in its own right but additionally included as an embedded video or a link in several recent written articles and also apparently aired on BBC television news programmes. The synopsis to that report claims that:Knell Temple Mount explanation film

“Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell explains the site’s significance.”

Obviously it is highly important for audiences to understand that topic if they are to be able to put the Palestinian incitement relating to that site – which has most recently fueled the current wave of terrorism against Israelis and yet remains vastly under-reported by the BBC – into its correct context. However, Knell’s explanatory backgrounder is not fit for that purpose.  

“This site in Jerusalem’s Old City is sacred to two religions. Muslims believe it’s where the Prophet Muhammed ascended to heaven. Jews revere it as the site of two biblical temples. It’s known as Haram al Sharif – the Noble Sanctuary – and Temple Mount.”

The site is also of religious significance to Christians, of course, but Knell fails to mention that. Following the usual BBC policy of ignoring history before 1967, she continues:

“For decades it’s been a flash point between Israelis and Palestinians. After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel occupied the Old City and East Jerusalem. But the holy site itself has stayed administered by a Jordanian Waqf – an Islamic trust.”

Tensions relating to Temple Mount were of course evident long before Israel’s creation and incitement based on rumours concerning the site has been a backdrop to anti-Jewish violence for almost a century.

“In September 1928, a small group of Jews erected a “mechitza” (a divider to separate men and women during prayers) for Yom Kippur prayers at the Western Wall. The British forcibly dismantled the divider, but Husseini used this incident as a pretext to incite Muslims. He accused the Jews of attempting to seize Muslim holy sites, including the al Aqsa Mosque. […]

According to Dutch-Canadian journalist Pierre Van Passen who was in Palestine at the time, fabricated pictures of Muslim holy sites in ruins were handed out to Hebron Arabs as they were leaving their mosques on Friday, August 23, 1929. The captions on the pictures claimed that the Dome of the Rock was bombed by the Zionists. That evening, armed Arabs broke into the Yeshiva (Talmudic academy) and murdered the lone student they found. The following day, an enraged Arab mob wielding knives, axes, and iron bars destroyed the Yeshiva and slaughtered the rest of the students there. A delegation of Jewish residents on their way to the police station was lynched by an Arab mob. The mob then proceeded to massacre Hebron’s Jews — both Sephardi and Ashkenazi — who had lived peacefully with their Arab neighbors for years. With only one British officer supervising, the Arab police made no attempt to prevent the massacre.”

Knell refrains from informing BBC audiences of the fact that Temple Mount was under Jordanian occupation for the nineteen years before 1967 and that during that time Jews were denied access to their holy sites – despite the 1949 Armistice Agreement stipulation that there would be “free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives” and supposed UN responsibility for the overseeing of that agreement.

Neither does Knell bother to explain the background to the Waqf’s continued administration of the site.  Neglecting to mention that Christians too are prevented from praying at the site, she continues:

“There’s an agreement that Jews may visit but may not pray there. However, some Jews have tried to worship at the Temple Mount – regarded as provocative by Muslims at the site’s al Aqsa Mosque.”

Knell of course does not choose to explore the question of whether, in the 21st century, it is acceptable to deny equal rights for members of all religions or why Muslims should find Jews or Christians at prayer “provocative”. She goes on:

“Many Palestinians are suspicious that some Jewish nationalists want to challenge the Waqf’s jurisdiction. But Benjamin Netanyahu – Israel’s prime minister – says he doesn’t want to change the current arrangements.”

She fails to clarify that, despite the rather more strongly worded commitments to keeping the status quo that her representation suggests which have been issued regularly by the Israeli government, the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority and Hamas alike continue to use those baseless ‘suspicions’ and other libels to incite their populations.

Turning to the subject of the current wave of terrorism, Knell closes with more concealment of the very relevant topics of PA incitement and glorification of terrorism:

“On the Palestinian side, some say the latest violence may start a third Intifada – or uprising. But unlike the previous uprisings, most of the recent attacks by Palestinians have been committed by individuals acting on their own. The big question now is whether these attacks will lead to a wider conflict as neither the Israeli government nor the Palestinian Authority seems to be fully in control of the situation.”

The day after this report by Knell was published, it emerged that the Palestinian Authority apparently seeks to further inflame the issue of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

“A new proposal to establish that the Western Wall is part of al-Aqsa Mosque is set to be submitted by the Palestinians to a vote at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) next week, Ynet learned Thursday.[…]

Israel has been acting behind the scenes to persuade as many countries as possible to oppose the proposal, or at least to abstain, but it is likely that the proposal will be approved due to the automatic Muslim and Arab majority. Yedioth Ahronoth received a copy of the proposal, which reveals the main points: 

1.To declare and confirm that the Western Wall is part of al-Aqsa Mosque, and is called Buraq Plaza (as the Palestinians call the Western Wall). The same applies to the Mughrabi Gate.”

Unsurprisingly, there has been no BBC reporting of that story to date.

The narrative adopted by the BBC frames the Arab-Israeli conflict as being solely about “the occupation” – hence its habitual focus on post-1967 history. Thus, the corporation consistently sells its audiences short by failing to inform them of factors underlying the conflict which were in evidence long before 1967 and in some cases, even before Israel existed.

Incitement based on libels concerning Temple Mount is one of those factors and – as in this report by Yolande Knell – the topic is all too often misrepresented in order to frame it within a narrative which deals only with politics, thereby allowing BBC correspondents to avoid the much more complex and sensitive subject of religious ideology as a factor fueling violence. 

Hamas says intifada – BBC’s Yolande Knell knows better

In recent days, visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page have seen the following statement used in several reports.

“Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have escalated since last month, fuelled by clashes at a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem, in the West Bank, and across the Gaza border, as well as the wave of stabbings.”

Audiences have also seen the statement below which is part of an insert appearing in several reports.

“What is happening between Israelis and Palestinians?

There has been a spate of stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians since early October, and one apparent revenge stabbing by an Israeli. The attacks, in which some Israelis have died, have struck in Jerusalem and elsewhere, and in the occupied West Bank. Israel has tightened security and clashed with rioting Palestinians, leading to deaths on the Palestinian side. The violence has also spread to the border with Gaza.”

As we see, a passive voice is used when informing audiences where “the attacks” (rather than the terrorists) “have struck” and the geographical locations chosen for naming – Jerusalem and “the occupied West Bank” – are interesting considering that the BBC has covered more of the attacks which have taken place “elsewhere” (such as Petah Tikva, Kiryat Gat, Afula, Tel Aviv, Dimona, Gan Shmuel and Ra’anana) than those occurring in Judea & Samaria.

Notably too, audiences are told that “the violence” has “spread” – apparently independently of any outside factor – “to the border with Gaza”.

Of course terror attacks are not hail storms that ‘strike’ in random locations and violent riots are not swarms of locusts that “spread” all by themselves. Each one of the attacks was planned by at least one person to take place at a particular location and each incident of violent rioting involves countless people making the decision to take part. 

The first incident of violence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip took place on October 9th when some 200 Gazans, said by Arab media outlets to be affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, began rioting near Nahal Oz. Not unrelatedly, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh delivered an inflammatory sermon on that same day.

““We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada… It is the only path that will lead to liberation,” Ismail Haniyeh said during a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.

“Gaza will fulfill its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation,” he added.”

That rioting was described as follows in a BBC report from October 9th titled “Israeli-Palestinian violence spreads over Gaza border“.

“Fresh violence between Palestinians and Israelis has seen six Palestinians shot dead in Gaza, reports say, and a fresh spate of stabbings.

Israel said its troops fired over the Gaza border after coming under attack. […]

According to Palestinian medical sources, the six Palestinians were shot dead and many others wounded in two separate incidents in Gaza on Friday when Israeli troops opened fire.

The Palestinians were protesting in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Israeli military said more than 1,000 rioters had massed at the border fence, throwing a grenade and rocks, and rolling burning tyres at Israeli forces.

After firing warning shots, troops fired towards the “main instigators” to disperse the riot, a military statement said.”Sallah sermon 9 Oct

There was no reporting in that article on Haniyeh’s sermon or on similar incitement from Hamas MP and Spokesman Mushir Al-Masri, a Palestinian cleric in Gaza and Sheikh Muhammad Sallah heard by Gazans on the same day.

Haniyeh’s sermon did get a very brief reference in an article published on October 10th under the title “Israeli-Palestinian violence: Gaza rocket lands in Israel”. There, audiences discovered that Yolande Knell considers herself more of an authority on the topic of violent uprisings than Ismail Haniyeh.

“Earlier, six Palestinians were shot dead near the border fence with Gaza. […]

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas which runs Gaza, said a new intifada – or uprising – was under way, although the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says the scale of violence does not yet amount to that.”

On October 10th residents of the Gaza Strip instigated more violence along the border and even breached the fence.

“Some 70 Palestinians successfully infiltrated into Israel through the border fence in the area of the Eshkol Regional Council on Saturday night.

IDF troops intercepted the Gazans and turned most of them back. About five tried to flee and were shot at and arrested, Israel Radio said.

Earlier, two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli forces in clashes in the Khan Younis area of the Israel-Gaza border, Palestinian media reported.”

That event was not included in the BBC News report published the following day, although audiences were again told that:

“The violence has spurred talk from Hamas, which dominates Gaza, of a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

But the clashes have not yet reached the scale of previous intifadas, with no clear mass movement or leadership so far emerging.”

On October 11th shots were fired from the Gaza Strip at an Israeli civilian vehicle in the Kissufim area and later the same day two separate incidents of missile fire from the Gaza Strip took place with the first falling short and the second hitting the Eshkol area. None of those incidents were reported by the BBC.

On October 12th Gazans once again breached the border fence.

“At least six Gazans were reported injured during renewed clashes between Israeli soldiers and protesters Monday evening along the Israel-Gaza border, after several dozen Palestinians crossed the border fence into Israel, the second such incident in recent days.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers fired at the group of some 20 protesters in an effort to push the Palestinians back toward the Hamas-controlled territory, the Walla news site reported.

The protesters sneaked into Israel adjacent to the al-Bureij refugee camp and emerged in the Eshkol Regional Council, in the center of the Strip, before the IDF arrived at the scene. […]

Earlier on Monday, the Hamas leaders of the Strip denied reports that they had issued a warning to Gaza residents banning them from approaching the border fence with Israel.” [emphasis added]

The only reference to incidents on the Gaza border in the BBC News report from that day reads as follows:

“At the weekend several Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops and by an Israeli air strike on a militant site in Gaza in response to rocket fire on Israel.”

October 13th saw violent rioting near the Erez Crossing, which had to be temporarily closed as a result. 

“At least seven Palestinians were injured when the protesters approached the border fence, drawing tear gas and rubber bullet fire from IDF troops patrolling the fence.”

There was no mention of that incident or the later gunfire at an Israeli army vehicle in the BBC News website’s main report for that day. On October 14th rioting was again seen in the Bureij area but the only reference to that came in the form of the laconic statement “Clashes were also reported along the Israeli border with Gaza” which appeared in an article originally published on that day. 

So, despite repeatedly telling readers that “violence has also spread to the border with Gaza”, the BBC News website has actually ignored most of the violent incidents in that area – including breaches of the border fence – and has certainly not provided audiences with any information concerning the very relevant background topic of incitement from officials and clerics in the Gaza Strip or the failure of Hamas to exercise its ability to prevent violent rioters from reaching the border area and breaching the fence.