As we are only too aware, the picture of the Gaza Strip which the BBC presents to its audiences uniformly includes depictions of a beleaguered population troubled by restrictions of movement and limited availability of goods and produce, with the sole responsibility for that inevitably placed upon Israel.
”The Israelis swiftly tightened a blockade on Gaza, restricting the transit of goods and people into and out of the territory.”
The fact that the BBC consistently fails to inform audiences of the context of Hamas executed or approved terror attacks against Israel when reporting on the Gaza Strip is bad enough, but its consistent failure to inform audiences of Hamas actions which have an effect on the local population’s access to goods and movement raises further doubts about the impartiality of its reporting.
In January this year, Hamas banned the entry of a series of items from Israel into the Gaza Strip:
“The Ministry of Economy of Hamas announced its decision to prohibit the importation of several types of goods into the Gaza Strip, via the Israeli crossings. The list of goods includes: Office furniture, various types of food, hygienic products, gas pipes, plastic bags, plastic, and clothing.”
That move came after a previous ban by the Hamas Ministry of Agriculture on most fruit imports which proved unpopular with the local population:
“However, the ministry’s Saqqa urged Gazans to see the bigger picture. “We are people under blockade and we should have the culture of resistance,” he said. “Why should someone have all kinds of fruits on his table?” “
At the end of February, Hamas imposed a new ruling according to which residents of the Gaza Strip now have to apply for exit permits in order to enter Israel. At the beginning of March, Hamas brought about the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing through which goods are transported into the Gaza Strip after it had already been closed for several days due to the rocket fire on Ashkelon on February 26th.
“Over 70 trucks laden with food and other goods are currently waiting on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom crossing for their Palestinian counterparts.
The crossing is currently not operating, as the Palestinian contractor responsible for the Palestinian side decided not to open the crossing today.
His decision stems from attempts by Hamas to replace the current contractor with one of their choosing. Hamas has been actively trying to push the Palestinian Authority out and take charge of the management of Kerem Shalom so that they may collect revenue from goods that enter Gaza.”
“Hamas made this decision in light of their new demand that the concessionaire pay a toll of NIS 170 (about $46) for every truck that enters the Strip. The reason for this toll stems from the loss of profits from taxation from the smuggling tunnels which were mostly destroyed over the past few weeks as a result of intensive Egyptian activity.”
As previously mentioned here, the BBC failed to report on the closure of smuggling tunnels by Egypt.
None of the above moves by Hamas have been reported by the BBC, meaning that its audiences remain in the dark about Hamas actions affecting the movement and access to goods of civilian population of the Gaza Strip. That of course enables their continued perception of Israel as uniquely responsible for that population’s situation, but it is neither accurate nor impartial reporting.