BBC claims attacks on Israelis in Judea & Samaria are “rare”

Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 30th, thirty-two year-old Evyatar Borovsky from Yitzhar (the father of five children) was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist whilst standing at a bus stop at the Tapuach junction in Samaria.

An article on the subject titled “Israeli settler killed in West Bank” appeared in the Middle East section of the BBC News website shortly afterwards. 

Pigua Tapuach

The article, which has been amended several times since its initial publication, opens:

“An Israeli settler has been killed by a Palestinian at a bus stop in the northern West Bank, police say.”

Interestingly, the BBC writer found it necessary to describe the Israeli man as a “settler” both in the headline and the article, although audiences would have understood the sentence perfectly well without that political addition. The use of the word “killed” does not reflect the fact that the assailant was in prior possession of a knife and stabbed his victim from behind. In the UK, that would most likely be described as murder.

The article goes on:

“The attack took place at Tapuah Junction, near the city of Nablus, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.”

Tapuach Junction is of course actually near Kfar Tapuach and is closer to Ariel than to Nablus (Schem).

Tapuach Junct

The report continues: [emphasis added]

“Reports say the Palestinian stabbed the man before grabbing his gun and shooting him. The attacker was shot and wounded by security forces, police say.

Palestinians and Israeli troops have clashed recently in the West Bank, but attacks on settlers there are rare.”

That, of course, is a complete BBC fabrication.

The article also expands that theme later on:

“Tuesday’s attack is the first time a settler has been killed by a Palestinian in the West Bank since 2011.”

Indeed, since September 2011 there have, fortunately, been no fatalities as a result of terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, but that is not through want of trying, as the family of Adele Biton – who is still fighting for her life after the stone-throwing attack on her mother’s car in March – is only too aware.  

In March 2013 the Israel Security Agency reported 101 terror attacks in Judea and Samaria. In February, 100 attacks – 84 of those fire-bombings. January 2013 saw 56 terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, including the stabbing of a teenager at the same Tapuach Junction. In December 2012 eighty-one terror attacks took place in Judea and Samaria and in November 2012 there were 122 attacks. 

That means that in the one hundred and fifty-one days from the beginning of November 2012 until the end of March 2013, four hundred and sixty terror attacks took place in Judea and Samaria. That is an average of over three a day. 

16 month-old child hurt in stone-throwing attack near Tapuach junction, September 2012

Judea and Samaria are 125 kilometers in length and between 25 and 50 kilometers wide, with a total area of 5,860 km2, and with the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority off limit to Israelis. The English county of Cumbria is 907 km2 larger than the whole of Judea and Samaria. If the residents of Cumbria were to suffer an average of three daily terrorist stabbings, shootings, fire-bombings, IED attacks or attempted murder with rocks thrown at moving vehicles, we can be pretty confident that the BBC would not describe such attacks as “rare” – even if they did not end in fatalities.

Not only is this latest attempt by the BBC to downplay and whitewash Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians living in Judea and Samaria a gross breach of BBC Editorial Guidelines on accuracy and impartiality, it is also quite frankly repugnant.

Update: It appears that approving messages of support for the murderer have been posted on the official Facebook page of Fatah – PA president Mahmoud Abbas’ own party. We will of course await the ensuing BBC update to its report.

 Update 2: BBC News Online’s Middle East desk  has now slightly revised this report and paragraph four now reads: [emphasis added]

“Palestinians and Israeli troops have clashed recently in the West Bank, but fatal attacks on settlers are rare.”

Revised Tapuach Junct

Whilst the amendment is welcome, it contributes nothing towards accurately informing BBC audiences of the scale of terrorism against Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria and still airbrushes the intentions of those perpetrating the daily attacks out of the picture. “Fatal attacks” – i.e. murder – may not be a quotidian event, but attempted murder certainly is and the BBC’s whitewashing of that fact continues to compromise its reputation for accuracy and impartiality. 

31 comments on “BBC claims attacks on Israelis in Judea & Samaria are “rare”

  1. Doesn’t really surprise. To the editors of the BBC, those are only Jews that get attacked, so they yawn. It’s nothing too serious like a Palestinian getting delayed at a checkpoint while they check his bags for weapons.

  2. If you manage to find a direct link to the Fatah FB page (not the PalWatch link), I’d appreciate it. I need it for someone who doesn’t believe they posted it, and the PalWatch link is unlikely to impress this person.


  3. I noticed it this morning, the disgusting claim that attacks on Israelis in Judea and Samaria are “rare”.

    Complaint on its way…

  4. Between 19 January 2009 and 31 October 2012 43 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, and a further 5 by Israeli civilians. Over the same period 15 Israeli civilians and one soldier were killed in the West Bank by Palestinians.
    ‘Rarity’ is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

    • And of course all of those Palestinians were just playing soccer and frolicking in meadows right sencar. What else is in the eye of the beholder is what the beholder chooses to ignore.

    • sencar, we’ve been over this before. You omit all context in order to produce a load of statistics which, when presented without any reference to context or intent, are meaningless.

      You aren’t after finding a solution – you are a demoniser and propagandist.

    • Sencar, between 1939 and 1945 10 times more German civilians were killed than British civilians.

      Obviously, the dastardly Brits were the aggressors, and the poor Nazis were victimized.

      It’s a statistic as meaningless as yours.

      • Germany was obviously the aggressor in the war as a whole but the targeting of civilians in bombing raids was started by the British. It continued under cover of lying denials of such a policy and concluded with the war crimes perpetrated in Dresden and other cities.

        • Well sencar, since you haven’t disputed the fact that the Palestinians in question by and large were engaged in acts of violence, that makes them either terrorists or enemy combatants. In either case, it makes your comments irrelevant.

        • sencar
          1. btselem is a far left anti-Israel organization, which has lied on several occasions.
          2. You seem to think that war is precise, and that no civilian casualties are possible in fighting in densely populated areas. If you have a problem with civilian casualties, address your concerns to Hamas, who start the conflagrations in the first place, and use their own population as human shields, whilst themselves hiding under Shifa hospital.

          You are a classic exponent of double standards sencar – and I wonder why that is.

        • No it wasn’t – Germany had targeted civilians in its invasion of Poland.

          Seems your knowledge of history is as distorted as your so-called knowledge of the Middle East.

        • sencar, do you have ANY problem with a Jew being stabbed to death? Amazing how you turn a post about the BBC’s lie into another attack on the Jews.

        • Sencar, Germany began targeting and bombing civilians from the very beginning, starting with their invasion of Poland, and subsequently with their invasion of Russia. Their occupation forces also murdered hundreds of thousands as a means of control. They also forcibly conscripted slave labor from civilian population of every country that they occupied. And of course, they systematically planned and committed the mass murder of 6 million Jews in the lands they occupied.

  5. Of course, “approving messages of support for the murderer have been posted on the official Facebook page of Fatah”!

    “Moderate” Fatah behind terrorist murder in Tapuach Junction

    Ynet learned that the terrorist is a Fatah operative from a village near Tulkarem. He was imprisoned in Israel for three years after being convicted of stone throwing and was released less than six months ago.

    The terrorist’s brother is currently jailed in the Palestinian Authority for allegedly collaborating with Israel.

    To the BBC he’s just another “Palestinian”.

    • This is why I advocate executing them after the first offense. If they are dead, they can’t commit any more crimes.

      • When I lived in the US, I opposed the death penalty, and I still have reservations. But in Israel, I agree 100%

        • I live in the United States, and I am against the death penalty in the various states. I used to be for it, but I have been persuaded that the possibility of a mistake is too high. However, there is still a limited death penalty in the federal system, and I am in favor of that. The chances of a mistake in the federal system are much lower, and the crimes for which it is levied are much worse. The Tsarnaev creep will be tried in the federal system and should get the death penalty which he greatly deserves.

        • cba, it’s unwise to treat the exception as the rule. It’s wonderful that he has turned, but had the IDF had the chance, they would have taken him out beforehand and it would have been completely justified.

        • Cba, I take your point. However much good this one man might do, and I am afraid it is not very much, leaving so many evildoers alive ends up costing Israeli lives. If this soulless Arab who murdered the innocent father of five had been shot after being found guilty the first time, he would have saved the Israeli prison system a great deal of money and those poor children would still have their beloved father.

          It’s a moot point, anyway. The Israelis are not going to do it, which is such a pity.

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  7. By sencar’s “reckoning” 17 were non-combatants. By my reckoning, thirty on that list were engaged in violent acts, the killing was justified, or it was unavoidable collateral death. Whatever the case, Israel isn’t responsible for that.

    Stone throwing is a violent, potentially lethal act. Try explaining how it isn’t to the families of Asher Palmer and his son and Yehuda Shoham. Better yet, trying bashing yourself in the head with one of those stones and see how much it tickles. Of course, you probably wouldn’t think that you should be subjected to that kind of violence. If it’s Jews, then that’s their price for daring to live.

    B’Tselem provided details for 6 other deaths. That is also B’Tselem of the Inflated Cast Lead Casualty Count fame.

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