BBC ignores executions in Gaza Strip

As we know, the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell was very busy last Saturday in Gaza preparing no fewer than four reports on the subject of a TV talent show. Obviously, that pressing task prevented her from getting round to informing BBC audiences of the fact that on the same day the ruling Hamas terrorist organization executed two men by hanging for ‘collaboration’. 

“The Hamas-run minister of interior said that the two men, who were not identified by name, were executed by hanging after a “military court” in the Gaza Strip found them guilty of “collaboration with Israeli occupation.”

A statement released by the ministry said that the executions were carried out “in accordance with our religion and the Palestinian law.” “

There is of course a problem with that last claim because according to Palestinian law, all death penalties must be approved by the PA President before they are carried out. 

“The attorney-general in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Jaber,[….] dismissed criticism that the executions were being carried out in violation of Palestinian law because they had not been approved by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“There is no real president of the Palestinian Authority,” Jaber said. “There is only a nominal president. The Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip is the legitimate government and it seeks to look after the people’s security.” “

One might have thought that it would be important for the BBC to inform its audiences around the world of the fact that 1.6 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are being forcefully subjected to a separate ‘make it up as you go along’ theocracy-based legal system which acts in contravention of the laws adopted by their internationally recognized representatives.

But apparently the BBC thought that a reality show was much more newsworthy. 

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BBC’s ‘last-first’ reporting keeps audience attention focused on Israel

Readers of the BBC News website’s Middle East page were informed on June 24th 2013 that “Israel hits back after Gaza rockets”. 

HP 24 6

The link leads to a report with the same ‘last-first’ headline in which the chronological events of the story are reversed, the earlier version of which is shown below. 

Gaza missiles Sun night

That ‘last-first’ theme is repeated in the report’s opening paragraph:

“Israeli warplanes have attacked targets in the Gaza Strip after missiles were fired into southern Israel late on Sunday night.”

In both that and the subsequent paragraph, readers learn that rockets “were fired” by unnamed parties, but no details are provided about where they landed or what their targets were, as though the fact that “no damage or injury was reported” negates the necessity to inform BBC audiences that their targets were actually sleeping civilians in several communities including Ashkelon, Netivot, the Bedouin town of Rahat and in the regional councils Bnei Shimon and Lahavim. 

“At least six rockets were fired from northern Gaza, but no damage or injury was reported.”

Bnei Shimon r.c.

In the seventh of ten paragraphs the report notes that:

“Sirens blared in a number of areas of southern Israel and Israeli media said two of the missiles, thought to be Grad rockets, were intercepted by the Iron Dome system in the Ashkelon area.”

In contrast to the use of the vague term “were fired”, we find that Israeli actions are described in very different terms and their consequences are reported. [emphasis added] 

“Israeli warplanes have attacked targets in the Gaza Strip after missiles were fired into southern Israel late on Sunday night.”

“Hours later, Israeli aircraft hit three areas, a BBC reporter said.”

“Israeli planes launched an attack in the early hours of Monday. BBC reporter Rushdi Abualouf said they hit three targets belonging to both Hamas and Islamic Jihad and there were no reports of casualties.”

“The first strike targeted an Islamic Jihad training facility in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The other attacks were on security compounds for the Hamas-run government, our correspondent said.”

So, whilst missiles “were fired” from the Gaza Strip, only once (in paragraph six) are those actions described as an “attack” and readers are not told that they “hit” anything or “targeted” anyone.

Three paragraphs of the report are dedicated to speculations regarding the ‘reasons’ for the missile fire. It is not made clear to readers that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Iranian-backed terrorist organization proscribed by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Canada and Israel. Instead, the BBC uses the misleading and euphemistic term “militant group”.  

“The reason for the flare-up is unclear but sources blame tension in Gaza after an Islamic Jihad leader was killed by Hamas police on Saturday.

Raed Qassim Jundeyeih, 32, died after he was shot during a gun battle involving police and members of his family. Unconfirmed reports said he was a commander of the militant group’s military wing, the Al-Quds brigades.

Islamic Jihad were believed to have been behind Sunday night’s rocket attack on Israel, which came after a period of relative calm.”

Having totally ignored the fact that less than only five days previously the residents of Ashkelon were also woken in the early hours of the morning by sirens warning of incoming missiles from the Gaza Strip, the BBC is able to promote the notion of “a period of relative calm”.

Some seven hours after the publication of that report an amended version was posted at the same URL in which the problematic aspects of the original version are repeated. 

missile attacks sun night version 2

Significantly, the BBC chooses not to trouble its audiences with the question of why the sleeping residents of Israeli towns should come under missile attack due to a confrontation between two terrorist organisations in a territory from which Israel disengaged eight years ago. 

“Islamic Jihad today suspended its contacts with Hamas after police opened fire yesterday on one of the commanders of the Al-Quds Brigades, Raed Jundiya, 38, inflicting serious injuries from which he died this morning,” AFP quoted a leader of the extremist group as saying.

“The murder of Raed Jundiya represents a major service to the Zionist enemy, provided completely free of charge, whether deliberately or not, because the martyr was, as everybody knows, on the top of the Zionists’ hit-list as he headed the Brigades’ rocket unit,” he said.”

Instead, in line with its prevailing narrative, the BBC focuses its audiences’ attentions on the Israeli response to those attacks on its civilians through the use of omission, language and ‘last-first’ reporting. 

Related articles:

BBC News: telling the end of a story first

More ‘last-first’ BBC reporting from southern Israel and the Gaza Strip

BBC resumes ‘last-first’ reporting from Gaza area – and then changes tack

BBC’s Kevin Connolly visits Auschwitz

On June 18th 2013 the magazine section of the BBC News website published a very long article by Kevin Connolly of the BBC Jerusalem Bureau entitled “Return to Auschwitz: How Israel keeps Holocaust memories alive“.

The article represents a rare effort made by a BBC journalist to understand – and listen to – Israelis and Connolly is to be commended for both his mostly sensitive approach to the subject and the resulting report which appears in an interesting format combining text and filmed clips. 

However, in one section of the article Connolly relies upon the opinions of the ‘new’ historian Tom Segev to promote the notion that talking about the Holocaust was “taboo” in Israel until the 1960s. In the accompanying film clip Segev uses that claim as a platform from which to venture off into political pastures – as may be expected. Unfortunately Connolly appears not to have taken differing opinions or historical facts into account before deciding to include Segev’s version of events in his article.  

Kibbutz Yad Mordechai – named after Mordechai Anielewicz, commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – was established in its current location in December 1943; just months after the uprising itself and long before the end of the war.

In July 1947 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem held the first international conference on Holocaust research.

Kibbutz Lohamei HaGhetaot (literally ‘the Ghetto fighters’) was established in 1949 and is the site of the world’s first Holocaust museum which was opened in the same year.  

On April 12th 1951 – less than three years after the state was established – Israel’s Knesset decided upon official annual commemoration of the Holocaust on the 27th of Nissan – the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day Law was passed in 1955.

Yad Vashem was established in 1953 with state funding.  

“In 1953, the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) unanimously passed the Yad Vashem Law, establishing the Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.  This law states that the authority is established to commemorate the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their helpers; the Jewish communities and their institutions that had been liquidated and destroyed; the valor and heroism of the soldiers, the fighters of the underground, and the prisoners in the ghettos; the sons and daughters of the Jewish people who had struggled for their human dignity; and the “Righteous among the Nations” who had risked their lives in order to save Jews.”

Those facts, among others, do not support the notion of a “taboo” on talking about the Holocaust.

In contrast, it took the rest of the world until 2005 to establish a Holocaust Memorial Day.  

BBC reporting on the Hamdallah resignation

First there was this

Hamdallah resign 1

Then, shortly after the last amendment to that article, came this:

Hamdallah resig 2

In both those reports it was suggested that Hamdallah’s resignation might have some sort of detrimental effect upon attempts to restart negotiations between Israel and the PA.

“If Mr Hamdallah’s resignation is accepted, it could leave a damaging gap as the Palestinian leadership grapples with a financial crisis and the US leads efforts to revive peace talks with Israel, says the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Ramallah.”

“If his resignation had been accepted, it would have left a damaging gap as the Palestinian Authority grapples with a financial crisis and the US leads efforts to revive peace talks with Israel, says the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Ramallah.”

In fact, as was pointed out by veteran journalist Khaled Abu Toameh when the BBC and others made similar suggestions in the wake of Salam Fayyad’s resignation in April, Hamdallah – like his predecessor – was highly unlikely to have had any influence whatsoever in that sphere.  

“Fayyad himself once explained that ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords about 20 years ago, it was the PLO, and not the Palestinian Authority, that was conducting peace talks with Israel.”

“The only people Abbas consulted with were PLO and Fatah loyalists. Decisions regarding the peace talks with Israel were always taken either by Abbas alone or in coordination with members of the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee.”

Despite the BBC’s apparent confidence in the claims of unnamed “officials” who insisted that Hamdallah had withdrawn his resignation, other sources seemed to suggest that things were far from cut and dried. 

KAT Hamdallah

And indeed, on June 23rd it became clear that Hamdallah was standing by his resignation.

Hamdallah resig 3

Mr Hamdallah will apparently stay on as head of a caretaker government until a replacement is found. In the meantime, the final message of his equally short-lived venture into social media might perhaps give the BBC inspiration for some real investigative reporting which could bring valuable information and insights to BBC audiences. 

Twitter Rami Hamdallah

Related posts:

Soft BBC portrait of new PA prime minister

 

Four ‘Arab Idol’ reports in one day by BBC’s Knell

For the second time in less than ten days, a June 22nd report by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell featured an ‘Arab Idol’ reality show contestant from the Gaza Strip. The article, which appeared in the ‘Features & Analysis’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page at 08:04 GMT, includes a filmed item also broadcast on BBC television news as well as a written report. 

Knell Arab Idol

As was the case in Knell’s previous piece featuring Mohammed Assaf which was broadcast on ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ on June 13th, her descriptions of “his patriotic songs full of love and longing” conveniently skirt round the fact that at least one of them erases Israel from the map.

 “Oh flying bird, circling round, 
My eyes protect you and Allah keeps you safe 
By Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy 
My country Palestine is beautiful 
Turn to Safed and then to Tiberias, 
And send regards to the sea of Acre and Haifa 
Don’t forget Nazareth – the Arab fortress, 
And tell Beit Shean about its people’s return 
By Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy 
My country Palestine is beautiful.”

Mohammed Assaf’s use of songs with political themes appears to be nothing new:

“Assaf first made his name inside the Gaza Strip in 2001, at the age of 11, when he recorded a song called “O Town Be Strong,” at the height of Israeli military activity in the Gaza Strip during the violent Second Intifada.”

Whilst Knell refrains from properly informing her audiences about the significance of Assaf’s political messaging and the part it plays in his popularity, other journalists are more frank.

“Assaf has chosen to perform a mix of classic songs by well-known Arab singers as well as songs about the Palestinian cause. One was a love song by the late Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez, and another about a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon longing to return to his ancestral home in what is now Israel.

Assaf, too, has touched on the hardships endured by his people. Wearing the traditional Palestinian black-and-white headscarf around his neck during performances, he has spoken about the Israeli occupation and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

He has expressed admiration for Samer Issawi, who became a symbol of the Palestinian struggle over his long-term hunger strike in an Israeli jail. In an interview with the unofficial Palestinian news agency Maan last month, Assaf said that “if I had to choose between winning the Arab Idol title and the freedom of Samer Issawi, I would choose freedom for the Palestinian hero whose steadfastness is peerless and I can’t compare myself to it”.”

The “hero” of the singer himself described by Knell as “a Palestinian hero” was of course convicted of acts of terrorism.  

“[Issawi] was convicted of severe crimes, which including five attempts of intentional death. This included four shootings, between July 2001 and February 2002, in which Isawi and his partners fired on police cars and buses travelling between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In one attack, a policeman was injured and required surgery. On October 30, 2001, Isawi, together with an accomplice, fired at two students walking from the Hebrew University campus to their car in a nearby parking lot. In another case, Isawi provided guns and explosive devices to a squad, who fired on a bus. Finally, in December 2001, Isawi ordered an attack on security personnel at Hebrew University, providing a squad with a pistol and a pipebomb. Two of the squad members tracked security personnel but opted not to execute the attack.”

Knell’s reports are dominated by a ‘Cinderella’ theme which serves once again to entrench stereotypical notions of life in the Gaza Strip as frequently promoted by the BBC. In the filmed item she makes much of Assaf’s “humble beginnings” in “Gaza’s Khan Yunis refugee camp” where “poverty and unemployment are high”, stating that:

“The neighbourhood’s often been at the centre of fighting in conflicts with Israel.”

In the written piece, Knell adds a statement which is euphemistic in its first half and context-free in its second:

“The camp has produced many young militants and has been targeted by Israeli air strikes.”

That passive, anodyne description fails to make sufficiently clear that Khan Yunis has been the launching site for thousands of missile attacks on Israeli civilians since Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip and before that was frequently the source of attacks on the residents of Gush Katif, including the murder of Tali Hatuel and her four daughters. 

A relative interviewed by Knell in the television report states:

“Mohammed – like all of the Palestinians – like all of the refugees who suffer from the obstacles and restrictions from the Israel [sic] and the situation.”

But according to numerous other reports, including one from Maan, Mohammed Assaf was actually born in Libya.

“Assaf, born in Misrata in Libya in 1990, started singing aged five after returning to Gaza when his father finished his accountancy work in the North African country.”

Whether or not the Assaf family was among the 30,000 Palestinians expelled by Gaddafi from Libya in the mid-nineties due to his opposition to the Oslo Accords is unclear, but certainly the family’s arrival in Khan Yunis does not appear to have any connection to Israel.

Knell even drags Israel into her tale of how Assaf almost did not make it to the auditions for the show – despite the fact that he exited the Gaza Strip via a border over which Israel has no control whatsoever.

“Border restrictions, which were tightened by Israel and Egypt after the Islamist group, Hamas, took over the Gaza Strip, make it difficult to travel, for young men in particular.

The story goes that the singer got stuck at Egypt’s Rafah border crossing and arrived late at the recital hall to find admissions had finished. But a call to his mother inspired him to jump over the wall.”

Later on the same day, after Mohammed Assaf had been pronounced winner of the reality show, Knell produced two further reports on the subject – one written – complete with ‘analysis’ – and one filmed

Knell Arab Idol 3

Knell Arab Idol 4

All of Knell’s total of five reports on this subject over the last ten days have promoted two main themes: that of Assaf’s perceived positive influence on ‘Palestinian unity’ (which the BBC long since adopted as a worthy cause) and the Cinderella story of a poor Palestinian emerging triumphant against the odds – with those odds being mainly composed of factors for which Israel can be blamed. Mohammed Assaf’s use of songs promoting a political ideology opposed to Israel’s existence and his reverence of a convicted terrorist do not fit into Knell’s idealised narrative and so BBC audiences receive no objective analysis of the significance of those factors as contributors to his popularity and success.

  

BBC continues to ignore majority of attacks on Israeli civilians

Readers of the BBC News website’s Middle East page will have learned during this past week that Barbara Streisand received an honorary PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and that celebrations of Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday took place in the same city with an impressive array of dignitaries on the guest list.  

What they will not have learned is that the residents of the Ashkelon area awoke to the sound of the air-raid siren at around 05:40 on Wednesday morning due to missile fire from the Gaza Strip.  Neither will they know that mortar fire from Syria hit the orchards of Kibbutz Elrom in the north Golan Heights on Thursday morning and that another Syrian mortar landed inside Israeli territory later the same day. No-one was hurt in any of the incidents above and Israel did not respond.

The same readers will also have no idea of the seventy-two cases of rock-throwing and fifteen firebombing incidents which took place in Judea & Samaria between June 11th and 17th alone or that in April 2013 ninety attacks (excluding stone-throwing) took place in the same region and in May, eighty-three. 

June 11 - 17 IDF

Back in April the BBC claimed that attacks on civilians in Judea & Samaria “are rare”, later revising the statement to read “fatal attacks on settlers are rare”. We are all aware of the old journalistic adage “if it bleeds it leads”, but the BBC seems to have taken that several steps further by totally ignoring the vast majority of violent attacks directed at Israeli civilians. 

Another obstacle to peace the BBC will not report

As we recently noted, the BBC has refrained from informing its audiences about the terrorist-run summer camps in the Gaza Strip in which tens of thousands of children are indoctrinated with hatred towards their neighbours and encouraged to believe that Israel will cease to exist. 

Like many of the Western voices which – with comic regularity – inform us that time is running out for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the BBC endeavours to keep public focus on the issue of Israeli building plans rather than facing up to the fact that supporters of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups have absolutely no interest in an outcome in which two countries exist peacefully side by side. In addition to ignoring that sizeable proportion of public opinion on the Palestinian street, the BBC also ignores the glorification of terror by Israel’s so-called ‘moderate peace partners’ in the Palestinian Authority. 

A few weeks ago we published here the English-language translation of the list of Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli prisons since the pre-Oslo Accords period. Not only are those people sometimes erroneously described by the Western media as being “political” prisoners, but their release is one of several demands presented by the Palestinian Authority as pre-conditions to peace negotiations. 

Over at Palestinian Media Watch is a recent report documenting the glorification of the terrorist acts of two of those prisoners on PA controlled television.  

“Faraj Saleh Abdallah Al-Rimahi, who is serving a life sentence for beating an 84 year-old Israeli to death with a hoe in 1992, was coined a “giant hero” by the PA TV host. The host continued:
“Our hero, Faraj Al-Rimahi, is still writing the finest epics of endurance, heroism and self-sacrifice…”

“The PA TV host referred to Ibrahim Faiz Abu Ali, who is serving a life sentence for murdering a 24 year-old Israeli taxi driver in 1992, as “the hero prisoner.” The editors of the program also chose to include words of praise by the terrorist’s mother:
“By Allah, he is good, good. Ibrahim is honorable and a man. He’s never harmed his Muslim brother, never harmed a neighbor, never harmed any person…”

The PMW report also includes details of a “solidarity visit” to the families of other prisoners – as reported in the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida – by officials not infrequently quoted by the BBC in articles on the subject of Palestinian prisoners.

“Hebron district, in cooperation with the Prisoners’ Club, the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and the Committee of Families of Prisoners, organized a solidarity visit to the families of veteran prisoners in the Hebron district… they are: Ziyad Mahmoud Ghanimat and Mustafa Ghanimat (both serving a life sentence)… Najeh Muqbil (serving 38 years in prison)… Muhammad Al-Tus (serving a life sentence)… Governor of the Hebron district [Kamel Hamid] awarded the ‘shield of resolve’ to the families of the veteran prisoners.”

The BBC’s consistent censorship of the institutional glorification of terrorists and their acts by the Palestinian Authority – and the resulting lack of preparation of its population for a peaceful end to the conflict – is yet another aspect of its failure to inform audiences of the real obstacles to a two-state solution which compromises its adherence to standards of accuracy and impartiality and prevents it from fulfilling its defined public purpose of building “a global understanding of international issues”. 

Are we there yet? BBC improves its accuracy regarding Hamas designation

A report by the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell entitled “Palestinian split: Views from Hamas and Fatah, six years on” appeared in the ‘Features & Analysis’ section of the Middle East page of the BBC News website on June 17th 2013. 

Notably, the article shows a marked improvement on the subject of accurate reporting of the countries which designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, although it still omits those which designate its so-called ‘military wing’ alone.

“Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan.”

Hamas terror listing

Knell’s report is comprised of two monologues – one from a Fatah member living in Gaza and the other from a Hamas member living in the PA-controlled areas. Both men were elected as representatives of their respective factions to the Palestinian Legislative Council in the elections of 2006. According to Palestinian Basic Law, their mandate expired after four years, so with new elections not having taken place as yet, it is debatable whether or not they can be accurately presented as “elected PLC member[s]”.

In the first monologue the Knell appears to have attempted to provide some context (in brackets) for her readers:

“I consider what happened six years ago, ending on 14 June 2007, as the second Nakba (Catastrophe) for the Palestinians [after the first in 1948 when hundreds of thousands fled or were displaced from their homes with the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence].”

However, she does not make it clear that “the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence” was initiated by Arab and Palestinian forces.

Knell’s second interviewee, Anwar Zaboun, states:

“At the time of the split I was in the [Israeli] jail because just a few months after the 2006 elections dozens of PLC members and ministers were arrested here in the West Bank.”

No context is offered concerning the fact that Zaboun was in fact detained due to his membership of a terrorist organization or that the arrests followed the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip. 

Neither is any mention made of the fact that Zaboun has headed the ‘charity’ Al Islah in Bethlehem for many years  – an organization known to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority due to its history of channelling funding  to Hamas’ terrorist-supporting infrastructure from abroad. 

And yet, the BBC provides Zaboun with a platform from which to sanitize the activities of his terrorist organization and present himself as a beleaguered parliamentarian:

“Six years after the split they [Israel and the Palestinian security services] are still arresting people. We have our homes and cars searched. There is no immunity.”

“I want citizens in the West Bank to feel safe. How can they when there are political prisoners? I need to give people guarantees that they will not be arrested however they vote.”

The BBC contributes nothing to its audiences’ “global understanding of international issues” by promoting soft portraits of supporters and enablers of terrorism. 

An obstacle to peace the BBC won’t tell you about

Anyone getting their Middle East news from the BBC – as millions of people from around the world do – will be able to tell you without a shadow of doubt that the overriding factor preventing peace in the region is what the BBC recently so quaintly termed “settler homes“. The reason for such certainty is the intensive promotion of that theme by the BBC – see for example here, here, here, here and here – just from the past five weeks.

But the mirage is not only created by the regular repetition of that specific theme; its construction and maintenance also depend upon the diligent failure to inform BBC audiences about  things going on in the Middle East besides Israeli building tenders.

It is currently summer camp season in the Middle East and, as in past years, parents in the Gaza Strip have the choice of sending their children to a variety of activities organised by different groups – some of which are proscribed terrorist organisations – as documented by the Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center. 

“At the beginning of June 2013 Hamas announced the opening of this year’s summer camp project. The theme this year is “The generation of the return” [i.e., the return of the Palestinian refugees to Israel]. According to Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, an estimated 100,000 Gazan children will participate in the camps. He said the camps’ objectives were “to unite the younger generation with the homeland,” “to make religion attractive” and “to instill educational values.” According to Musa al-Samak, chairman of the high summer camp committee, there are 700 summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip with activities which will end before the Muslim religious month of Ramadan (Safa News Agency, June 8, 2013).

The ceremony opening the Hamas camps was attended by Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, and other senior Hamas figures. Haniya said that the objective of the camps was to instill the campers with values to strengthen their morals and spread the spirit of jihad (Al-Ra’i, June 9, 2013). He also said “Israel has no future in the land of Palestine” (Al-Aqsa TV, June 9, 2013).”

Hamas summer camp

Alternatively, there are Palestinian Islamic Jihad-run camps.

“The PIJ runs its own camps throughout the Gaza Strip where semi-military training and education are emphasized. This year their theme is “The generation of faith,” and each camp session will last two weeks. Campers – including the very young – receive military training and learn how to use weapons. The organization has provided broad media coverage for the camp activities (possibly to compete with Hamas and other organizations running camps).

 On June 12, 2013, a ceremony was held to mark the end of the PIJ’s first camp session in Rafah. It was filmed by an Agence France-Presse correspondent who had been invited to the ceremony (PIJ military-terrorist wing website, June 12, 2013). The ceremony was military and the children demonstrated the various military skills they had acquired, including firing live ammunition, simulating the abduction of an Israeli soldier (See pictures below.).

 According to one of the camp counselors, the objective of the camp was to train a younger generation familiar with the PIJ’s goal of fighting the “Zionist enemy” and a generation faithful to the Qur’an, a concept commanded by PIJ founder Fathi Shqaqi. The counselor said that the camp sessions were in great demand. A 12 year-old camper said that “Today I feel joy at joining the PIJ. I desire to receive military missions in the future and to be like the great shaheeds…the Zionist enemy will not overcome our people, who have been raised on the fundamentals of the Qur’an and on the love of death for the sake of Allah. My father’s blood was not shed in vain. Today I shoot my first bullet. My blood burns in my veins and will not cool until I am on the battlefield fighting the enemy” (PIJ military-terrorist wing website, June 12, 2013).”

Photographs from the AFP report referred to above can be seen here and another AFP report on the subject can be seen here.

PIJ summer camps

AFP also has a short film about one of the Hamas camps. Note the logo on the large sign shown at the beginning of the film and on the children’s t-shirts, in which Israel is erased completely. 

The BBC has so far studiously avoided telling its audiences about these terrorist-run summer camps in which tens of thousands of children are indoctrinated annually with pathological hatred and the belief that Israel will cease to exist. A Google search for ‘BBC & summer camps Gaza Strip’ turns up three results – all of which refer to attacks on UNRWA summer camps in previous years. 

search bbc & summer camps

As long as the BBC continues its campaign to shape audience perceptions by censoring coverage of real obstacles to peace such as the indoctrination of the next generation of its rejectors, BBC coverage of the Middle East cannot comply with its professed standards of accuracy and impartiality and it will not fulfill the “Public Purpose defined in its charter of building “a global understanding of international issues”.