BBC’s Gaza correspondent tells WS listeners civilian kibbutz is ‘military outpost’

Listeners to the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Outside Source’ on July 2nd heard presenter Ros Atkins speaking to the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Kevin Connolly and the BBC Gaza office’s Rushdi Abualouf about the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir from Shuafat. That segment of the programme is available here.OS logo

Connolly begins by continuing the BBC’s across the board promotion of the incident to audiences as having been perpetrated by Israeli Jews, even though no proof of that speculation has so far come to light, oddly defining it as “sectarian”. Listeners will also gain some insight into the interesting way in which Connolly – and presumably his colleagues – have interpreted the Israeli prime minister’s condemnation of the murder.

Connolly: “We know very little [unintelligible] person about Muhammed Abu Khdeir yet and that’s one of the tragedies of this kind of sectarian murder of course – if that’s what it turns out to be – that he wasn’t killed because of who he was; merely as a matter of his ethnic identity. As I say, the real fear here is that this is a sectarian tit-for-tat killing. This is all still evolving – the Israeli police aren’t saying that clearly yet – but when you look at the statement from Benjamin Netanyahu, which I would think we would translate that as being a despicable murder, it’s very, very strong language from Benjamin Netanyahu. He was challenged by the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to come out and condemn it and has done so in the strongest possible terms, so I think the fact that Netanyahu was talking in those terms shows you that Israelis as well as Palestinians assume this to be a sectarian killing and Benjamin Netanyahu, who has already made it known that he’s calling on the country’s security minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to catch the killers of this Palestinian teenager, that is all to do with what you quoted Netanyahu saying there; that the view of the Israeli government of course is that this is a law-based state and that means everybody has to observe the law. So Muhammed Abu Khdeir; as I say we will know about the young man – his personality, his life – perhaps after his funeral. But for the moment the tragedy – his death – is surrounded in this kind of fog of sectarian hatred.”

Connolly then goes on to provide listeners with an interesting view of his understanding of why the residents of a neighbourhood of Jerusalem are rioting against the very security forces investigating the youth’s murder and trying to uncover the facts about the case.

“Well it’s inevitable when you have a large-scale police operation like this – as you’re going to have after an abduction or a murder; a big police inquiry – that is going to raise tensions in an Arab area of East Jerusalem like Shuafat or Beit Hanina. They’re right beside each other, I should say. So, the police operations will be resented by the Palestinians because of course in East Jerusalem – an Arab area annexed by Israel as Yolande said after it was captured in the war of 1967 – Israeli operations there will always be resented by Palestinians. The potential is always there for those kind of clashes between the Israeli police on the other as the investigation gets underway. But behind those  public order disturbances, which naturally attract our attention, a murder inquiry is underway and I would say there’ll be huge political pressure on the Israeli police to catch quickly the killers of Muhammed Abu Khdeir to demonstrate to the Palestinian people, to demonstrate to the wider world, that Israel takes his killing as seriously as it took the killing of those three teenagers whose abduction dominated the headlines here for three weeks.”

Atkins then moves on to speak with Rushdi Abualouf, who promotes a number of inaccurate points to listeners.

“Let’s bring in the BBC’s Rushdi Abualouf live with us from Gaza City. Well Rushdi, we spoke yesterday on ‘Outside Source’. You described air strikes. What’s happened in the 24 jours since?

Abualouf: “There was only one more airstrike on Gaza, targeting a place where militants did launch…eh…three more rockets toward the south of Israel. It’s been more, like, relatively quiet since the big…eh…wave of airstrikes – like 34 airstrikes is been targeting Hamas institutions in the Gaza Strip got hit shortly after the discovering of the three bodies – the three Israeli teenager bodies in the West Bank.”

Abualouf is clearly trying to promote the notion of linkage between the discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-ad Sha’ar on June 30th and the airstrikes carried out in the early hours of July 1st. However, that is not the case: those airstrikes came in response to the firing of over eighteen missiles at Israeli civilian communities in southern Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Abualouf then goes on to promote another falsehood.

“This morning the militants fired a couple of mortars towards one of the Israeli military outpost close to the border between Gaza and Israel and people are expecting Israel might, like, do more strikes tonight if the rockets from Gaza continue to fall in the south of Israel.”

In the incident Abualouf describes, nine mortars – not “a couple” – were fired at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom – a civilian agricultural community in the Eshkol region: not a “military outpost” as Abualouf inaccurately informs BBC audiences.

Atkins then asks Abualouf about the reaction to the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir in the Gaza Strip.

Abualouf: “”There was some sense of anger. We have talked to the people in Gaza about the incident. Some of them calling for revenge. Some of the militant group issued a statement, like, condemning and calling for revenge and they…in the past we have seen, like, militants from Gaza responding and firing rockets when something like this happening even in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem because they believe that they should fight to get the whole..the historical Palestine – which now called Israel – in their hands. The people do not believe in the peace process or the ’67 border. They normally insist to fire rockets when there is something happening any part in the Palestinian territory or East Jerusalem.”

There is of course no such thing as a “’67 border” – only Armistice lines from 1949 which, as we have clarified here on numerous occasions, are specifically stated not to be borders.

No effort was made by Atkins to correct that inaccurate statement by Rushdi Abualouf or any of the other misleading and inaccurate information he provided to BBC audiences. 

 

 

12 comments on “BBC’s Gaza correspondent tells WS listeners civilian kibbutz is ‘military outpost’

  1. Gosh… I never thought disinformation could reach this stage, and am talking about “BBC Watch.” As usual, the BBC is spot on – there is a military outpost located right next to Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

    Once again, we can see the dramatic difference between BBC reporting, done by professional journalists, and amateurish blogging on “BBC Watch” where people did not even check a map before writing.

  2. I understand the need to use non-inflammatory language. However, calling it a military outpost is not an ‘inaccuracy’: it’s what we refer to in English as a LIE.

    As to the silly attempt by the above troll to paint the BBC’s ongoing lies and demonisation of Israel as ‘professional journalism’: nobody sane buys that nonsense any longer.

    • Not to mention the troll’s dishonest use of deception to post posing as an extremist Zionist, all with the aim of discrediting this blog and those of us who comment here.

      One has to wonder who’s paying this revolting troll/sockpuppet to employ such dishonest and cowardly methods.

  3. Meanwhile, here is a vignette of the views on the BBC of ex-BBC senior business correspondent Jeff Randall, who has recently retired as presenter of the Sky News “Jeff Randall Live” business and politics show.

    “Randall criticised the BBC for being biased and left wing. He noted an occasion when he wore Union Jack cufflinks and a producer told him he could not wear them on air as it would be seen as an endorsement for the National Front. Randall also told of an occasion where he complained to a senior news executive about the BBC’s pro-multicultural stance. In a reply he was told “The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it” ” (Wikipedia).

  4. So, the police operations will be resented by the Palestinians because of course in East Jerusalem – an Arab area annexed by Israel as Yolande said after it was captured in the war of 1967

    Of course no mention that prior to Jordan’s illegal occupation east Jerusalem was predominately Jewish. Never a mention either of Jordan’s destruction of so many synagogues and their desecration of Jewish graves to use grave stones as latrines and paving stones.

    If your only source of information was the BBC you could be forgiven for believing that Jews never lived in Jerusalem and that was always an Arab city until 1967!

    http://www.sixdaywar.org/content/jordanianocuupationjerusalem.asp

    Islamization of East Jerusalem under Jordanian occupation

    Jewish Expulsions from Jerusalem — 1929, 1936, 1948

      • Now this is very interesting, somebody should tell Connolly and Yolande about this piece of history:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Quarter_%28Jerusalem%29#Jordanian_era

        The Jordanian commander is reported to have told his superiors: “For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter. Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews’ return here impossible.”[11][12] The Hurva Synagogue, originally built in 1701, was blown up by the Jordanian Arab Legion. During the nineteen years of Jordanian rule, a third of the Jewish Quarter’s buildings were demolished.[13] According to a complaint Israel made to the United Nations, all but one of the thirty-five Jewish houses of worship in the Old City were destroyed. The synagogues were razed or pillaged and stripped and their interiors used as hen-houses or stables.[10]

        In the wake of the 1948 war, the Red Cross accommodated Palestinian refugees in the depopulated and partly destroyed Jewish Quarter.[14] This grew into the Muaska refugee camp managed by UNRWA, which housed refugees from 48 locations now in Israel.[15] Over time many poor non-refugees also settled in the camp.[15] Conditions became unsafe for habitation due to lack of maintenance and sanitation.[15] Jordan had planned transforming the quarter into a park,[16] but neither UNRWA nor the Jordanian government wanted the negative international response that would result if they demolished the old Jewish houses.[15] In 1964 a decision was made to move the refugees to a new camp constructed near Shuafat.[15] Most of the refugees refused to move, since it would mean losing their livelihood, the market and the tourists, as well as reducing their access to the holy sites.[15] In the end, many of the refugees were moved to Shuafat by force during 1965 and 1966.

        Shuafat is the place from where the murdered Palestinian was allegedly abducted…

  5. Well, I quite openly describe the BBC to anyone (and I mean anyone) I speak to about this topic these days, as a Nazi organisation.

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