BBC News promotes and amplifies falsehood that Israel deliberately targets civilians

The BBC News website’s main article on the second day of Operation Protective Edge –July 9th – underwent amendment numerous times (available to view here) until reaching its fourteenth and final version. Currently going under the title “Hamas fires rockets amid Israeli air strikes on Gaza“, its first four versions were titled “Hamas fires rockets at Israeli cities after Gaza offensive”, thus misleadingly suggesting to BBC audiences that the firing of missiles by terrorists from the Gaza Strip is a response to Israeli actions, rather than the exact opposite, which is actually the case.Op PE main art 9 7

The first eleven versions of that article used the sub-heading “War crime” – as did the previous day’s main report – in the section of the report relating to the incident on the morning of July 8th in Khan Younis in which Palestinians acting as ‘human shields’ were killed after a warning had been given to the building’s occupants to vacate the premises.

The report’s final version was not updated to include accurate figures.

“Israel said it had intercepted 15 rockets on Wednesday, including eight over Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Ashdod.” […]

“It [the IDF] said 117 rockets had hit Israel on Tuesday, with the Iron Dome interceptor system shooting down 20. Three rockets landed around Jerusalem.” […]

“Some 48 rockets were fired at Israel on Wednesday, the military said. Iron Dome intercepted two rockets above Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, three over Ashkelon and three over Ashdod.

The town of Hadera 100km (60 miles) north of Gaza, was also attacked, with an M-302 surface-to-surface rocket, the furthest target so far reached.”

The figures provided by the IDF are actually as follows:

Tuesday July 8th: 117 missiles fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel. A further 29 (not 20 as the BBC claims) were intercepted.

Wednesday July 9th: 90 missiles (not 48 as the BBC claims) fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel. A further 24 (not 15 as claimed by the BBC) were intercepted.

No explanation is provided to readers regarding the origins of that M-302 missile which hit Hadera and they are not informed that a shipment of such Syrian-made missiles was intercepted as recently as March of this year or of Iran’s role in the smuggling of such weapons to the Gaza Strip.

With regard to Palestinian casualties, this report does at least acknowledge that some are not civilians, although it does not inform readers that they are terrorists.

“Reports from Gaza said at least eight people had been killed in the latest Israeli air strikes.

Gaza officials say 35 Palestinians have now died in the recent hostilities, with 150 more injured.

The officials say half of the casualties are civilians, a number of them women and children.”

Under the sub-heading ‘No safe haven’, the report promotes and amplifies what the BBC knows full well to be a baseless allegation from an official belonging to what it equally well knows is a politically motivated NGO.

“The head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, Raji Sourani, accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians.

He told the BBC: “There is no safe haven in this place and Palestinian civilians are once again in the eye of the storm and are paying heavily. Israelis.. are trying to pressure militant groups through targeting civilians.” ” [emphasis added]

A report produced by UN OCHA on the same day as this article was published – July 9th – clearly states in relation to the subject of civilian casualties:

“In most cases, prior to the attacks, residents have been warned to leave, either via phone calls by the Israel military or by the firing of warning missiles.”

In fact, the IDF usually used both methods of prior warning, as well as leafleting. No effort is made by the BBC, however, to inform audiences of those attempts to safeguard civilians. Likewise, no attempt is made to clarify to readers that the residential buildings targeted are dual-use buildings which also serve as command and control centres for terrorist organisations and/or missile launching/storage.

Equally absent from this BBC report – and other – is clarification to audiences on the issue of Hamas’ use of ‘human shields’: a practice which of course deliberately escalates the number of civilian casualties for propaganda purposes. Below is an interview dating from the first day of the operation – July 8th – on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV with Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zukhri in which – instead of urging civilians to take cover, he promotes the ‘human shield’ strategy.  

Neither is any mention made of the practice by Hamas and other terrorist organisations of storing and firing missiles in residential areas, thus endangering the local population.

Another notable aspect of this BBC report is its very brief and anodyne reference to the part being played by the Palestinian Authority in current events.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Israel immediately stop the raids on Gaza and appealed for calm.”

The BBC does not inform audiences that Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party has posted incitement and inflammatory messaging on its social media accounts or that Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have claimed responsibility for some of the hundreds of missiles fired at Israeli civilian targets.

Fatah Facebook 9 7

So as we see, in addition to amplifying Hamas propaganda on “war crimes” and the false claim that Israel deliberately targets civilians, this article deliberately avoids telling BBC audiences about a whole variety of issues of which they need to be informed in order to fully understand the subject to which the report supposedly relates.  



17 comments on “BBC News promotes and amplifies falsehood that Israel deliberately targets civilians

  1. good this is made public… how many times has bbc had 2 apologize 4 the same things over the last year? 4 at least

  2. An unusually fair report on what’s happening in Gaza, although it’s a pity the interviewer didn’t point out that Hamas is actively calling for civilians to act as “human” shields:
    Hamas Defends Rocket Attacks on Israel
    “Hamas defends rocket attacks, refuses to condemn teenagers’ killing”

    Maybe it’s true that “In the new Middle East, scapegoating Israel for the region’s woes is no longer the handy, catch-all device that it once was. That’s bad news for Hamas and Fatah”.

  3. Let’s not forget that Israel not Hamas is in breach of UN resolutions and no amount of spin and distortion is going to change the fact that Israel occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people is illegal no matter how many Palestinians Israel kill

    Israel targets civilians and with all the sophisticated US supplied weapons has manged to kill hundred of unarmed Palestinians yet Hamas the legitimate representative of the Palestinians, so elected in a US Supervised election, have managed, with their crude rockets to so far avoid killing Israelis civilians.

    • Lydia, you’re a complete tit.
      If Hamas haven’t managed to kill any Israeli civilians yet, that’s certainly not for lack of their trying. It’s purely down to the defensive systems, infrastructure and proceduresthe israelis have taken care to put in place.

      • “Lydia” is the transexual, troll/sockpuppet suffering from multiple personality disorder.

          • It also infests Cif Watch, you’ll note the similar writing style. It also posts here pretending to be a “Zionist” bad mouthing Netanyahu and the Israeli government calling for the expulsion of all Arabs, to give the impression that commenters here are racist extremists.

            It’s difficult to ban because it uses constantly changing names and confesses to using Tor to post from constantly changing proxies.

            I did point it to this:


  4. No-one is pointing out that Hamas is targeting civilians all over Israel. What are we? All soldiers, including children? Or are we non-persons?

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