A filmed report by James Reynolds for BBC television news also appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page in the early hours of July 9th under the title “Israel steps up plans to stop rocket attacks from Gaza“.
Reynolds opens his report with images of people running for cover as the air-raid siren sounds, but viewers are not provided with any sort of context regarding the frequency of such events or how many missiles had been launched at Israeli towns and cities on the day of Reynolds’ report (117 missiles hit Israel on July 8th and a further 29 were intercepted).
“In Israel’s biggest city sirens ordered a scramble for cover. Tel Aviv is 40 miles from Gaza; within the range of Hamas rockets. As dusk fell, the police closed roads next to the border with Gaza.”
Reynolds does not inform viewers why those roads had to be closed. His report goes on with some more rare (for the BBC) footage of a warning of a missile attack, this time in Ashkelon.
“We filmed empty streets in Ashkelon, just seven miles from the Palestinian territory. We’re going in. There’s an alarm – let’s come on in. Everyone in this restaurant’s been told to come on through. This alarm means that there is a possible rocket coming in from Gaza and everyone has just a few seconds to get through to the shelter. Actually there isn’t a sh….this is as good as the shelter gets here.”
Woman: “We’re very afraid. We’re always here. We have no place to run.”
Reynolds: “The Israeli army has just released these pictures. They appear to show Palestinian gunmen coming in from the sea next to Gaza to attack Israel. Here, the army goes after the four infiltrators as they climb a hill. Israel is facing both gunmen and rockets.”
What those pictures do show – rather than merely “appear to show” as Reynolds claims –is an infiltration into Israeli territory from the sea at Zikim beach on the evening of July 8th. In contrast to Reynolds’ euphemistic portrayal of generic “Palestinian gunmen”, the attempted terror attack was in fact carried out by Hamas, which quickly claimed responsibility for the infiltration. The five (not four, as stated by Reynolds) terrorists were found to be carrying grenades and explosive devices and one Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in the shoot-out. The closed roads mentioned earlier in Reynolds’ report were actually part of the operation to ensure that no additional terrorists were in the area of the civilian community of Kibbutz Zikim.
The report then cuts to filmed footage of Israel’s prime minister speaking.
“Israel will not tolerate the firing of rockets on our cities and towns. We have therefore significantly expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza.”
“On the prime minister’s order the Israeli army has massed outside Gaza. The country awaits word of further offensives.”
As we see, even a BBC report ostensibly giving ‘the Israeli side of the story’ to television audiences provides no factual information regarding the scale and intensity of the missile attacks on Israeli civilians and Hamas involvement in a serious terrorist infiltration is whitewashed.