Selective BBC reporting on security issues

On November 21st the BBC News website published an article titled “Israel: ‘Hamas plot to kill FM Lieberman foiled’“. The article opened by erasing Hamas’ terror designation: obviously a relevant factor in a story about a Hamas plot to carry out a lethal terror attack.Lieberman plot

“Four Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli security forces over an alleged plot to kill Israel’s foreign minister with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said the group planned to assassinate Avigdor Lieberman during the Israel-Gaza conflict of July and August.

It said the men belonged to Hamas, the group which runs Gaza. Hamas said it had “no information about this issue”.”

However, BBC audiences were not told what else Hamas’ spokesman said:

“Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip although it is formally under Abbas’ rule, neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

“We have no information about this issue. However, we stress that leaders of the Occupation (Israel) who are responsible for the killing of children and women and for defiling the sacred sites are legitimate targets for the resistance,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.”

The article closes thus:

“The release of the information about the alleged plot comes at a time of heightened tension between Israel and Palestinians.

Palestinian militants killed five Israelis in an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem on Tuesday – the latest in a spate of deadly attacks in the city by members of militant groups, including Hamas.

Tensions have also soared over a disputed major holy site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and incidents including the killing by Israeli forces of an Israeli-Arab and a Palestinian in Hebron.”

Readers were not informed of the all-important context of the violent circumstances which led to the shooting of the two men and as we see, the BBC continues to promote the inaccurate notion of Temple Mount as a “disputed” site despite repeated announcements by the Israeli government that the status quo at the site will not be changed.

Notably, another announcement from the Israeli Security Agency made the previous day did not receive coverage from the BBC.

“The hit-and-run incident that wounded three soldiers in the West Bank two weeks ago was a deliberate attack rather than an accident, and the suspect — who has confessed — will be indicted in a few days, the Shin Bet security service said Thursday.

“Masalma initially tried to disguise the attack as a traffic accident, but under interrogation he admitted that it was a terror attack,” the agency said in a statement. “He also admitted that he had decided some time ago to commit an attack on soldiers.””

As readers may recall, at the time the BBC reported the incident in language which suggested a road traffic accident.

Likewise, the BBC has to date not reported the seizure of a shipment of weapons bound for Jerusalem.

“A massive amount of fireworks, knives and Tasers police believe were meant in part to be used by rioters clashing with police were seized last week by Jerusalem District detectives and officers from the Tax Authority and the Ashdod Port Customs, police announced on Thursday.

Police said the seizure came after Jerusalem detectives ran an undercover investigation along with the tax and customs officials, during which they were able to track and seize two shipping containers which came to Ashdod by way of China. The fireworks were hidden among Christmas decorations inside the containers, which were intended for Arab residents of the largely Christian east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.” 

The BBC policy of downplaying terrorism and its portrayal of Palestinians as victims lacking agency continues, including by omission. 

4 comments on “Selective BBC reporting on security issues

  1. “…The fireworks were hidden…”
    Duvidl remembers the Boston bombing, where store-bought fireworks were the explosives in the nail-filled pressure-cooker bombs. Omitting mention of this horrific terrorist plan for Gaza is the usual BBC Isra-hate propaganda covering up terrorist methodology. Look out London.

  2. Pingback: Overview of BBC reporting on recent violence and terror in Israel | BBC Watch

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