UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness is in the news again after having put out a press release which implies spurious linkage between infant mortality in the Gaza Strip and the ‘blockade’ of that territory which of course only includes restrictions on dual-use goods.
Unlike its favourite newspaper The Guardian, the BBC has so far refrained from amplifying that questionable story – which is undoubtedly fortunate seeing as Gunness’ claim that infant mortality in the Gaza Strip has risen ‘for the first time in fifty years’ is considerably undermined by the fact that in 2009 the BBC reported that: [emphasis added]
“The UN Relief and Works agency (UNRWA) in Gaza told the BBC that public health was suffering as a result of inadequate and unsanitary water supplies, and there had been a rise in infant mortality.
UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said thousands of tonnes of sewage were being pumped into the sea every day, because material for rebuilding treatment plants and other facilities was so scarce.”
As has regrettably been necessary to clarify here on numerous occasions due to the BBC’s own repeated promotion of the myth that the shortage of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip is due to Israeli counter-terrorism measures, that chronic shortage is in fact due entirely to long-running disputes between the Palestinian Ministries of Health in Gaza and Ramallah.
The credibility issues which obviously arise from Gunness’ manipulation of this story for propaganda and political campaigning purposes are (unfortunately for BBC audiences seeking accurate and impartial information) of course unlikely to have any effect on his frequent BBC appearances or his apparent ability to influence BBC content.