As readers are no doubt aware, we compile a monthly review of the BBC News website’s coverage of terror attacks taking place in Israel. The month of October 2015 was – for obvious reasons – much more complicated to document and analyse than usual and hence this review has been somewhat delayed.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during October 2015 shows that throughout the month a total of 620 incidents took place: 485 in Judea & Samaria, 117 in Jerusalem, 7 inside the ‘green line’ and 11 incidents in the Gaza Strip including seven missiles fired in five separate attacks.
The agency recorded 483 attacks with petrol bombs, twenty-four shooting attacks (not including those originating in the Gaza Strip), 57 attacks using explosive devices, three vehicular attacks and 42 stabbing attacks.
Eleven people were killed in those attacks and eighty wounded – 37 of them moderately or severely. Four of the fatalities were the result of shooting attacks, five occurred in stabbing or combined shooting/stabbing attacks and two in vehicular attacks.
Most – but not all – of those fatalities were reported on the BBC News website. The murders of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin in a shooting attack near Itamar carried out by a Hamas cell on October 1st were covered in two BBC reports – here and here.
The murders of Aharon Banita-Bennett and Nehemia Lavi in a stabbing attack near Lions Gate on October 3rd were reported in an article which had to have its problematic headline changed several times and in a follow-up report.
The murder of Yeshayahu Krishevsky in a vehicular/stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Makor Baruch neighbourhood on October 13th was reported in an article which also noted the murders of Chaim Haviv and Alon Govberg during a combined shooting/stabbing attack on passengers on a city bus in Jerusalem earlier on the same day but did not name any of the victims of either attack. The death of a third victim of the same bus attack – Richard Lakin – two weeks later did not receive any BBC coverage.
The terror attack on October 18th at Be’er Sheva bus station in which Sgt Omri Levy and Eritrean national Habtom Zerhom were killed was covered in a BBC report. An additional article focusing on the investigation into the death of Habtom Zerhom, which appeared on the BBC News website between October 19th and 21st inclusive, inaccurately represented the victim’s name and age, calling him “Mr Mulu” aged 19.
In conclusion, of the eleven fatalities (ten Israelis and one foreign national) caused by Palestinian terror attacks during October 2015, ten were reported on the BBC News website and one was ignored. Five of the victims were named, one was identified inaccurately and four of the victims were not identified at all.
BBC reporting of the non-fatal terror attacks which took place during October 2015 was less consistent – as will be seen in part two of this post.