As our CAMERA colleague Tamar Sternthal recently noted, a Palestinian victim of a terror attack which took place at Alon Shvut junction on November 18th – Shadi Arafa from Hebron – has been falsely described by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) as having been killed by Israeli forces.
As readers may recall, the PCHR was one of the sources relied upon by UNOCHA for the compilation of casualty figures and civilian/combatant ratios in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas. Those figures were unquestioningly quoted, promoted – and defended – by the BBC without any independent verification.
Moreover, the PCHR was the source of serious allegations concerning ‘war crimes’ which appeared in BBC content less than 24 hours after the beginning of the conflict and the organisation’s head was interviewed by the BBC on several occasions.
Of course the PCHR also promoted inaccurate claims concerning the cause of the death of Omar Masharawi in 2012.
“Readers no doubt recall the tragic incident in which the infant son of a BBC employee was killed in November 2012 by what the BBC – and the PCHR – claimed at the time was an Israeli airstrike.
“…an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house… Two members of the family (a woman and a toddler) were killed: Hiba Aadel Fadel al-Masharawi, 19, and Omar Jihad al-Masharawi, 11 months. Additionally, a child from the same family was wounded”.
A UN HRC report later determined that the deaths had been caused by a short-falling missile fired by one of the terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip.”
It remains to be seen whether this latest example of PCHR dishonesty will do anything to convince the BBC that it is not a reliable and unbiased source of information worthy of unchallenged promotion by a corporation committed to accurate and impartial reporting.