Some context to the BBC’s ‘reporter in the Gaza rubble’ features

Back in October 2014 the BBC produced several reports on the subject of the Cairo donor conference aimed at securing funding for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip after the two-month long war initiated by Hamas in the summer of that year.Cairo conf art

BBC audiences were told that:

“International donors have pledged $5.4bn (£3.4bn) for the Palestinians at a conference in Cairo.

The total, announced by the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Boerge Brende, exceeded the $4bn (£2.5bn) the Palestinian Authority had asked for.

Half the sum would be “dedicated” to work in Gaza, he said, without specifying a use for the other half.”

Since then – and in particular around the time of the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict – the BBC has frequently promoted the topic of the slow pace of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, often inaccurately claiming or insinuating that border restrictions introduced by Israel to combat Hamas terrorism are to blame. Notably, the corporation has devoted considerably less attention to the issue of Hamas’ misappropriation of construction materials for the purpose of terrorism.

Now the World Bank has published an interesting document titled ‘Reconstructing Gaza – Donor Pledges’ in which the pledges made by various countries at the Cairo donor conference – and the amounts actually delivered since then – are detailed. The bottom line is that only some 40% of the pledged financial aid has actually been delivered but it is worth reading the document in full to see which countries have made good on their promises and which have not.

Next time the BBC sends Yolande Knell or Lyse Doucet to the Gaza Strip to do one of their signature ‘reporter in the rubble’ dispatches, it will be interesting to see whether or not they remember to inform audiences that countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have not delivered the full amount of funds they pledged for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.


6 comments on “Some context to the BBC’s ‘reporter in the Gaza rubble’ features

  1. I am always fascinated by the BBC’s obsession with Gaza and it’s ‘mounds of rubble’. Recirculated. And recirculated. One never sees a picture of the Gaza shopping malls. Or the country clubs.

    And never see on the BBC recirculated pictures of mounds of rubble is Syria. And Iraq. And Yemen.

    Just …. Gaza.

    Why is that?

  2. You are so right, Felix. A friend sent me some pictures of magnificent shopping malls, hotels etc., with Arabic writing on them and asked rhetorically: is this Dubai, Doha, etc.? No, it was Gaza!

  3. I forgot to mention the Banksy illustration (Banksy is a big fan of Gaza). He left a magnificent illustration on a rubble wall as a donation to a ruined village but instead the authorities purloined it and took it away and sold it for hundreds of thousands and the village got nothing.

  4. While on the subject of Gaza, how come so many eminent Brits go to Gaza to act as unpaid (or perhaps paid) propagandists for Hamas? They include Sir Geoffrey Nice, who is counsel to Hamas and propagandises in its favour at Gresham College in London while never mentioning the fact that they are lining his pockets and the surgeon, David Nott, recently featured on “Desert Island Discs” who performed operations in Gaza in an operating theatre above ground while Hamas operatives were cowering in the underground operating theatre designed for war situations which they had misappropriated. The hospital was bombed in a Hamas “own goal” which they of course blamed on the IDF which never attacked the hospital, as was confirmed by U.N. observers.

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