Back in December 2014 the BBC News website produced a report which was misleadingly headlined “EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list”. The following month the Council of the European Union decided to appeal the court decision that was the subject of that article but the BBC News website did not cover that chapter of the story.
An article appearing on the website’s Europe page (though not on its Middle East page) on September 22nd under the title “EU advised to drop Hamas and Tamil Tigers from terror list” opened with a summary of the story so far.
“The EU may have to remove Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Sri Lankan separatist Tamil Tigers from its list of terrorist organisations, a top European Court adviser has said.
The Court ruled in 2014 they should be taken off the list on technical grounds, not as a reassessment of their classification as a terrorist group.
The Council of the EU, which represents all 28 governments, launched an appeal.
Now the European Court adviser has recommended the appeal be rejected.
The opinion of the adviser, known as the Advocate General, is not final but is generally followed when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivers its judgement.”
As was the case in the December 2014 report, the article goes on to amplify the Hamas narrative of ‘resistance’ and to provide incomplete information concerning the countries which proscribe Hamas as a terror organisation.
“Hamas has always argued it is a resistance movement rather than a terrorist organisation, although under its charter it is committed to Israel’s destruction. It is seen as a terrorist group by the EU, US, Canada and Japan.”
As the BBC’s own profile of Hamas states, Israel also designates Hamas. In addition, Australia designates Hamas’ Izz al Din Al Qassam Brigades as a terrorist organisation, as do New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Like the December 2014 report, this one too gives a whitewashed account of Hamas’ violent take-over of the Gaza Strip.
“After winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas ousted its Fatah rivals from Gaza the following year and has since fought three conflicts with Israel.”
The caption to the image illustrating the report similarly states:
“Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 and has since been involved in three conflicts with Israel”.
Remarkably, in an article all about Hamas’ terror designation in the EU, the BBC did not find it necessary to provide readers with factual information concerning Hamas’ long history of terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including the thousands of missile attacks which brought about those tepidly portrayed “three conflicts”.