Earlier this year, we documented the BBC’s long-standing avoidance of any serious, in-depth reporting on the subject of collaboration between Hamas and the ISIS franchise operating in the Sinai Peninsula.
Back in August 2013 the BBC’s Yolande Knell told audiences that:
“Cairo has repeatedly accused Hamas of interfering in Egyptian affairs and has accused Palestinians of supporting Islamist militants in the increasingly restive Sinai region.”
Failing to provide any objective information concerning those Egyptian claims, she then promoted the following statement from Hamas’ Ghazi Hamad:
“They have a plan in order to distort the image of Gaza in order to start propaganda and media campaign against Gaza, against Hamas, in order to show Gaza is like a devil and Hamas is like a devil,” Mr Hamed [sic] said.
“I think they succeeded to do this on the Egyptian street, in the Egyptian society.”
In October 2014 the BBC told its audiences that:
“Egyptian media accuses Gaza’s Hamas administration of aiding militants in Sinai. Hamas denies the charge.”
In September 2015 the BBC amplified a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW):
“The [Egyptian] military aims to eventually clear an area of about 79 sq km (30 sq miles) along the Gaza border, including all of the town of Rafah, which has a population of about 78,000 people, HRW says.
The government says the operation will allow the military to close smuggling tunnels it alleges are used by jihadists to receive weapons, fighters and logistical help from Palestinian militants in Gaza.
But HRW said little or no evidence had been offered to support this justification, citing statements from Egyptian and Israeli officials that suggested weapons were more likely to have been obtained from Libya or captured from the Egyptian military.” [emphasis added]
In March 2016, Yolande Knell told BBC audiences that:
“Palestinians are also alleged to have treated injured IS fighters. I cross into Gaza where Hamas officials strongly deny the claims.”
Viewers then heard from Ghazi Hamad.
“We will not allow for anyone from Gaza now to do anything against or to damage or to harm the national security of Egypt and we will not allow for anyone from Sinai to come to use Gaza as a shelter.”
Despite the BBC’s repeated amplification of Hamas denials of collaboration with the ISIS affiliate in Sinai, we now learn from that latter organisation itself of the existence of a “liaison” between it and Hamas.
“ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula has announced that its liaison to Hamas—Hashem Abdel Aileh Kishtah has been killed. However, the group didn’t reveal how their liaison to the Palestinian terror group died.
ISIS released a statement on the matter on Tuesday. Kishtah was originally from the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza strip.
Kishtah’s name was first revealed when it was mistakenly announced via Sky News Arabic that the Egyptian Air Force had assassinated him in February of 2016. He was referred to as a high-ranking official in the Hamas Izzadin al-Qassam military brigade. […]
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai mentioned Kishtah’s name several times when speaking about the relationship and cooperation which exists between ISIS and Hamas.”
Yet again we see that BBC audiences are not receiving the full range of information which would enhance their understanding of this “international issue“.