During 2016 we documented several incidents of attempts to smuggle terror-related equipment and goods into the Gaza Strip – none of which was considered newsworthy by the BBC.
“The number of attempt to smuggle goods from Israel into the Gaza Strip rose 165% in 2016, the Ministry of Defense Land Crossings Authority reported today.
The Land Crossings Authority’s figures show that attempts to smuggle forbidden goods and items to the Gaza Strip increased over the past year. Such items are banned due to concern about strengthening Hamas and other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
The goods involved include military clothing items, laser systems, metal balls, aluminum and metal pipes, snappling equipment, diving suits, model airplanes, drones, disassembled commercial vehicles, engines, etc. […]
Ministry of Defense figures show that 175,000 trucks carried goods of various kinds to the Gaza Strip in 2016, and that 1,126 smuggling attempts were stopped.”
On the one hand, BBC audiences have frequently seen or heard restrictions on the movement of people and specific categories of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip inaccurately described as “collective punishment” or a “siege”. On the other hand, since the end of the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, the BBC has shown no interest whatsoever in informing its audiences of terror-related smuggling attempts.
The result is that when the BBC tells its audiences that “Israel says” the restrictions on the import of weapons and dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip are for reasons of security, they have insufficient information to be able to put that statement – and the restrictions themselves – into the correct context.
Obviously the BBC – which claims to be impartial and is tasked with building audience understanding of “international issues” – should be reporting stories such as those above in order to help its audiences understand the real reasons for the counter-terrorism measures which include restrictions on the entry of specific items to the Gaza Strip.