The BBC News website reported that story in an article titled “Palestinians in Israeli jails end 40-day hunger strike” which appeared on the site’s main home page, ‘World’ page and Middle East page on May 27th.
“More than 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails ended a mass hunger strike against detention conditions.
Israeli officials said the move – at the start of the holy month of Ramadan – came after an agreement to allow two family visits per month, not just one.”
Seeing as no other body is mentioned by the BBC, readers would be likely to understand that the number of monthly family visits is dictated by Israel. However, as the Times of Israel reports, that is not the whole story.
“According to the prisons service, an agreement was reached after talks that involved the Red Cross to end the strike before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins Saturday. The prisons service denied Palestinian claims that strike leader Marwan Barghouti had negotiated with Israeli officials.
The prisons service said the prisoners would now get an extra family visit per month, one of the prisoner demands that is administered solely by the Red Cross.
The Red Cross had reduced the visits from two to one per month about a year ago because they said they lacked the funds to pay for them and most times no relatives were showing up. The Palestinian Authority has agreed to pay for the new visits.
Israel said none of the other Palestinian demands had been met.” [emphasis added]
As noted here previously, Marwan Barghouti had presented the Israeli Prison Service with a list of nineteen demands.
Channel 2 News reports that the cost of the second monthly visit to be funded by the Palestinian Authority (which is of course permanently shored up by foreign donations) is $6 million per annum.
Like several previous BBC reports, this latest article amplifies PLO messaging by promoting the notion that convicted terrorists can be seen as ‘political prisoners’.
“Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners. Many have been convicted of attacks against Israelis and other offences.”
The BBC’s coverage of the distinctly less than unanimous ‘hunger strike’ by some Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli prisons has been generous – see ‘related articles’ below – but rife with omission. While the BBC repeatedly told its audiences over the last 40 days that the strike’s aim was to “protest detention conditions”, it did not inform them what those conditions entail or exactly what the strikers were demanding. Neither did any of its reports clarify the political background to the strike which was rooted in internal Fatah power struggles.
Those repeated omissions and others mean that BBC audiences have not been provided with comprehensive, accurate and objective reporting of this story.