Coverage of the events in Jerusalem – and related events elsewhere – during the second half of July naturally appeared on a variety of BBC platforms (see ‘related articles’ below) but the information that will continue to be accessible to the general public as what the corporation calls ‘historical records’ is that published on the BBC News website.
So how will that story be perceived by anyone trying to understand it in the future? Comparing the timeline of actual events with the information provided in the relevant BBC reports allows us to answer that question.
Friday, July 14th:
07:00 – Three terrorists from Umm al Fahm attack and kill two Israeli policemen stationed at Lions’ Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. Temple Mount closed to civilians as police conduct investigation.
BBC report: “Israeli police killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site” (discussed here)
Events covered by the BBC: Terror attack lauded by Hamas. Mufti and al Aqsa preacher briefly detained by police. Waqf demands re-opening of site and calls for mass prayer in the streets. PA president Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack.
Events not reported by the BBC: Terror attack lauded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and outlawed northern Islamic Movement’s Raed Salah. Fatah issues statement condemning closure of site and calls for ‘rage’. Jordan demands immediate re-opening of site. PA president Mahmoud Abbas calls for reversal of site closure. Arab League and OIC condemn the closure – but not the terror attack. Firebomb attack in Jerusalem.
Saturday, July 15th:
Events not reported by the BBC: Temple Mount remains closed. Jordanian government spokesman demands that Israel open the site, despite ongoing police investigation. Demonstrations in Amman. Fatah incitement continues. Shooting attack in Ateret.
Sunday, July 16th:
Events covered by the BBC: 12:00 – Temple Mount re-opened to Muslim (only) visitors (briefly mentioned in a BBC report on another topic).
Events not reported by the BBC: Metal detectors installed at some of entry gates to Temple Mount: two gates in operation, around 600 worshippers visit. Waqf refuses to enter the site, instructs others to so the same and instigates protest. Jordanian parliament prays for perpetrators of Friday’s terror attack. Northern Islamic Movement incitement continues. Rioting continues.
Monday, July 17th:
Events not reported by the BBC: Temple Mount re-opened for non-Muslim visitors, three gates opened to Muslim visitors. Waqf issues statement condemning metal detectors and instructing Muslims to pray outside the site. Rioting and demonstrations continue; PLO’s Mustafa Barghouti participates. Fatah calls for a ‘Day of Rage’ on July 19th.
Tuesday, July 18th:
Wednesday, July 19th:
Events not reported by BBC: Temple Mount briefly closed to non-Muslim visitors. PA prime minister calls on international community to force Israel to remove metal detectors. Waqf instructs Jerusalem mosques to close on Friday and send congregations to the streets. Fatah declared ‘Day of Rage’ – violent demonstrations continue.
Thursday, July 20th:
Events not reported by the BBC: Police release video of preparations for terror attack including smuggling of weapons into al Aqsa mosque by accomplice. Although later reports told audiences that “Israel says” that weapons were smuggled into the site (but did not specifically mention the mosque), the video itself did not appear in any BBC content.
Friday, July 21st:
BBC reports: “East Jerusalem: Palestinians killed as holy site tensions soar” (discussed here), “Bethlehem: Israeli forces and Palestinians clash“, by Yolande Knell (discussed here), “Three Israelis stabbed to death in West Bank attack” (discussed here).
Events not reported by the BBC: Abbas announces $25 million budget to support ‘steadfastness’. Fatah incitement continues. Anti-Israel demonstrations in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Malaysia (demonstrations in Jordan briefly mentioned in later July 24 reports)
Part two of this post will examine the second week of BBC coverage of events.