At around 9 p.m. on the evening of August 8th residents of Ashkelon and the Hof Ashkelon district in the western Negev had to scramble for cover as sirens warned of an incoming missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
“The army said the projectile struck an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
No injuries were immediately reported, and soldiers were searching the area, the IDF said.”
Several hours later Israel responded with strikes on two Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip.
Despite at least one employee at the BBC’s Gaza office being aware of those events, the attack did not receive any coverage.
Since the beginning of 2017 thirteen separate incidents of missile fire from either the Gaza Strip or the Sinai Peninsula have taken place. The BBC’s English language services have not informed audiences of any of those attacks.
The pattern of reporting whereby the vast majority of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip are not covered in the English language but Israel’s response to those attacks is sometimes reported in Arabic has been in evidence since the end of the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas. Throughout 2016 just one of the ten attacks that took place received BBC coverage in the English language.
A similar policy of omission appears to have been adopted regarding missile attacks perpetrated by a terrorist group located in a neighbouring country, with all of the four attacks launched from the Sinai Peninsula since the beginning of 2017 having been ignored by the BBC’s English language services.