Readers may recall that back in August 2015 the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ aired an interview with a person described as “a Canadian-Palestinian physician” who falsely told BBC audiences that there is a “siege” on the Gaza Strip that prevents the entry of medical equipment.
“I had attended the war in Gaza in 2012. I’ve been working there for about the last five years and while I was there we had patients coming in – no equipment because the siege has gotten so bad even though it’s medical equipment – and we had to listen to patients’ chests by putting our ears to their chests which is exactly what we would have done 200 years ago.” [emphasis added]
As was noted here at the time:
“…in addition to being a doctor, Kuwait-born Tarek Loubani (who moved to Canada at the age of ten) is a veteran political activist who in 2003 was arrested near Jenin and deported from Israel due to his activities with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Loubani was also arrested in Egypt in 2013 whilst trying to enter the Gaza Strip and in 2014 was detained at Ben Gurion airport.
Tarek Loubani’s promotion of the Hamas narrative of a “siege” on the Gaza Strip and his promotion of the falsehood that Israel does not allow the import of medical equipment therefore does not come as a surprise.”
On May 16th visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘US & Canada’ page heard from Loubani once again in a report titled “Trudeau ‘appalled’ Canadian doctor was wounded in Gaza“.
“Tarek Loubani says he was shot in the leg while providing medical services to protesters along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Dr Loubani said paramedics had worn fluorescent high visibility jackets to identify themselves as medics. […]
Dr Loubani said he was shot late in the morning and received a “moderate” wound to his left calf and minor injuries to his right knee.
He said he and was standing outside the protest area when he was wounded.
Dr Loubani wrote: “I was facing in a southerly direction talking to a colleague. The snipers were situated east of us.
“I was wearing visible full hospital greens. There was no active shooting from the Israelis immediately before or after. There were no protesters in our immediate vicinity.””
The BBC’s report also provides readers with a link to a blogpost written by Loubani:
“Dr Loubani, an emergency physician who practises in London, Ontario, and at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza, said in a blog post that one paramedic was killed and several others were wounded on Monday as Israeli troops opened fire during the protests.”
In that BBC promoted blogpost Loubani wrote:
“Despite our efforts to clearly identify ourselves as first responders, several of our medical team were wounded by Israeli live fire. One paramedic, Musa Abuhassanin, was killed while attempting a victim rescue under fire. One hour before he was shot in the thorax and killed, Musa was one of my rescuers when I was shot by live ammunition.”
Loubani also provided photographs of the ‘paramedic’.
However, as pointed out at the ‘Israellycool’ blog, a photograph of Captain Musa Abuhassanin also appeared on a poster released by Hamas showing some of its members killed on May 14th.
The BBC’s report was published late on the evening of May 16th. The Hamas poster identifying the ‘paramedic’ as a member of the terror organisation’s internal security apparatus had been made public by the afternoon of the previous day.
Once again it would appear that the BBC did not exercise due diligence by carrying out adequate background research and fact checking before amplifying Tarek Loubani’s politically motivated claims.