The lead item on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on January 5th was a report titled “Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: Why did Egypt want CBS interview pulled?” which opened by telling readers that:
“The CBS television network says it has rejected a request by Egypt’s envoy to the US not to broadcast an interview with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
The 60 Minutes programme cited Mr Sisi as confirming the Egyptian military was working with Israel to combat jihadist militants in the Sinai peninsula.”
The latter part of the report stated:
“CBS said the president also “confirmed his military was working with Israel against terrorists in North Sinai”, where attacks by an affiliate of the jihadist group Islamic State has left hundreds of security personnel and civilians dead.
Asked if the co-operation with Israel was the “closest ever”, Mr Sisi reportedly responded: “That is correct… We have a wide range of co-operation with the Israelis.” […]
Mr Sisi’s reported confirmation of military co-operation with Israel over North Sinai might also be controversial in Egypt. The two countries fought four wars before signing a peace treaty in 1979.
In February, the New York Times reported that the president had approved a covert Israeli air campaign in North Sinai that had resulted in more than 100 strikes by unmarked drones, helicopters and jets.
However, Egypt’s military insisted at the time that only Egyptian security forces were confronting militants in the region and warned local media not to report “unreliable information”.
When asked about Mr Sisi’s interview with CBS on Friday, an Israeli military spokesperson told the BBC: “We do not comment on foreign reports.””
Those who rely on the BBC for their news of course lack the background information necessary to understand the topic of any cooperation between Israel and Egypt in efforts to contain the branch of ISIS operating in the Sinai Peninsula.
In 2017 the BBC News website completely ignored no fewer than five separate missile attacks carried out by that group against Israel and the topic of relations between Hamas and Wilayat Sinai has not been the subject of any serious BBC reporting. BBC Monitoring’s profile of the Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai) group still includes inaccurate information.
Despite mentioning the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, the BBC’s report fails to clarify to readers that what “might also be controversial in Egypt” includes the fact that Egypt’s campaign against the ISIS terrorists has repeatedly included securing Israel’s agreement to increases in troop numbers and weapons deployment in the Sinai Peninsula beyond those permitted under the terms of the 1979 treaty.
Once again the BBC has passed up on the opportunity to provide audiences with background necessary for full understanding of that story.