Some four hours after terrorists in the Gaza Strip began launching an intense barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israeli communities on the morning of May 4th the BBC News website posted a fifty-second long filmed report titled “Dozens of rockets launched into Israel” on its Middle East page.
Using the passive voice to describe rocket fire and the active voice to describe the subsequent response, the video told viewers that: [emphasis added]
“Dozens of rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel. Explosions could be seen in the sky above Ashkelon in Israel. Israel responded with air strikes and tank fire on Gaza City. The Gaza authorities said one Palestinian had been killed. On Friday two Hamas militants were killed after two Israeli soldiers were injured by gunfire on Gaza’s border.”
In contrast to the BBC’s claim, the Israeli responses, including tank fire, were not aimed at “Gaza City” but at military targets belonging to Hamas’ ‘Qassam’ brigades and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. As usual the BBC did not bother to inform its audiences that “the Gaza authorities” are in fact one and the same as the organisation responsible for the missile fire against Israeli civilians. The people euphemistically described by the BBC as “militants” were in fact confirmed by Hamas as being members of its so-called ‘military wing’.
Roughly twelve hours later, in the early hours of May 5th, that video was taken down and another uploaded to the same URL.
Titled “Hundreds of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel” the video tells BBC audiences that: [emphasis added]
“Palestinian militants have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel following violence at the Gaza-Israel border on Friday. Israel responded with dozens of air strikes on Gaza which continued into Saturday evening. Israel’s missile defence system intercepted many of the rockets. But several hit Israeli homes causing damage and injuries. Israel said it was striking at Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant targets. Several Palestinians were killed and injured with a baby among those killed, officials in Gaza said. Four Palestinians, including two militants, were killed on Friday after two Israeli soldiers were injured by gunfire on Gaza’s border.”
Once again no effort was made to inform viewers of the fact that “officials in Gaza” in fact means the terror group Hamas. That omission is especially relevant because, in contrast to the impression given in the BBC’s video, the baby concerned was not killed as a result of Israeli actions but by a short-fall rocket fired by one of the Gaza Strip based terror factions.
Moreover, we can determine that the BBC knows that because in a written report published on the BBC News website on May 4th we find the following:
“One Israeli was killed by shrapnel, while Israeli fire killed four Palestinians, including a mother and her baby daughter, Gaza officials say.
However, Israel said the mother and baby were killed by a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.”
An additional article published on the morning of May 5th states:
“But Hamas, which controls Gaza, says a total of four Palestinians have been killed.
It says the dead include a woman and her 14-month-old daughter. But Israel says the mother and baby may have been killed by a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.”
Notably, despite multiple complaints from BBC Watch, the BBC has still not corrected false claims concerning the death of another baby girl in the Gaza Strip which it broadcast and published a year ago.
BBC Watch has written to the BBC News website regarding this inaccurate and misleading video.