Last year we noted the significance of the BBC’s failure to adequately inform its audiences about Palestinian violations of agreements signed with Israel within the framework of the Oslo Accords concerning freedom of access and worship at holy sites located in areas under Palestinian Authority control.
“Obviously Israeli Jews are not able to visit the synagogue in Gaza City today and visits to additional sites on that list are either virtually impossible or severely restricted. Some of those holy and historically important sites have been vandalised, including Joseph’s Tomb which – as the BBC reported at the time – was set ablaze by Palestinian rioters in October 2015.
The last time the BBC showed any interest in such a story was in March and that was because two Palestinians were killed while throwing explosive devices at soldiers securing visitors.
In that report readers were told that Joseph’s Tomb in Schem (Nablus) “has been a source of friction in the past” but the BBC refrained from clarifying that “friction” actually means repeated Palestinian attacks on both the site itself and the security forces guarding visiting worshipers.
This week the Israeli media reported that during the monthly visit:
“IDF forces found a pipe bomb near Joseph’s Tomb during preparations before the arrival of 1,200 Jewish worshipers to the compound in Nablus. The bomb was neutralized in a controlled explosion.
Disturbances broke out as the worshipers entered the tomb, as rioters burned tires and threw stones at IDF forces. The soldiers responded with riot dispersal means, and the prayer services continued undisturbed.”
Under the terms of its charter the BBC is of course obliged to “provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them”. While in recent weeks the corporation has repeatedly amplified a PA promoted narrative touting the demise of its interpretation of the two-state solution, the BBC continues to be notably less interested in informing audiences about the Palestinian Authority’s failure to uphold agreements already signed nearly a quarter of a century ago.