BBC continues to ignore Hizballah terror activity in Israel

On October 6th indictments were filed against six residents of the village of Ghajar in northern Israel for terrorism related offences.

Ghajar

Ghajar

“The ringleader of the cell was named as Diab Kahmouz, a resident of Ghajar, whose father — an alleged drug dealer — fled to Lebanon in 2006 after being indicted for his aforementioned activities and is believed to have made the connection between his son and Hezbollah, according to the indictment. […]

According to investigators, Diab Kahmouz made contact with Hezbollah operatives through his father in late 2015. The terror group instructed him to carry out an attack in Haifa, though he decided instead to bomb a bus stop at a junction near the northern Arab city of Tur’an, where soldiers tend to gather on Sunday mornings en route to their army bases.

The cell planned to carry out the attack with explosive devices that had been smuggled across the border in May, but were unable to locate the bag holding the bombs after Diab hid it in a grove near Metulla in northern Israel. On July 30, an Israeli farmer found the explosives in a field and handed them over to police, who determined that the bombs had been manufactured in Lebanon, a police spokesperson said Thursday.”

This is of course not the first time this year that Hizballah’s attempts to set up cells intended to carry out terror attacks against Israelis have been thwarted by the Israeli security services. A similar story came to light in February of this year and two additional cells were discovered in August. None of those stories were covered by the BBC’s correspondents in Jerusalem.

While refraining from providing audiences with any serious coverage of the issue of efforts by established terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizballah to conscript Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, the BBC continues to frame terrorism against Israelis as the spontaneous product of “frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation” – in a manner eerily similar to the dictates of the PLO’s guidance for foreign journalists.  

That narrative-dictated framing of course contributes to the BBC’s failure to meet its obligation to enhance audiences’ “awareness and understanding of international issues”.  

Related Articles:

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Hizballah terror activity against Israelis again ignored by BBC News

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The BBC News website’s muddled geography confuses audiences

On April 7th a report appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Israel admits its fire killed Spanish UN peacekeeper“. Readers are told:UNIFIL art

“A Spanish soldier who was killed in Lebanon in January died as a result of Israeli fire, Israel’s military says.

Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo was hit by Israeli artillery following a Hezbollah attack which killed two Israeli soldiers, according to a military statement.”

In fact, a senior IDF official had already confirmed that the UNIFIL soldier was accidentally killed by IDF fire back in January when the incident took place.

The BBC’s report continues:

“The 36-year-old UN peacekeeper was killed near the village of Ghajar, in the Shebaa Farms area, on 28 January.”

The uninformed reader would obviously take that sentence to mean that the Spanish soldier was killed in a district called the Shebaa Farms, near a village called Ghajar located in that area. Seeing as the Shebaa Farms area (Har Dov) is located on the Israeli side of the ‘Blue Line, the implication is therefore that the soldier was in Israel at the time of his death. In fact, although the soldier may have been “near the village of Ghajar” (his position was apparently around one kilometer to the north-east), he was actually on the Lebanese side of the border where all UNIFIL forces are stationed. 

In addition, the BBC’s suggestion that Ghajar is in the Shebaa Farms (Har Dov) area is in itself inaccurate: Ghajar is part of the Golan Heights and its residents are Alawites – originally Syrian and holding Israeli citizenship since 1981.

Ghajar map

Click to enlarge

Even the BBC’s own map of the region does not place Ghajar in the Shebaa Farms area but nevertheless, the latter half of this short report is devoted to the standard insert on the Shebaa Farms seen in previous BBC coverage of the January cross-border attack by Hizballah. As was the case then, that insert is superfluous seeing as the story has nothing to do with the topic of the Shebaa Farms/Har Dov dispute and the incidents which are its subject matter did not take place within that area.

Ghajar BBC map

Notably, a subject which is relevant to this report gets no mention whatsoever: at no point are readers informed that the task of the UNIFIL forces with which Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo served is to monitor adherence to UN Resolution 1701, according to which Hizballah should have been disarmed years ago and should not be operating south of the Litani River. Had the UN made efforts to enforce that unanimous UNSC decision, the accidental death of the soldier could of course have been avoided.

Ghajar

Ghajar

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Patchy BBC reporting on Hizballah attacks in northern Israel