On July 26th the BBC News website posted a report headlined “Abbas: Palestinians to halt agreements with Israel” on its ‘Middle East’ page.
The report relates to statements made by Mahmoud Abbas the previous evening at a meeting of PA leaders in Ramallah.
“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will no longer abide by previous agreements made with Israel.
His announcement followed an emergency meeting after Israel razed Palestinian buildings it said were illegally built on the edge of Jerusalem.
Agreements signed over the past 25 years cover many spheres of activity, including security co-operation.
Israel has not yet responded to the move.
Mr Abbas said a committee would be formed to work out how to implement the decision.”
That link leads readers to the BBC’s July 22nd report on the demolitions in Sur Baher and a further 53 words in this report are devoted to the same topic, along with a video and a partisan map produced by the political NGO B’tselem which has previously appeared on numerous occasions in BBC content.
Towards the end of the report readers are correctly informed that:
“Mr Abbas has previously threatened to annul past agreements with Israel but this has never been implemented.”
Notably, they are not told why Abbas has never followed through on those threats.
The most interesting feature of this article however is what it leaves out of its account of Mahmoud Abbas’ statements. The words of the PA president whose term of office expired over a decade ago are portrayed as follows:
“Mr Abbas blamed Israel for the latest step, accusing it of reneging on agreements first.
“In light of the insistence of the occupation authority [Israel] to deny all the signed agreements and their obligations, we announce the decision of the leadership to stop working in accordance with the agreements signed with the Israeli side,” he was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, as saying.”
Evidently the BBC is familiar with the Wafa report but chose to exclude the more problematic parts of Abbas’ speech from audience view, including the false claim that “hundreds” of people were “displaced” in Sur Baher, the employment of the ‘apartheid’ canard and the lies concerning fictitious “attacks” by “settlers” on “Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher [sic]”.
The BBC also chose to erase from audience view the part of the speech in which – as reported by Khaled Abu Toameh at the Jerusalem Post – Abbas once again spoke of reconciliation with the terrorist organisation Hamas.
“Abbas reached out to Hamas, offering to end the dispute between the movement and his ruling Fatah faction. […]
He again appealed to Hamas to implement the reconciliation agreements it signed with Fatah. “My hand is still extended [to Hamas] for reconciliation,” Abbas said. “I want the reconciliation.””
Hence BBC audiences did not learn of the reactions of Gaza Strip based terrorist organisations to Abbas’ announcement.
“Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both released statements in the Palestinian press and on social media on Friday, in a rare praise of Fatah policymaking.
“The announcement of the President of the Authority Mahmoud Abbas to stop the agreements signed with the Zionist entity is a step in the right direction,” a statement posted on the Hamas website read, before calling for further practical steps to be implemented, including the creation of a government of national unity.””
The BBC has a record of selective reporting of speeches made by Mahmoud Abbas:
In this report we once again see the BBC acting as a self-appointed middleman, tailoring Abbas’ statements to exclude anything which might undermine the political narrative it has chosen to promote.