BBC mum on arrests of two Hamas terror cells

While repeatedly promoting the topic of ‘lone wolf’ attacks against Israelis and telling its audiences that “there’s no sign of involvement by militant groups” in the wave of terror attacks which began in October 2015, the BBC has ignored or played down the links of some of the attackers to established terror organisations. Concurrently, the corporation’s journalists have long ignored the issue of Hamas’ attempts to boost its terror infrastructure in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem.BBC brick wall  

As noted here last month, a poll conducted in the UK suggests that what the BBC does not report about Hamas and other terror groups and their enablers is no less influential in shaping public opinion as the stories which are covered.

Last week the Israeli security services announced the arrests of Hamas operatives from PA controlled areas.

“Operatives from several Hamas cells from Tzurif and Hebron in the West Bank were arrested in a joint operation by the IDF, police and the Shin Bet in October after it was discovered that they were planning to carry out terrorist attacks, including shooting and kidnapping Israelis, the agency said. […]

The seven-man cell was focused on 58-year-old Ibrahim Abdallah Ghnimat, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in a deadly terrorist attack in Tel Aviv 20 years ago as well as in the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Sharon Adri in 1996. According to the Shin Bet, the cell, which also included three of Ranimat’s sons, Fadi Ibrahim Ranimat, Muhammad Ranimat and Shadi Ibrahim Ranimat (who headed the cell), was plotting to free Ranimat.

Security forces are also said to have arrested Rami Rajoub in Dura, near Hebron, for plotting attacks with Ranimat while in prison, Haitham Hamidan on suspicion of storing the cell’s weapons as well as J’ad Sultan, who is suspected of providing the arms.

As part of the investigation into the cell, Israeli security forces seized two AK-47s, three pistols, a hunting rifle, a long-barreled M-16, a short-barreled M-16, clips and ammunition.”

The next day, the arrest of members of another Hamas cell in Jerusalem was announced.

“A terror cell made up of East Jerusalem teenagers planning to carry out a shooting attack on an IDF base in the capital was arrested in recent days, the Shin Bet security service announced Friday.

The group, which allegedly included members of the Hamas terrorist organization, was made up of eight Arab Israeli residents of the Tsur Baher and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, the Shin Bet said.”

As usual, the BBC’s Jerusalem bureau has chosen not to cover these latest two cases of Hamas terror activity in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem, meaning that the corporation’s funding public remains under informed on this particular issue.

Behind the BBC’s ‘lone wolf’ portrayal of terrorism in Israel

Over the past few weeks BBC audiences have been repeatedly told that the current wave of terrorism in Israel is characterized by “lone wolf attacks”. For example:

“This amateur video was filmed in the Old City last Saturday. The distant screams are from an Israeli woman whose husband had just been killed in a lone wolf knife attack.” (Orla Guerin, BBC television news, October 9th 2015)

“It is proving a struggle to prevent the sporadic lone wolf attacks by young Palestinians. These have been motivated by deep anger over access to al-Aqsa Mosque and the current political situation. There is a danger that a heavy-handed Israeli police response could exacerbate the situation.” (Yolande Knell, BBC News website, October 9th 2015)

“Israelis have been targeted in a growing number of apparent lone-wolf attacks.” (BBC News website, October 22nd 2015)lone wolf attacks

That description conceals the links of some of the perpetrators of recent attacks to terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also ignores the fact that whilst some of the individual terrorists may indeed have operated outside an organised command structure, they did not act within a vacuum.

A very interesting essay titled “What Do Palestinians Want?” by Daniel Polisar at Mosaic magazine provides insight into the backdrop to the current wave of terror.

“Absent almost entirely from this discussion has been any attempt to understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians. Yet it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, and that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom. Whether commentators are ignoring the views of mainstream Palestinians out of a mistaken belief that public opinion does not matter in dictatorships, or out of a dismissive sense that they are powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers, the omission is both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening. In this essay I aim to fill the lacuna by addressing what Palestinians think both about violence against Israelis and about the core issues that supply its context and justification. […]

Though they may be lone wolves in the technical sense of not belonging to an organizational command structure, they are anything but alone within their communities. To the contrary, they are surrounded by people who share many of their core beliefs, who justify the attacks they are carrying out, who see their actions as potentially valuable in furthering Palestinian goals, and who can be counted on to venerate them and their families.”

The full essay – which addresses issues conscientiously and consistently avoided by BBC correspondents confined to reporting within a very specific narrative – can be found here.