BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – July 2017

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during July 2017 shows that throughout the month a total of 222 incidents took place: 129 in Judea & Samaria, eighty-seven in Jerusalem, four inside the ‘green line’ and two originating from the Gaza Strip.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 184 attacks with petrol bombs, 21 attacks using explosive devices, one stabbing attack, six shooting attacks, two vehicular attacks and two arson attacks. Within the ‘green line’ one stabbing attack (in Petah Tikva), one petrol bomb attack and two arson attacks took place. Also recorded were two missile attacks from the Gaza Strip.  

Five people were murdered (3 civilians and 2 members of the security forces) and seven were wounded (2 civilians and five members of the security forces) in attacks during July.

The BBC News website covered the July 14th terror attack (without calling it terror) at Lions’ Gate/Temple Mount in which two policemen were murdered and one wounded. The attack in Halamish in which three members of the Salomon family were murders and one wounded was also reported – again without the BBC describing it as terrorism in its own words. An attempted stabbing at Gush Etzion junction on July 28th was briefly reported.

Among the attacks that did not receive any BBC coverage were a vehicular attack near Tekoa on July 10th in which a soldier was wounded, a petrol bomb attack in Jerusalem on July 14th, a drive-by shooting near Ateret on July 15th, a vehicular attack near Hebron on July 18th, an attempted stabbing in Gush Etzion on July 20th and a stabbing attack in Petah Tikva on July 24th in which a civilian was wounded.

The missile attacks from the Gaza Strip on July 23rd and 24th also did not receive any BBC coverage.

In all, the BBC News website reported three of the 222 attacks which took place in July. Between January and July 2017 inclusive, the BBC News website reported 0.78% of the total terror attacks that took place and 92% of the resulting fatalities.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – June 2017

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – May 2017

BBC coverage of the Jerusalem terror attack – part one: BBC News website

BBC coverage of the Jerusalem terror attack – part two: BBC radio

Reviewing BBC ‘historical record’ of the July 2017 Temple Mount story – part one

Reviewing BBC ‘historical record’ of the July 2017 Temple Mount story – part two

BBC refrains from using the word terror in report on murdered family

BBC ignores two more missile attacks from Gaza

 

 

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BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – February 2017

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during February 2017 shows that throughout the month a total of 102 incidents took place: eighty-two in Judea & Samaria, fourteen in Jerusalem, one in Petah Tikva and five attacks from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.

The agency recorded 86 attacks with petrol bombs, 8 attacks using explosive devices, one shooting attack and one vehicular attack in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem as well as one shooting attack in Petah Tikva and one shooting attack and four missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.

Fourteen people – nine civilians and five members of the security forces – were injured in attacks during February.

As regular readers know, the four separate incidents of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula during February did not receive any coverage whatsoever on the BBC News website.

A vehicular attack at the entrance to the community of Adam on February 2nd in which three people were injured was not reported by the BBC. A shooting attack in the market in Petah Tikva in which seven people were wounded on February 9th also did not receive any coverage. A petrol bomb attack on Route 443 on February 12th in which one civilian was injured, a petrol bomb attack in Issawiya on February 24th in which two members of the security forces were injured and an IED attack in Balata on February 23rd in which a soldier was injured were also among the attacks not reported by the BBC.

In conclusion, the BBC News website did not cover any of the terror attacks which took place during February. Since the beginning of the year, the corporation has reported 0.49% of the total attacks that have taken place and coverage of missile attacks stands at zero.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – December 2016 and year summary

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – January 2017

Fourth missile attack against Israel in three weeks ignored by BBC News

 

BBC News reports on three terror attacks without using the word terror

On March 8th three terror attacks took place in Israel within the space of a couple of hours. Earlier in the day an additional attempted stabbing attack by a woman from the Umm Tuba neighbourhood was averted in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Just before 5 pm a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli man in a shop in Petah Tikva. Around a quarter of an hour later two members of the security forces on patrol in Jerusalem were seriously wounded in a shooting attack carried out by a terrorist apparently from the neighbourhood of Issawiya. At around 6:30 pm a Palestinian terrorist from Qalqilya attacked a number of people near Jaffa port and in the surrounding area with a knife. An American tourist – Taylor Force – was murdered and ten other people, including his wife, were wounded. Mr Force’s death brings the number of people holding US citizenship killed in terror attacks since October 1st 2015 to five.Pigua Yafo 8 3 vers 3

Some two hours after the attack in Jaffa took place the BBC News website published an article (its first concerning terror attacks against Israelis since the month of March began) which was originally titled “One killed and several wounded in attacks on Israelis”.

Obviously that headline contributed nothing to audience understanding of who carried out those “attacks on Israelis” and the replacement headline which appeared around two and a half hours later – “US tourist killed and several wounded in Israel attacks” – was even more confusing.

Only from the fifth version of the article was the headline amended to include information concerning the identity of one of the terrorists: “Palestinian kills US tourist in Israel“. Nevertheless, audiences were still not able to determine from that headline that the report is about a terror attack rather than a criminal incident.

Among the notable features in the seven versions of this report is the fact that its six initial editions all used politicized terminology to describe the location of one of the attacks.Pigua Yafo 8 3 vers 5

“Earlier, two Israeli police officers were shot and wounded in occupied East Jerusalem.” [emphasis added]

That same politicized terminology can still be seen in the caption to one of the photographs illustrating the current version of the article: “Earlier in the day, Israeli police officers were fired on in occupied East Jerusalem“.

All versions of the report include a superfluous description of the perceived level of religiosity of one of the victims – but not of any of the others or of the terrorists.

“An ultra-Orthodox Jew was stabbed in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv.” […]

“Meanwhile, witnesses in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva said a Palestinian attacker was killed with his own knife by the ultra-Orthodox Jew who he had just stabbed. The wounded man was rushed to hospital to be treated for wounds to his upper body.”

Once again the background information provided by the BBC includes confused and inconsistent reporting on the number of people killed during the ongoing wave of terrorism.

“At least 29 Israelis have been killed in a wave of stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since October.”

Remarkably, among the thousands of words used to produce the seven different versions of this report describing three separate terror attacks in which one person was killed and over a dozen wounded, the words terror, terrorism or terrorist did not appear once. In other words, the BBC editorial policy of two-tier reporting on terrorism remains in effect.

Also remarkable is the fact that despite the numerous amendments made to the report, BBC audiences were not informed about Hamas’ lauding  of the attacks.

““Hamas congratulates the three heroic operations this evening, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Jaffa, and considers this proof of the failure for all these theories to abort the Intifada, which will continue until the realization of its goals,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in a statement.

“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” he said.”

Neither were they told of similar glorification of terrorism from Fatah or of the fact that Palestinian Authority television repeatedly described the perpetrator of the attack in Jaffa as a “martyr”and his victims (who included Israeli Arabs and tourists) as “settlers“.

The absence of that information obviously compounds the BBC’s ongoing failure to provide its audiences with meaningful reporting on the issue of the incitement and glorification of terrorism from official Palestinian sources which fuels the current wave of violence against Israelis. That ongoing failure – now in its sixth month – actively prevents the corporation from meeting its obligation to enhance audience awareness and understanding of this particular international issue.

 

BBC News reporting on October 7 terror attacks avoids the word terror

October 7th saw a wave of terror attacks across Israel, three of which were reported on the BBC News website in an article which was originally headlined “Two Israelis stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City” and later retitled “Israeli stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City” as circumstances became clearer.

The first two versions of the report related to an attack carried out by a Palestinian woman from the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sur Baher. Both versions included the following statement which presents victims of terrorism and their attackers on an equal footing:

“The stabbing comes amid a surge in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank that has left eight people dead.”

Readers subsequently discover that those eight people are in fact four Israeli victims of terrorism, two Palestinian terrorists shot whilst in the process of carrying out attacks and two Palestinians shot due to their having been engaged in violent rioting.

“On Monday, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian youths during clashes with protesters in the West Bank. Israeli media subsequently quoted military officials as saying one of them, a 13-year-old boy, had been shot by mistake.

Two days earlier, a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem. Another stabbed and wounded an Israeli teenager. Israeli police killed both attackers.

And last Thursday, gunmen shot and killed an Israeli couple as they drove with their four young children in the West Bank.”

The statement concerning the 13 year-old paraphrased by the BBC in these and later versions of the report can be seen here.

Later on in the day another incident took place in the southern town of Kiryat Gat. Once again, the BBC managed to provoke protest on social media with its updated headline to the report.

Kiryat Gat pigua

That headline was later amended but retained its ‘last-first reporting’ style.

Kiryat Gat pigua 2

Readers of the first three versions of the BBC’s report on that incident were informed that:

“The man [terrorist] then fled into a residential building, where police forces tracked him down and shot him dead…”

Only in version five did readers discover that there was rather more to the story.

“The man [terrorist] then fled into a residential building, where he reportedly forced his way into one woman’s flat, grabbed a kitchen knife and attempted to stab her after realising that the rifle did not have a magazine. Israeli police then arrived at the scene and shot the man dead.”

The later two versions of the report – including the one which currently appears on the BBC News website – were titled “Israelis stabbed in three attacks as tensions escalate” and were updated with reporting on yet another attack which took place in Petah Tikva in the early evening.Oct 7 art final

The latest version of the report now opens with the following confusing description which suggests some sort of linkage between the first two attacks:

“Israelis have been targeted in a series of stabbing attacks by Palestinians, Israeli police say, amid escalating tensions in the region.

A Palestinian man was shot dead by police after attacking a soldier, after a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli man who then shot her, police said.

Later, an Israeli man was stabbed by a Palestinian man, police said.” [emphasis added]

There are several notable points concerning this evolving article.  No attempt was made to clarify to readers that the three specific attacks reported in the various versions of this article were by no means the only attacks to have taken place on that day.

Whilst the reports named the towns of Kiryat Gat and Petah Tikva, no clarification was provided to readers with regard to the fact that the attacks in those places represent an expansion of what was described in the article’s early versions as “a surge in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank”. In addition, there was no BBC reporting on the protests – some of which turned violent – in towns such as Jaffa and Lod.

Notable too is the fact that the BBC’s reporting adopts and promotes the notion of equivalence between victims of terrorism and their attackers, as well as those engaged in violent rioting, by means of the use of phrasing such as “a surge in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank that has left eight people dead” and – immediately following a description of Israelis injured in terror attacks:  

“Dozens of Palestinians were also reportedly hurt in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank.” [emphasis added]

But the most obvious notable point about this article is that despite all its versions being devoted to reporting on three separate terror attacks in one single day, yet again the word terror did not appear even once in any of them.

The BBC cannot claim to be meeting its public purpose of enhancing the public’s understanding of international issues as long as it continues to avoid clarifying to audiences by means of the use of accurate language that what is happening in Israel at present is a wave of terror.