BBC ignores – in English – another projectile launched from Gaza

Last month visitors to the BBC News website saw the first English language report on a missile attack from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year – albeit over 24 hours after the incident took place. That of course does not mean that there had been no missile attacks on Israeli civilian communities between January and August: seven previous missile attacks, along with twelve mortar attacks, had in fact taken place during that time. However, the BBC had chosen not to report them to its English-speaking audiences.

Late on the evening of September 14th another attack took place.

“The projectile hit an empty field in the Eshkol region, next to the southern Gaza Strip, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.

As Israel’s alert system identified that the projectile was bound for an unpopulated area, no siren was sounded in the region.”

The IDF later responded with strikes on three Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip.

This time the BBC reverted to its previous pattern of reporting: while there was no coverage of the attack on the BBC News English language website, visitors to the BBC Arabic site found a report on the Israeli response to the attack.bbc-arabic-response-missile-fire-14-9

The BBC’s record of reporting cross-border missile fire since the beginning of 2016 is as follows:

January 1stBBC News ignores Gaza missile attacks, BBC Arabic reports Israeli response

January 24thBBC News ignores Gaza missile attack again – in English

March 11thBBC News continues to ignore missile attacks on Israelis – in English

March 15thmissile attack not reported.

May 6thPatchy and selective BBC News reporting of Gaza border incidents

May 25thBBC News fails to report another Gaza missile attack to English-speakers

July 1stAnother Gaza missile attack ignored by the BBC

August 21st: Response reported in Arabic, attack and response reported a day later in English.

September 14th: Response reported in Arabic.

The same pattern of reporting has been evident since the end of the conflict between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014, meaning that English-speaking BBC audiences – including its funding public – are still not receiving the services pledged to them

 

First BBC English language report on a Gaza missile attack in eight months

Well over 24 hours after the incident took place, a day after colleagues at BBC Arabic published two articles on the story and following the appearance of this post, the BBC News website finally informed its English-speaking audiences that a missile had been fired by “Palestinian militants” in the Gaza Strip at an Israeli town.

Titled “Israel launches Gaza strikes after rocket attack on Sderot“, in its fourth paragraph the report from August 22nd tells readers that:Sderot attack art

“Earlier, a rocket launched in Gaza landed near a house in the Israeli town of Sderot without causing any injuries.”

It continues:

“Israel and militants in Gaza led by Hamas, which dominates the coastal territory, fought a 50-day war in the summer of 2014.

Since then, a ceasefire has largely held, but some small jihadist groups have defied the agreement and periodically fired rockets at Israel.”

Does that portrayal provide BBC audiences with an understanding of the rate of missile fire from the Gaza Strip since the end of the 2014 conflict? The facts behind the BBC’s claim that the ceasefire which came into force in August 2014 “has largely held” are as follows (an attack represents one incident rather than the number of missiles fired. Short falling missiles which were fired towards Israel but landed inside the Gaza Strip are not included):

2014: September: one mortar attack. October: one mortar attack. December: one missile attack.

2015: April: one missile attack. May: one missile attack. June: three separate missile attacks. July: one missile attack. August: three separate missile attacks. September: four separate missile attacks. October: five separate missile attacks. November: two separate missile attacks and one mortar attack. December: one missile attack.

2016: January: two separate missile attacks. March: two separate missile attacks. May: two separate missile attacks and twelve mortar attacks. July: one missile attack. August: one missile attack.

In the 24 months since the ceasefire came into effect, fifteen mortar attacks and thirty missile attacks have taken place. In addition, shooting attacks, IED attacks and one incident of anti-tank missile fire have also occurred. According to the BBC, that is a ceasefire which has “largely held” and the attacks can be described as ‘periodic’.  

The 2014 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas reportedly stated that “all Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop all attacks against Israel by land, air or sea, and will stop the construction of tunnels from Gaza into Israel”. Not only has Hamas obviously flouted that latter term, but it has also neglected its obligation as party to the agreement to prevent attacks by other factions. That point, however, is not adequately clarified to readers of this article. Instead, the BBC chose to amplify the terror group’s messaging.

“Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: “We hold [Israel] responsible for the escalation in the Gaza Strip and we stress that its aggression will not succeed in breaking the will of our people and dictate terms to the resistance.”

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar later blamed “a group not committed to the principles of the resistance of the occupation” for firing the rocket at Sderot.”

As regular readers are aware, the majority of the missile fire directed at Israeli civilian communities since the end of the 2014 conflict has been ignored by the BBC. This article is the first English language report on missile fire since the beginning of 2016, despite the fact that seven previous attacks have taken place in that time. BBC audiences have certainly not been provided with any reporting in the last two years on how the people who live near the border with the Gaza Strip cope with the continuing attacks, despite the fact that the corporation’s Jerusalem bureau is less than an hour and a half’s drive from Sderot.

The corporation’s public purposes remit commits it to “giving insight into the way people live in other countries” and building “understanding of international issues”. The BBC apparently believes that on this particular issue it can meet those obligations by producing one belated report in eight months which includes a generalised portrayal of ‘periodic’ missile fire rather than providing audiences with the readily available concrete statistical information.

BBC News website continues to ignore missile attacks on Israeli communities

At around half past two on the afternoon of August 21st, terrorists based in the Gaza Strip fired a missile at the Western Negev town of Sderot.missile 21 8 police

“The rocket landed between two homes, near a college and the local train station. Locals said it was “a miracle” that nobody was injured.”

The IDF responded with strikes on Hamas infrastructure in Beit Hanoun and later carried out additional strikes.

The BBC News English language website did not provide any coverage of the missile attack against Israeli civilians.

The BBC Arabic website, however, produced two reports – here and here – about the Israeli response to the missile fire. The second report and the website’s homepage both used a photograph of a water tower allegedly damaged during the Israeli response to the missile attack.

BBC Arabic HP 2 reports response missile 21 8

BBC Arabic art 2 missile 21 8

However, as noted at the Israellycool blog, photographs showing the same damage to the same water tower were published by AFP nearly a year ago.

This latest missile attack from the Gaza Strip is the eighth such incident to have taken place in the eight months since the beginning of 2016. The BBC has not reported on any of those attacks on its English language website but has covered the Israeli response to most of them on its Arabic language site.

January 1stBBC News ignores Gaza missile attacks, BBC Arabic reports Israeli response

January 24thBBC News ignores Gaza missile attack again – in English

March 11thBBC News continues to ignore missile attacks on Israelis – in English

March 15thmissile attack not reported.

May 6thPatchy and selective BBC News reporting of Gaza border incidents

May 25thBBC News fails to report another Gaza missile attack to English-speakers

July 1st: Another Gaza missile attack ignored by the BBC

August 21st: missile attack not reported in English, response reported in Arabic.

The same pattern of reporting has been evident since the end of the conflict between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014, meaning that English-speaking BBC audiences – including its funding public – are not receiving the services pledged to them in the corporation’s public purposes.

Update: the BBC News website has now reported this attack – see details here

 

A retrospective look at BBC coverage of the Second Lebanon War – part one

It was a predictably sunny and warm July morning and I was hanging laundry out to dry on the terrace of my home in northern Israel when, ten years ago today, the sound of unusually intense aircraft activity overhead prompted me to go inside and turn on the radio. Confused reports of missile fire from Lebanon and a cross-border raid in which two Israeli reservists had been kidnapped and several others killed signalled the start of the ensuing thirty-four day conflict – known in Israel as the Second Lebanon War

2nd Lebanon War memorial - Har Adir

2nd Lebanon War memorial – Har Adir

Many of us of course recall exactly how that war began, continued and ended but would a member of the public unfamiliar with the details (perhaps a British student too young to remember) searching online today for information on that topic from the trusted BBC get a realistic, impartial and accurate picture of events?  Over the next few weeks we will be taking an occasional retrospective look at the BBC’s coverage of that war and the information which remains online as “permanent public record“.

The fact that the BBC’s management of online content does not include tagging means that the results of searches are erratic: it is not possible for a member of the public to conveniently find all the relevant content produced by the BBC in one place and in chronological order.

In this post we will look at how BBC content still available online portrays the events which began the conflict: Hizballah’s infiltration into Israeli sovereign territory, its kidnapping of two Israeli reservists and the killing of eight other soldiers in that cross-border raid and the simultaneous missile attacks on Israeli civilian communities by Hizballah.  

One of the first results appearing in a search of the BBC News website is an article from 2008 titled “2006: Lebanon war” which describes those events as follows:

“After eight Israeli soldiers had been killed and two captured by the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Israel and Hezbollah engaged in a 33-day war in which Hezbollah fired a hail of rockets into Israel and the Israelis bombed Lebanese towns, villages and infrastructure but made little headway in ground operations.”

In other words, audiences are not told that Hizballah initiated the conflict by carrying out a cross-border raid into Israeli territory or that it concurrently fired missiles at Israeli civilian communities before any Israeli response took place.

That initial missile fire at Israeli civilian communities is also absent from the portrayal of the beginning of the war found in the BBC’s profile of Hizballah.

“In 2006, Hezbollah militants launched a cross-border attack in which eight Israeli soldiers were killed and two others kidnapped, triggering a massive Israeli response.”

A 2013 profile of Lebanon which is still available online and the 2015 version which supposedly replaced it both similarly ignore that missile fire and fail to inform audiences that Hizballah terrorists infiltrated Israeli territory or that eight soldiers were killed in the initial raid:

“When the Hezbollah militia seized two Israeli soldiers in a raid in July 2006, Israel responded with a 34-day military offensive and a blockade that wrecked post-civil-war stability.”

The timeline accompanying that 2015 profile gives readers no idea of where the Israeli soldiers were when they were kidnapped:

“2006 July-August – Israel attacks after Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers. Civilian casualties are high and the damage to civilian infrastructure wide-ranging in 34-day war.”

A backgrounder titled “The Lebanese crisis explained” from 2007 erases both the cross-border raid and the accompanying missile fire from audience view:

“The capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah provoked a month-long Israeli onslaught.”

One might perhaps assume that during July and August 2006, reporting would have been more accurate considering the proximity to the event. Articles from the first day – July 12th 2006 – did indeed give a reasonable account of events, although they failed to describe Hizballah as a terrorist organisation.

“Lebanese guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, triggering the first Israeli land incursion into the country since 2000. […] On Wednesday morning, Hezbollah launched dozens of Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs at the Israeli town of Shlomi and at Israeli outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.” (July 12, 2006)

Three Israeli troops were killed in Hezbollah’s cross-border raid and four more died in the subsequent offensive. […] On Wednesday morning, Hezbollah launched dozens of Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs at the Israeli town of Shlomi and at Israeli outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.” (July 12, 2006)

“Hezbollah fighters based in southern Lebanon launch Katyusha rockets across the border with Israel, targeting the town of Shlomi and outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.

In a cross-border raid, guerrillas seize two Israeli soldiers before retreating back into Lebanon, insisting on a prisoner exchange and warning against confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes the capture of the soldiers as “an act of war”.” (“Day-by-day: Lebanon crisis – week one”, July 19, 2006)

However, it was not long before reports appeared which failed to provide readers with the exact details of the event which sparked the war and the fact that Hizballah terrorists had crossed an international border whilst attacking civilian communities with missile fire was not consistently communicated to BBC audiences.   

“Israel is imposing an air and sea blockade on Lebanon as part of a major offensive after two soldiers were seized by the militant group Hezbollah. […] Eight soldiers were killed and two were injured, in addition to the two captured in a Hezbollah ambush.” (July 13, 2006)

“Israel launched its assault and blockade after Hezbollah fighters captured two of its soldiers last Wednesday.” (July 18, 2006)

“Israel launched attacks on Lebanon after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid eight days ago.” (July 20, 2006)

“The nine days of fighting – triggered by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by the militant Hezbollah group in a cross-border raid – have left 29 Israelis dead, including 15 civilians killed by rockets fired by Hezbollah into Israel.” (July 20, 2006)

“More than 380 Lebanese and 42 Israelis have died in nearly two weeks of conflict in Lebanon, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.” (July 26, 2006)

“At least 423 Lebanese and 51 Israelis have died in the violence since Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.” (July 27, 2006)

“A total of 51 Israelis, including at least 18 civilians, have been killed in the conflict, sparked by Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid earlier in July.” (July 30, 2006)

“Humanitarian groups say Israeli military action is hampering efforts to help many of the hundreds of thousands who have fled the fighting – sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July.” (August 7, 2006)

An August 10 2006 report from the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent inaccurately leads readers to believe that Hizballah’s missile fire began after the cross-border raid.

“The IDF’s initial response to the seizure of its two soldiers and the killing of their comrades inside Israeli territory by a Hezbollah unit and the ensuing rocket fire was to launch a punishing air campaign.”

Content produced after the conflict ended is often even less accurate.

A report from southern Lebanon from 2007 ignores the initial missile fire and the killing of eight Israeli soldiers during the initial raid.

“Previously the area had become the fiefdom of Hezbollah, the Shia Islamist and militant movement whose cross-border raid on 12 July – snatching two Israeli soldiers – was the catalyst for the 34-day conflict.”

A 2008 article about a music festival in Lebanon provides readers with no information as to how the war started:

“But in 2006, the festival was cancelled as war broke out between Israeli and the Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah.”

A report from 2009 erases the initial missile fire on Israeli civilian communities:

“The 2006 war was triggered by a Hezbollah raid into Israel, in which the group seized two soldiers and killed others.”

An article from 2014 gives no information concerning the events which sparked the conflict.

“Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006, during which Israeli warplanes bombed Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon and in Beirut, while Hezbollah fired about 4,000 rockets at Israel.”

Obviously members of the public conducting a search for BBC content in order to understand why the Second Lebanon War began would receive differing impressions depending upon the reports which happened to come up in their search. The BBC’s “permanent public record” is inconsistent, frequently inaccurate and unreliable as a source of factual information.

The least that can be done is for the profiles of Lebanon and Hizballah, which are still in use and to which links are often provided in contemporary reports, to be amended to provide an accurate, impartial and comprehensive view of the actions of Hizballah which brought about the Second Lebanon War.

Related Articles:

The BBC Goes Native: A Study of BBC Arabic

 

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – June 2016

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during June 2016 shows that throughout the month a total of 103 incidents took place: 71 in Judea & Samaria, 29 in Jerusalem, two inside the ‘green line’ and one incident originating from the Gaza Strip.

The agency recorded 86 attacks with petrol bombs. Two shooting attacks, 10 attacks using explosive devices, one vehicular attack and one stabbing attack took place in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem. One stabbing attack and one shooting attack occurred inside the ‘green line’. Along the border with the Gaza Strip one shooting attack took place.

Five Israeli civilians were murdered in Palestinian terror attacks during June. Twenty-one people (mostly civilians) were wounded: fifteen in the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on June 8th, one during the attack in Kiryat Arba on June 30th, two in a stabbing attack in Netanya on June 30th, two in a vehicular attack in Kiryat Arba on June 25th and one soldier was wounded by a petrol bomb in Issawiya on June 29th.

The BBC News website covered the shooting attack at Sarona Market in Tel Aviv on June 8th and produced a follow-up article the next day, the third version of which included the names, ages and genders of the four people murdered.

The stabbing attack in Kiryat Arba on June 30th was also reported and the murdered victim was named. The same article was later updated to include a brief mention of the stabbing attack in Netanya on the same day in which two people were wounded.

“Later on Thursday, a Palestinian stabbed and injured two Israelis in the coastal city of Netanya before being shot dead by a passing civilian.”

An attempted stabbing attack near Einav on June 2nd was briefly mentioned in the caption to a photograph which appeared in an article on a different topic.

“On Thursday a Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli troops near the West Bank city of Tulkarm. The Israeli army said the woman had tried to stab a soldier”

Attacks on vehicles travelling on Route 443 on June 21st were reported on the BBC News website after a passer-by was mistaken for one of the terrorists and shot dead by a soldier at the scene.

Incidents which did not receive any coverage on the BBC News website included attacks on two buses on June 5th, shooting attacks on cars travelling near Halamish on June 7th, a stoning attack on a bus on June 8th, a stoning attack on a bus on June 12th and a vehicular attack near Kiryat Arba on June 24th.

In conclusion, the BBC News website reported the two fatal incidents which took place during the month of June (but without describing them as terror attacks in its own words) and mentioned three additional non-fatal attacks.

In comparison with its record during 2015, we see an improvement in BBC coverage of fatal terror attacks in Israel during the first half of 2016 with all the attacks having been reported. Overall, the BBC News website has reported 4.18% of the terror attacks which took place between January and June 2016 inclusive and its record of reporting the missile attacks launched from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year remains at 0%.

Table June

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – May 2016

Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: October 2015 to March 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – December 2015 and Q4 summary

 

BBC News erases Hamas terror from portrayal of Gaza blockade

On July 3rd the BBC News website published an article on its Middle East page titled “Turkey sends Gaza aid after six-year rift with Israel ends” in which readers were told that:Turkey ship art main

“A Turkish ship carrying 11,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid for Gaza has arrived in the Israeli port of Ashdod. […]

The Lady Leyla ship was carrying food, clothing and toys intended to arrive in Gaza in time for Eid celebrations marking the end of Ramadan.

It has been unloaded at Ashdod and the aid donations will be transported overland through Israel to Gaza.”

Readers were not however given any information which would allow them to put those 11,000 tonnes of goods into context because the article refrained from informing them how much aid is transported into the Gaza Strip on a regular basis.

In the week preceding the arrival of the Turkish ship, 107,531 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip: in other words, nearly double the amount of goods carried by the Turkish ship on every working day. On the day that the Turkish ship docked, 18,531 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip in 602 trucks.

Cogat tweet Gaza goods wk ending 30 6

The article purportedly provides readers with background information concerning the core topic of the restrictions imposed by the countries neighbouring the Gaza Strip.

“Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2006 after the Palestinian group Hamas, which runs the territory, abducted an Israeli soldier. The measures were tightened by Israel and Egypt in 2007 after Hamas ousted its rival Fatah and forcibly took control in Gaza after winning elections the year before.”

Remarkably, that portrayal completely erases Hamas terrorism – including the thousands of missiles fired at civilian communities – from the picture provided to BBC audiences. As it has unfortunately been necessary to note here on numerous occasions in the past, the actual sequence of events is as follows:

“The violent Hamas take-over of Gaza took place between June 5th and 15th 2007 and the Palestinian Authority – the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people – was forcefully ejected from power. Following that event, both Egypt and Israel largely closed their borders with the Gaza Strip due to the fact that the body charged with joint security arrangements under the terms of the Oslo Accords – the Palestinian Authority – no longer exercised any control over the territory. 

Three months later – on September 19th 2007 – in light of the escalation of terrorist rocket attacks against Israeli civilians originating in the now Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip – the Israeli government declared Gaza to be ‘hostile territory’.”

Since June 2010 restrictions on the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip have only related to arms, munitions and dual-use items which can be used for the purpose of terrorism. Having failed to inform readers about the Hamas terrorism which brought about and sustains the restrictions, the article closes with an “Israel says” tick of the impartiality box and the amplification of a dog whistle quote.  

“Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas receiving materials that could be used for military purposes, but the UN has long been critical of it.

Last week Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it “collective punishment for which there must be accountability”.”

Reporting on the topic of restrictions on passage and the movement of specific types of goods through Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and the naval blockade introduced in 2009 cannot possibly be considered accurate and impartial if it fails to inform audiences of the reason for those measures: Islamist terrorism against Israeli civilians.

Not only does this article fail to include any mention of that topic (or the fact that Hamas is an internationally designated terrorist organisation) but a click on the link to the only item of suggested related reading (out of 17 links in total) which seems likely to perhaps provide relevant background information – “Guide: Eased Gaza Blockade” – is dead.

Turkey ship art related

Turkey ship art 404

Obviously BBC News was not sufficiently committed to telling this story in an accurate and impartial manner. 

Another Gaza missile attack ignored by the BBC

Late on July 1st, a missile attack was launched from the Gaza Strip.

“A rocket was fired on Friday night from the Gaza Strip, striking a kindergarten in Sderot. The building was damaged, but no persons were physically wounded. One person suffered a panic attack, requiring treatment.

At 10:59pm, a Code Red rocket alert was sounded in Sderot and in several communities located within the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. Residents ran for cover in protected shelters.”

The Israeli airforce later responded with strikes on Hamas infrastructure in the northern and central Gaza Strip.

As has overwhelmingly been the case since the beginning of 2016, there was no reporting of the attack on the BBC News website.No news

January 1stBBC News ignores Gaza missile attacks, BBC Arabic reports Israeli response

January 24thBBC News ignores Gaza missile attack again – in English

March 11thBBC News continues to ignore missile attacks on Israelis – in English

March 15thmissile attack not reported.

May 6thPatchy and selective BBC News reporting of Gaza border incidents

May 25th: missile attack not reported, response reported in Arabic.

July 1st: missile attack not reported.

That pattern of reporting has been predominant since the end of the conflict between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Audiences continue to be systematically deprived of information vital to their understanding of this particular “international issue”, in clear breach of the pledges to its funding public laid out in the BBC’s public purposes

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – May 2016

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during May 2016 shows that throughout the month a total of 101 incidents took place: 67 in Judea & Samaria, 17 in Jerusalem, one inside the ‘green line’ and 16 incidents originating from the Gaza Strip.

The agency recorded 65 attacks with petrol bombs. Four shooting attack, 11 attacks using explosive devices, one vehicular attack and three stabbing attacks took place in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem. One stabbing was recorded inside the ‘green line’. Along the border with the Gaza Strip two shooting attacks, twelve mortar attacks (in which 19 mortars were fired) and two missile attacks (in which 3 missiles were fired) took place.

No deaths occurred as a result of Palestinian terror attacks during May. Twelve people (four civilians and eight soldiers) were wounded: four civilians and one soldier in stabbing attacks, three members of the security forces in a vehicular attack, two members of the security forces by IEDs and two by petrol bombs.

The shooting and mortar attacks launched from the Gaza Strip were not reported in real-time but received a generalised and belated mention in a BBC report published three days after they began. Neither of the two incidents of missile fire from the Gaza Strip on May 6th and May 25th was reported on the BBC News website.

Among the additional incidents which received no coverage from the BBC were a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on May 2nd, a vehicular attack near Dolev on May 3rd, a stabbing attack in Jerusalem and pipe bomb attacks near Hizme on May 10th, a stabbing in Jerusalem on May 16th, a shooting attack on a bus near Tekoa on May 21st and a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on May 30th.

In conclusion, with the exception of a vague and tardy mention of mortar and shooting attacks on the Gaza Strip border, the BBC News website did not report any of the terror attacks which took place during May. The corporation’s record of English language reporting of the missile attacks launched from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year remains at 0% and its record of reporting all terror attacks in the same period stands at 4.07%.

Table May 16

Related Articles:

BBC News fails to report another Gaza missile attack to English-speakers

Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: October 2015 to March 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – April 2016

BBC News fails to report another Gaza missile attack to English-speakers

At around 11 pm on May 25th missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel with one projectile landing in open ground in the Sha’ar HaNegev district. The attack was apparently claimed by a Salafist group. Later in the night the Israeli air force responded with strikes on two Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip.

There was no reporting of that attack on the BBC’s English language website but the Israeli response was the subject of an article which appeared on the BBC Arabic website.BBC Arabic report response missiles 25 5

Since the beginning of 2016 the BBC has not reported on any of the missile attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli civilians living near the border in the English language. However, Israeli responses to those attacks have received coverage in Arabic.

January 1st: BBC News ignores Gaza missile attacks, BBC Arabic reports Israeli response

January 24th: BBC News ignores Gaza missile attack again – in English

March 11th: BBC News continues to ignore missile attacks on Israelis – in English

March 15th: missile attack not reported.

May 6th: Patchy and selective BBC News reporting of Gaza border incidents

May 25th: missile attack not reported, response reported in Arabic.

That pattern of reporting has been predominant since the end of the conflict between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014, meaning that English-speaking BBC audiences – including its funding public – are not receiving the services pledged to them in the corporation’s public purposes.

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – April 2016

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during April 2016 shows that throughout the month a total of 115 incidents took place: 75 in Judea & Samaria, 35 in Jerusalem, two inside the ‘green line’ and three incidents originating from the Gaza Strip.

The agency recorded 92 attacks with petrol bombs. One shooting attack, 17 attacks using explosive devices and one stabbing attack took place in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem. Two attacks – including one stabbing – were recorded inside the ‘green line’. Along the border with the Gaza Strip two shooting attacks and one attack using an IED took place.

April marked the first month since September 2015 in which no deaths occurred as a result of Palestinian terror attacks. Eighteen people were injured: sixteen in the April 18th bus bombing in Jerusalem, one in a stabbing attack in Rosh HaAiyn on April 3rd and on the same day a policeman was injured by a firebomb in Issawiya.

The BBC News website covered the bus bombing on April 18th in Jerusalem – albeit with a notable absence of use of the word ‘terror’ – and also produced a follow-up article three days later.

Among the attacks which did not receive any coverage by BBC News at the time were a stabbing in Rosh HaAiyn on April 3rd, a stone-throwing attack on a vehicle travelling near Huwara on April 5th, an IED attack on the Gaza Strip border on April 8th, an attempted stabbing at Qalandiya checkpoint on April 27th and an attempted stabbing near Beit Horon on April 28th.

In conclusion, the BBC covered one terror attack against Israelis in April 2016: 0.86% of the total. Since the beginning of the year the BBC News website has reported 4.8% of the terror attacks which have actually taken place. None of the missile fire from the Gaza Strip has been reported in the English language.

table April 16

Related Articles:

Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: October 2015 to March 2016