BBC’s Jon Donnison presents hearsay as ‘analysis’

An October 25th article in the Middle East section of the BBC News website relates to the subject of the truce which brought about an end to the latest barrage of rocket attacks against civilians in southern Israel.

The report includes ‘analysis’ by the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison. 

Donnison states:

“There are theories on both sides as to why the other might want a limited escalation. Some believe Hamas wants to reassert its resistance credentials in the face of criticism from more extremist groups in Gaza. Many Palestinians believe Israel provoked the violence deliberately ahead of upcoming Israeli elections in January.”

[emphasis added]

However, the notion that Israel “provoked the violence” does not square up with the facts. 

On Monday October 22nd a routine IDF patrol along the border fence with the Gaza Strip was attacked with mortar fire and additional rocket attacks against Israeli civilian communities were launched from the Strip. The IDF responded. 

On the morning of Tuesday October 23rd, an IDF officer was seriously wounded by an improvised explosive device placed – at their own admittance – by the PFLP along the border fence. Later that evening, civilian communities in southern Israel sustained a barrage of seven rocket attacks. 

At midnight on October 23rd, the IDF targeted a Hamas rocket firing squad. At 5 am on October 24th another rocket firing squad was targeted. 

At 6:58 am on another barrage of rocket attacks began with some 40 missiles being fired in under 20 minutes. The IDF responded at 7 am, targeting a rocket launching site, and again at 8:20 am. Rockets continued to be fired from the Gaza Strip throughout most of the day, with the eventual tally reaching over 70. 

The “Israeli elections” meme is neither a new one nor particularly imaginative. It is one which was used by many anti-Israel campaigners to “explain” operation Cast Lead in 2008. Then too, as any serious analyst would know, the meme was employed in order to divert attention from the fact that Hamas launched dozens of rockets at Israeli civilians after having refused to renew the ceasefire, eventually bringing about the IDF operation. 

Donnison’s tawdry repetition of inaccurate and misleading hearsay constitutes neither the fact-based analysis nor the accurate and impartial reporting to which the BBC is committed.


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