Readers of the BBC News website’s Middle East page will have learned during this past week that Barbara Streisand received an honorary PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and that celebrations of Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday took place in the same city with an impressive array of dignitaries on the guest list.
What they will not have learned is that the residents of the Ashkelon area awoke to the sound of the air-raid siren at around 05:40 on Wednesday morning due to missile fire from the Gaza Strip. Neither will they know that mortar fire from Syria hit the orchards of Kibbutz Elrom in the north Golan Heights on Thursday morning and that another Syrian mortar landed inside Israeli territory later the same day. No-one was hurt in any of the incidents above and Israel did not respond.
The same readers will also have no idea of the seventy-two cases of rock-throwing and fifteen firebombing incidents which took place in Judea & Samaria between June 11th and 17th alone or that in April 2013 ninety attacks (excluding stone-throwing) took place in the same region and in May, eighty-three.
Back in April the BBC claimed that attacks on civilians in Judea & Samaria “are rare”, later revising the statement to read “fatal attacks on settlers are rare”. We are all aware of the old journalistic adage “if it bleeds it leads”, but the BBC seems to have taken that several steps further by totally ignoring the vast majority of violent attacks directed at Israeli civilians.