Rioters attack Israeli security forces, BBC reports ‘confrontation’

An article titled “Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli police” was published on August 26th 2013 on the Middle East page of the BBC News website.

The term “clashes” is repeated in the opening paragraph, with the incident later being described as a “confrontation”

“Three Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian sources say.

Nineteen Palestinians were wounded in the confrontation, Palestinian medical sources said.”

The article goes on to state:

“Israeli officials said a large crowd attacked police with rocks and petrol bombs during an arrest operation and “riot dispersal methods” were used.”

That “large crowd” apparently numbered around fifteen hundred rioters – as was noted in earlier versions of the BBC report but omitted in later ones. Some idea of the type of “rocks” used to attack the Border Policemen who – as BBC readers only learn in the eighth paragraph – were in the process of trying to arrest a terror suspect, can be gained from this video apparently filmed by onlookers. 


One of the men killed – Yunis Jahjouh – was apparently released in the Shalit deal of 2011. A photograph of a ‘martyrs’ poster’ later appearing in Qalandiya which was Tweeted by the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood shows that it sports the Hamas logo

Sherwood poster

An earlier version of the article closed with the statement – later removed:

“Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president, issued a statement condemning Israel for the deaths.”

It does not however inform BBC audiences of Abu Rudeineh’s bizarre claim that the violent rioters had been ‘assassinated’:

“Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, issued a statement condemning Israel for what he termed its assassination of the three men in Qalandiya. He added that the slew of crimes committed by the Israelis and their continued settlement construction were a clear sign of Israel’s true intentions.”

Later versions of the BBC report inform readers that the Palestinian Authority decided to cancel its participation in talks scheduled for the evening of the same day.

“Palestinians cancelled a session of peace talks with Israel which were due to take place on Monday, in response to the killings, unnamed Palestinian sources said.”

The report then promotes the now habitual misleading BBC version of the breakdown of the previous round of talks in 2010:

“Direct negotiations between the two sides resumed earlier this month after a three-year hiatus. The last round of peace talks broke down in 2010 amid disagreement over the issue of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

As has for sometime been its standard practice, the BBC neglects to inform audiences that those talks broke down when the Palestinians refused to continue them after a ten-month building freeze expired or that for 90% of those ten months, they refused to come to the negotiating table at all. 

The latest version of the article adds a partial second-hand quote of a version of events which the BBC clearly cannot have verified before publishing:

“The Associated Press news agency quoted Hatim Khatib, whose brother Youssef, it says, was arrested in the raid, as saying troops dressed in civilian clothing arrived at their home at 04:30 (02:30 GMT).

“After half an hour we started hearing shooting from the soldiers inside our house, and then people started throwing stones at them,” he said.”

As well as this quote from Khatib, the article includes one from Palestinian PM Hamdallah, one from “unnamed Palestinain sources”, one from other “Palestinian sources” and two from “Palestinian medical sources”. The Israeli side of the story is presented with quotes from the Police Spokeswoman and the IDF Spokesman. 


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