It takes about thirty-five minutes to drive from the BBC’s offices in Jerusalem to Ramallah, but despite the proximity, BBC reporting of news from the Palestinian Authority controlled areas is noticeably sparse – at least when that news has nothing to do with Israel.
Thus, no BBC report has appeared on the subject of the recent Palestinian Authority crackdown on Palestinian journalists and bloggers as reported by Khaled Abu Toameh.
“Scores of journalists staged a protest outside the headquarters of the Palestinian government in Ramallah in protest against the arrest and assault on some of their colleagues by Palestinian security forces.
The journalists called for an end to the persecution of Palestinian journalists and held banners that asked, “Where is freedom of the media?” and, “No to repression and incarceration of journalists.”
The protest, which was almost completely ignored by Western media outlets operating in the West Bank, came after two incidents in which Palestinian security officers arrested journalists. […]
Hours after the Ramallah protest, Palestinian security officers raided the home of another journalist and blogger, Esmat Abdel Khalek, and confiscated documents and a laptop.
Abdel Khalek, who teaches journalism at a West Bank university, was arrested last year on suspicion of posting critical comments on her Facebook account about the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.
No reason was given for the latest raid on her home in Ramallah, although Palestinian journalists said that it could be linked to her ongoing criticism of the Palestinian Authority leadership.”
Similarly, BBC audiences remain entirely unaware of recent shooting attacks against political figures in Ramallah.
“Unidentified gunmen in Ramallah opened fire Tuesday morning at the car of Sufian Abu Zaida, a senior Fatah official.
Abu Zaida, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, was not in the car when the attack took place, shortly before 7 a.m. At least 20 bullets hit the vehicle.
It was the second incident of its kind in Ramallah in the past few weeks.
A similar attack in the city targeted the car of another senior Fatah official, Majed Abu Shamaleh. Abu Shamaleh, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was not hurt.
The shooting attacks are believed to be connected to internal squabbling in Fatah.”
Likewise, there was no BBC coverage of last weekend’s military parade held by Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Qalandiya (25 minutes from the BBC offices) and no ‘analysis’ of the implications on the Middle East peace process of a recent video put out by that same organization – which the BBC itself has described as having “close links” to the same Fatah party which makes up the largest faction in the PLO – currently conducting talks with Israel – and both headed by the president of the Palestinian Authority.
BBC stays mum on new PA restrictions on foreign journalists