Readers may remember that the BBC News website’s October 11th report on the murder of Col. (res) Sariya Ofer at his home in Brosh HaBika’a included the following statement:
“The dead man is the third Israeli to be killed in what Israel characterises as “terror attacks” in the last month in the West Bank. Two serving soldiers have also died.” [emphasis added]
Similar phrasing was again used in an additional article dating from October 28th.
Details of the investigation into the murder of Col. Ofer indicate that the characterisation of the incident as a terror attack – which the BBC implied through its choice of wording and punctuation should be viewed with scepticism by its audiences – was in fact entirely justified.
“Two men arrested by security forces for the slaying, 18-year-old Uda Harub, and 21-year-old Bashir Harub, of the West Bank village of Deir Samat near Hebron, had already confessed to killing Ofer, and during subsequent questioning, shed light on the their motives, saying they originally planned a robbery, and then decided on a terrorist plot.
Two weeks before the attack, the murder suspects arrived at Ofer’s home in the vacation resort of Barush [Brosh] to surveillance the area ahead of a violent robbery they were planning, according to their testimony.
“After learning that a senior army officer lived there, who might be armed, they decided to carry out a murder ‘as a gift to the Palestinian people and to Hamas prisoners for the festival of sacrifice [Id al- Adha],’” the suspects said during questioning, according to the Shin Bet.”
To date, visitors to the BBC website have not been informed that the scepticism they were encouraged to employ with regard to the motives for this attack – and others – was redundant.