On March 4th a short report appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website (and oddly also on its US & Canada page) under the headline “Two killed in Israeli air strike in northern Gaza Strip“.
The report states:
“Two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike in northern Gaza.
An Israeli military spokesman said its aircraft targeted “terrorists preparing to launch rockets” at civilian communities in southern Israel.
Palestinian medics said one man, Musaad al-Zaneen, died immediately after the raid on farmland near the town of Beit Hanoun while the second, Sharif Nasser, later died from his injuries.
There were conflicting reports about whether one or both had been militants.
Israeli media had earlier reported a failed rocket attack. The projectile apparently fell short of the border and landed in the Gaza Strip.”
The sources of those “conflicting reports” – used to justify the BBC’s absurd reluctance to classify two men caught in the act of firing a missile at civilians as “militants” – are not made clear to readers.
However, the terrorist organisations themselves were on hand with claims which should clear up the BBC’s angst.
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) identified one of those killed, Musab Musa Za’anin, as a member of the group’s military wing, the al Quds Brigades. The second Palestinian killed in the strike was identified as Sharif Nasser, who was claimed by the Mujahideen Brigades as one of its fighters.”
That information has now been in the public domain for two days and yet this report had not been amended to clarify to BBC audiences that the two men killed were members of terrorist organisations rather than random “Palestinians”.