On September 7th the news of the death of a third victim of the arson attack on a house in Duma at the end of July was featured prominently on the BBC News website with the wording:
“The mother of a baby Palestinian boy killed in an arson attack in the West Bank that was blamed on militant Israeli settlers succumbs to her severe burns.”
Oddly tagged ‘Europe’, the report on Riham Dawabsha’s death once again includes broad brush stereotyping of the half million people the BBC regularly describes to its audiences as ‘settlers’.
“Riham Dawabsha suffered severe burns to 90% of her body in the July attack, blamed on Israeli settlers. […]
Palestinians have accused Jewish settlers of carrying out the attack; Israel has not said whether it holds settlers responsible, and an investigation is ongoing.”
Obviously “Israel has not said” who was responsible for the murders in Duma because, as the article itself points out, there has to date been no public announcement concerning the indictment or even arrest of suspected perpetrators of the arson attack – let alone their postcode – and in Israel (as opposed to the BBC newsroom or the Palestinian street) responsibility for a crime is a matter to be proven in a court of law.
“The deaths provoked international condemnation. So far no suspects have been arrested. […]
After the attack, the Israeli government announced new measures to combat vigilante Jewish groups who attack Palestinians and their property, including administrative detention for extremists.
A number of detentions have been made but none in direct connection with the firebombing in Duma.”
Yet again no attempt is made to inform BBC audiences of the context of the estimated numbers of those extremists and it is not clarified that the overwhelming majority of those whom the BBC describes as “Jewish settlers” abhor and condemn their criminal activity. Once more it is notable that BBC reporting on Palestinian terror suspects rarely, if ever, specifies the subject’s religion and clearly BBC audiences would have been no less informed had the phrase ‘Israeli extremists’ been used instead of “Jewish settlers” in this and previous reports.