BBC News flunks headline of report on Jerusalem terror attack

On the evening of October 3rd a terror attack took place near the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

“Two Israeli men […] died of their wounds Saturday night after being stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City in a terror attack.

The wife of one of the men is in serious condition and their two-year-old baby was lightly wounded. The mother was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and is undergoing surgery. The toddler was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where he remains in stable condition. […]

When the attack began, the injured woman managed to run and alert a group of Border Police forces nearby who arrived on the scene and shot and killed the attacker.”

So how did the website of the self-styled “standard-setter for international journalism” report that terror attack? Here is the Tweet promoting the article sent from the BBC News account.

Pigua Lions Gate tweet BBC

The headline to that article – “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” – is not only a prime example of the ‘last-first reporting’ regularly employed by the BBC but of course fails to clarify to audiences that the dead Palestinian was the terrorist who killed two people (later named as father of seven Rabbi Nechemia Lavi and father of two Rabbi Aharon Benita) and wounded a mother and her two year-old son.

Pigua Lions Gate art vers 1

Predictably, that headline prompted considerable protest on social media and shortly after its publication the title was changed to one displaying yet another regular feature of BBC reporting; the use of superfluous punctuation.

Pigua Lions Gate art vers 2

Following further complaints, the headline was amended again.

Pigua Lions Gate art vers 3

And later on – yet again.

Pigua Lions Gate art vers 4

In other words, professional journalists supposedly fluent in the English language had to make three changes to the article’s headline in not much more than an hour.

And what of the report itself? In line with standard BBC practice, the word terror does not appear in any of the versions of an article describing a terror attack on Israeli civilians. Readers are told that:

“It comes two days after an Israeli couple, who were in a car with their four children, were shot dead in the West Bank.”

Of course BBC audiences had not been informed that was a terror attack either.

Readers of the third version of the report were told that:

“Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, issued a statement praising the attack which it described as “heroic”.”

They were not, however, informed that social media accounts belonging to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party similarly praised the attack and described its perpetrator as a ‘hero’. The information concerning Hamas was later removed.

As was the case in reports concerning the previous fatal terror attack just two days before, BBC audiences were provided with ‘context’ which made no mention of the incitement from Palestinian sources which underpins the recent wave of violence and terrorism.

“There has been a recent flare-up in tensions between Israel and Palestinians, with violent confrontations between security forces and Palestinian youths in a compound holy to both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly that Israel risked creating “an explosive situation” in Jerusalem and the West Bank with its use of “brutal force”.”

Once again BBC News reporting on terror attacks against Israelis is shown to be unfit for purpose.

 

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