BBC News amplifies Hizballah propaganda in report on Har Dov attack

On January 4th the BBC News website’s Middle East page published a report titled “Hezbollah bomb attack targets Israeli border patrol“. Predictably, the BBC’s descriptions of both thatHar Dov art main designated terror organization and the convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar are less than satisfactory.

“The militant Hezbollah movement said it had detonated a large explosive device beside armoured vehicles patrolling the disputed Shebaa Farms area. […]

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah were heightened by the killing of a prominent militant in Syria last month.” [emphasis added]

The report includes an oddly worded passage which appears to claim that an IDF source told the BBC that soldiers were injured in the attack.

Har Dov art injuries

All local media outlets reported that there were no injuries to Israeli forces in the attack – see for example here, here and here.

The IDF Spokesman also clarified that point on Twitter.

Peter Lerner Har Dov incident

BBC Watch contacted the IDF Spokesman’s office which confirmed that there were no injuries to IDF personnel and described the BBC’s claim as “very strange”.

Later on in the report, readers find uncritical amplification of a statement put out by Hizballah shortly after the attack.

“Hezbollah subsequently declared that a cell named after Qantar was behind the bombing.

“The martyr leader Samir Qantar group detonated a large explosive device on an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa Farms… which destroyed an Israeli vehicle… and injured those inside it,” a statement said.”

Readers are not informed that Hizballah’s propaganda claim that soldiers were wounded is untrue and the appearance of that previous inaccurate statement regarding injuries is of course bound to compound the inaccurate impression received by readers of this report.

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