BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – January 2016

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during January 2016 shows that throughout the month a total of 169 incidents took place: 126 in Judea & Samaria, 39 in Jerusalem, one inside the ‘green line’ and 3 incidents in the Gaza Strip: two missile attacks and one attack with an IED.  

The agency recorded 136 attacks with petrol bombs, nine shooting attacks, 12 attacks using explosive devices and 9 stabbing attacks.

Five Israeli civilians were killed during January – two stabbing attacks and three in shooting attacks. 28 people (18 civilians and 10 members of the security forces) were wounded: 14 in shooting attacks, 8 in stabbing attacks and six in attacks with petrol bombs.

The missile attack from the Gaza strip on January 1st was not reported by the BBC in English but the later Israeli response was reported by BBC Arabic. The same pattern was seen on January 24th when an additional missile attack was ignored by the BBC’s English language services but the Israeli response was reported in Arabic. The IED attack was also not reported.

BBC News coverage of the fatal terror attack in Tel Aviv on January 1st in which three civilians were killed was remarkable for its promotion of irrelevant speculation. Two of the victims of that attack – Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi – were named in a follow-up report which appeared the next day. The third victim – Amin Shaaban – was only named a week later in a subsequent report.

The BBC News website’s reporting of the January 17th terror attack in Otniel in which Dafna Meir was murdered focused on politicised descriptions of the victim’s place of residence. An additional incident which took place on that day was mentioned in the same article.

The stabbing attack in Beit Horon on January 25th in which Shlomit Krigman was murdered and an additional woman wounded was only covered on the BBC News website the following day and the victim was not named.

In addition to those attacks, the BBC News website reported on six additional attacks throughout the month. Three incidents of attempted stabbings on January 7th and 9th were reported on the BBC News website. A stabbing attack in Tekoa on January 18th was reported, as was an attempted stabbing at Anatot on January 23rd.  A shooting attack near Ramallah on January 31st in which three soldiers were wounded only received coverage the following day.

Among the attacks which did not receive any coverage were a shooting attack in Hebron and a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on January 3rd, a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion on January 5th, a stabbing attack in Givat Zeev on January 27th and a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on January 30th.

In conclusion, the BBC News website reported ten – i.e.  5.9% – of the 169 terror attacks which took place during January 2016. 100% of the Israeli fatalities were reported although only four of the five victims were named. None of the terror attacks originating in the Gaza Strip were covered in English.

table Jan 16

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – December 2015 and Q4 summary


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