On the afternoon of April 18th an explosion occurred on a public bus in Jerusalem injuring 21 people. Within a couple of hours the police and security services had established the cause of the incident.
“Police and rescue officials confirmed 21 people were hurt when the number 12 city bus exploded on Moshe Baram Street in the Talpiot neighborhood of the capital at about 5:45 p.m., setting the bus on fire.
A second intercity bus nearby and a car were also burned in the blast.
Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevy told the media the blast was caused by an explosive device placed on the bus, putting an end to hours of speculation over whether the blast was terror related or a technical malfunction.
“When a bomb explodes on a bus, it is a terror attack,” he said, adding it was unclear if the bomber had been on the bus at the time of the blast.”
Reporting on the incident began to appear on the BBC News website shortly after it took place and early reports correctly noted that “[a]n Israeli police spokesman said it was investigating the incident, the cause of which was not immediately clear”.
As more information was made public, later reports informed BBC audiences that:
“A police statement said bomb disposal experts had determined that a device exploded in the back half of the bus.”
“A police spokesman told Israeli Channel 2 television that investigators were still trying to determine who had planted the bomb.”
However, none of the amendments made to the article currently going under the title “Jerusalem bus bombing injures 21” clarified that the authorities had confirmed that the incident was a terror attack and the word terror does not appear at all in any of the report’s six versions.
Moreover, later versions of the article included commentary from Yolande Knell in which the perpetrators of numerous terror attacks on Israeli public buses during the second Intifada were described using the euphemistic term “militants”.
“For many, images from the scene here will bring back worrying memories of the bomb attacks by Palestinian militants that last took place in this city more than a decade ago.”
Knell appears to have forgotten that a British citizen was murdered in a terror attack at a Jerusalem bus stop in 2011 and that bomb attacks on buses have occurred in other Israeli cities far more recently than “more than a decade ago”.
Similarly, readers of the final version of the BBC’s report were informed that:
“Palestinian militant group Hamas, which carried out a wave of bus bombings in the city in the early 2000s, praised Monday’s blast, calling it “a natural reaction to Israeli crimes”.”
“Hamas welcomed the attack in Jerusalem as a “natural response to the crimes of occupation,” but it did not claim responsibility.
Islamic Jihad welcomes the attack as “proof of the failure of security coordination” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it “welcomes the operation as a positive and important development of the intifada.” “
It is of course difficult to imagine that had twenty-one people been injured by a bomb placed on a London bus, the BBC would have avoided using the word ‘terror’ in its reporting of the incident. But as we have known for quite some time, the corporation defends the double standards seen in its reporting of terrorism by claiming that attacks against Israelis are “very different” from those against civilians elsewhere (whilst refusing to clarify the rationale behind that claim) and it does not consider those double standards to be “a significant issue of general importance that might justify further investigation”.