As information concerning the terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on the evening of June 8th came to light, the BBC News website updated its report on the incident numerous times over a period of some ten hours.
The initial article was titled “‘Several wounded’ in Tel Aviv shooting”. None of the later amendments to the headline – made after circumstances became clearer – informed readers that the incident was a terror attack, with editors opting instead to use the ambiguous phrasing “shopping centre attack”.
The first three versions of the report made no mention of the word terror. Later versions included statements from the Tel Aviv chief of police, the Israeli prime minister and from eye witnesses which did include the word terror inside quotation marks but in all versions the BBC refrained from telling audiences in its own words that Palestinian terrorists had murdered and wounded civilians enjoying a night out in a café.
The latest version of the BBC’s report has not to date been updated to inform BBC audiences of the statement released by Hamas claiming that the terrorists are members of its organization or of the praise for the attack from Ismail Haniyeh.
The attack was the sixth in the Tel Aviv-Yaffo area since October of last year.
October 8th 2015: Tel Aviv: Female soldier and three others stabbed. Terrorist was shot and killed.
November 19th 2015: Tel Aviv: Two people were killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack during afternoon prayers in a Judaica store located in the Panorama building – a commercial center in southern Tel Aviv. The terrorist, from Dura in the West Bank, was apprehended. Hamas “welcomed” the attack. The victims: Rabbi Aharon Yesayev, 32, of Holon and Reuven Aviram, 51, of Ramle.
January 1st 2016: Tel Aviv: In a shooting attack at a pub, two killed – Alon Bakal (26), the pub’s manager, and Shimon Ruimi (30) – and 8 injured, two seriously. The assailant (29, Arab-Israeli citizen from Arara village in northern Israel) was killed a week later during an attempt to apprehend him. Taxi driver Amin Shaaban, 42, of Lod, was later shot and killed by the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street.
March 8th 2016: Tel Aviv-Jaffa: 29-year-old American student Taylor Force was killed and 10 others wounded in a stabbing attack which began near the Jaffa port. The assailant fled on foot along the Tel Aviv beach promenade, stabbing passersby and motorists before he was shot and killed by police.
May 30th 2016: Tel Aviv: An Arab from Salfit (17) stabbed a soldier with a screwdriver. The assailant was arrested.
Nevertheless, the head of the BBC’s Jerusalem bureau thought it necessary to inform his Twitter followers that such attacks are “rare”.
That theme was also seen in some of the radio coverage of the attack which will be discussed in an upcoming post.