Following the deadly acts of terror in Paris in November 2015 and in Brussels in March 2016, the BBC found it appropriate to provide its audiences with information about the victims killed and wounded in those attacks.
The morning after the June 8th terror attack in Tel Aviv in which four people were murdered and sixteen wounded, the BBC News website found it appropriate to focus audience attentions on a topic other than its victims. The website’s Middle East page ran the headline “Palestinian permits frozen after attack”, linking to an article titled “Tel Aviv shooting: Israel suspends Palestinian permits“.
The third version of that report was amended to include the names, ages and gender of the four victims of the previous evening’s attack. In contrast to the articles concerning the Paris and Brussels attacks, no additional personal details or photographs were provided.
“Two women – Ilana Nave, 39, and Mila Mishayev, 32 – and two men – Ido Ben Aryeh, 42, and Michael Feige, 58 – were killed in the shootings, police said.”
Editors did however consider it necessary to amend the report in order to inform BBC audiences of the terrorists’ sartorial tastes.
“The two gunmen, who were smartly dressed, opened fire with automatic weapons on diners and passers-by after sitting down and ordering food at one of the complex’s restaurants.”
Once again, the only use of the word terrorism in the report came in the form of a direct quote.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Sarona complex shortly after Wednesday night’s attack, calling it “a savage crime of murder and terrorism”.”
While failing to note the fact that Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organization, the report included the following information:
“Islamist group Hamas praised what it called an “heroic attack” but did not say it was behind it.
In a statement a day after the killings, the West Bank-based Palestinian Presidency said it “repeatedly emphasised its rejection of all operations targeting civilians regardless of their identity and irrespective of the justifications”, without directly addressing the Tel Aviv attack.”
Readers were not however told that Fatah – also headed by Mahmoud Abbas – put out statements concerning the terror attack which used language remarkably similar to that adopted by Hamas spokesmen. [emphasis added]
“”The Fatah Movement stated in a notice from the Mobilization and Organization Commission” that the Tel Aviv operation (i.e., terror attack, 4 murdered) which occurred last night is a private and spontaneous natural response to Israel’s choosing force…
Head of the Information Committee of the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission Munir Al-Jaghoub said: ‘Israel needs to understand the results of its actions, [which are] a continuation of the promotion of the option of violence and the policy of demolishing homes and expelling residents of Jerusalem, and the ongoing invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza by the herds of settlers… and the cold blooded murder of Palestinians at their checkpoints, which are spread through the territories occupied since 1967.'”
“In a brief press release on Thursday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri deemed the operation a natural response to the Israeli occupation’s crimes against Palestinians and the constant Israeli desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslim sanctities.”
The report did include a rarely seen mention of Palestinian celebration of the terror attack.
“News of the attack was greeted in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with fireworks and cheering. Some Palestinians handed out sweets and waved flags in celebration.”
The main focus of the report was on the topic of the temporary suspension of entry permits into Israel previously issued to Palestinians resident in the PA and Hamas controlled territories.
“Israel says it has suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians after gunmen killed four people in an attack at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv. […]
Israel later announced a permit ban that will impact Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip who had planned to visit relatives in Israel, attend Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem or travel abroad via Tel Aviv’s airport.”
The report did not clarify to readers that those permits were announced several days earlier within the framework of the special goodwill measures adopted for Ramadan.
Compare and contrast: BBC News personalisation of victims of terror
Comparing BBC personalisation of victims of terror in Paris, Brussels and Israel
BBC coverage of Sarona Market terror attack – part one
BBC coverage of Sarona Market terror attack – part two