Over the years BBC audiences have been regularly exposed to descriptions of the restrictions imposed by Israel on the import of munitions and dual-use goods to the Gaza Strip and the policies on entry to Israel from that territory that include inaccurate portrayals of the measures imposed and the reasons for them in distinctly partisan language. For example:
“Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade around Gaza aimed at preventing attacks by militants there, though the measure has been condemned by rights groups as a form of collective punishment.” [emphasis added] BBC News website, February 13th 2017.
“…the stifling border closures the Israeli government says are for security, the people here say are for collective punishment.” [emphasis added] BBC World Service radio, February 1st 2017.
“Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas receiving materials that could be used for military purposes, but the UN has long been critical of it.
Last week Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it “collective punishment for which there must be accountability”.” [emphasis added] BBC News website, July 3rd 2016.
“Gaza’s economy is definitely not able to support a population of 1.7 million people but that’s because of the siege imposed by Israel and Egypt.” [emphasis added] BBC Radio 4, July 19th 2014.
“And I have to say – and this is one of the oddest things – from the decrepit heart of a half-destroyed city in a besieged and blockaded enclave, sometimes described as the biggest open air prison in the world, comes the best ice cream I have ever tasted.” [emphasis added] BBC Radio 4, June 18th 2015.
“One of the reasons Gaza’s often described as the largest open-air prison in the world is the difficulty of getting across the border with Israel.” [emphasis added] BBC World Service radio, May 19th 2015.
On March 26th 2017, Hamas closed the Gaza Strip’s borders.
“Hamas closed the border crossing between the Gaza Strip in Israel on Sunday morning in the wake of the assassination of one of its commanders, Mazan Fukha.
As a result of the closing, neither Palestinians nor international representatives are allowed in or out of the strip.
The crossing, which [is] controlled by Hamas and situated after the Israeli Erez Crossing, will be closed until further notice, according to a statement by the Hamas Interior Ministry.
All other exit points from the Gaza Strip have also been closed in an effort to make it harder on Fukha’s assassins or their accomplices to leave the strip.
The Rafah border crossing, which connects the strip with Egypt, will also be closed by Hamas—even if Egypt decides to open it—while fishermen are barred from going out the sea.”
Subsequently, those restrictions on movement were partially eased.
“The Hamas terror group partially reopened a key crossing between the northern Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday, a day after shuttering the checkpoint while blaming the Jewish state for the assassination of one of its terror chiefs in the Palestinian enclave.
The terror group, which is the de facto ruler of the Strip, said the Erez Crossing would be open to anyone wishing to enter Gaza, but those leaving would remain restricted to senior politicians, the sick and families of prisoners.
Men between the ages of 15 and 45 are forbidden from leaving in all cases, while women of all ages who fall into the categories would be allowed to leave.
“From Monday morning, travel through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing will be permitted temporarily for some categories,” a statement from Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the interior ministry in the Palestinian enclave, said.”
As noted here previously, the BBC has chosen not to report the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha on its English language services and – despite its usually extensive coverage of Gaza border restrictions implemented by Israel – Hamas’ decision to impose closures on the borders and a ban on fishing have also not been deemed newsworthy.