Over the past two years visitors to the BBC News website have repeatedly read the following statement in reports usually – but not exclusively – concerning terror attacks:
“Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”
Examples of such messaging in reports from the last few months alone include:
Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem June 16th 2017
Israeli police killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site July 14th 2017
Three Israelis stabbed to death in West Bank attack July 21st 2017
Palestinian gunman kills three Israelis in West Bank September 26th 2017
Interpol approves Palestinian membership despite Israeli opposition September 27th 2017
That narrative complies with ‘media guidance’ put out by the PLO in November 2015.
In addition to the fact that the BBC has made very little effort to explain to its audiences why Israeli officials cite Palestinian incitement as a factor underpinning the violence, it has also serially avoided the issue of the religious motivations behind some such attacks.
This week the Hamas affiliated perpetrator of an attack that took place three and a half years ago was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment.
“Ziad Awad, the terrorist who was convicted of murdering Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi and wounding his wife Hadas in April 2014, was sentenced to two life sentences on Monday.
The presiding judge also took into account that Awad had carried out the attack despite being one of the terrorists released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal.
Baruch Mizrahi was killed on the eve of Passover while driving with his wife Hadas and five children to the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, to take part in the Passover Seder (feast).
Awad, who is a resident of the Palestinian West Bank town of Idhna, opened fire on the vehicle, killing Baruch, seriously injuring Hadas and lightly wounding one of their children.”
The BBC initially reported that attack in a belated thirty-four word paragraph and subsequent reporting failed to clarify that the incident was a terror attack. The terrorist’s arrest and indictment did not receive any BBC coverage and so audiences did not receive any information concerning the motive behind the murder.
“Before launching the attack, Awad confided in his son that he had religious motivation, saying that, “according to Islam, whoever kills a Jew goes to heaven.””
Such cases do not of course fit into the BBC’s chosen narrative of Palestinian terrorism caused by “frustration” at “decades of Israeli occupation” and audiences therefore do not get to hear about them.