A filmed report titled “Gaza family: ‘Our children suffer to get a bottle of water’” was posted on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on September 27th.
“There are fresh warnings about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where there are severe water and power shortages.
A new World Bank report says the economy is in “free fall”.
Meanwhile, deadly protests have resumed along the Gaza-Israel border and the situation “could explode any minute”, according to Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
Talks brokered by Egypt and the UN have so far failed to agree a long-term truce between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Israel.
BBC News visited one family in Gaza to see how they were coping with the lack of resources.”
That synopsis does not inform BBC audiences that the pre-planned violence it euphemistically describes as “protests” has increased (rather than “resumed”) because in early September Hamas decided to up the pace of rioting along the border fence with a “nighttime deployment unit“. Neither are BBC audiences informed of the tensions between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority which have to date thwarted a cease-fire agreement.
Viewers of the filmed report saw context-free statements from one female interviewee – who was only identified late in the report using the epithet ‘Um Mustafa’ and is apparently the same person who appeared in a radio report by Yolande Knell in August – alongside equally uninformative BBC commentary.
Woman: “Our children suffer to get a bottle of water. The mains water isn’t drinkable. If we don’t have money, they take containers to a communal water supply.”
BBC: “Nidal and Mohammed live with their mother and siblings in Khan Younis refugee camp. At home, their family also suffers from power shortages.
Woman: “The electricity problem means that in every 24 hours we get only three or four hours. When we get electricity we plug in our mobile phones, the water pump and charge the battery so we can use it for lights when the power is cut.”
BBC: “Medicine shortages in Gaza hospitals are another problem. Khaled needs kidney dialysis four times a week. His drugs cost $80 a month.”
Woman: “My hope for the future? We only have faith in God. We don’t have hope from the government or expect anything positive from anyone.”
BBC: “Khan Younis has seen some of the deadliest protests on the border with Israel. When Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel there were also Israeli air strikes. Um Mustafa, a widow, worries for all her six children.”
Woman: “I hope that when my son goes out to university he comes back safe and isn’t shot by a stray bullet or hot by a rocket fired at an area he’s in or by shelling. I hope we get stability and live in safety.”
As we see, viewers of this report get an entirely context-free portrayal of water, power and medicines shortages in the Gaza Strip. They are not informed that all three of those issues are linked to the infighting between the terror organisation Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
The BBC cannot possibly claim that this report meets its remit of providing audiences with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards” in order to “help people understand” this particular issue.