The BBC’s partisan framing of the weekly ‘Great Return March’ rioting continues, as a recent example demonstrates.
On October 12th listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ heard the following report (from 04:55 here) read by newsreader Chris Aldridge which was also repeated a couple of hours later in the station’s midnight news bulletin. [emphasis in bold added]
Aldridge: “Health officials in Gaza say seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during protests on the border with Israel. Around 250 people were injured. The demonstrations involving around 1,000 Palestinians have prompted the Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman to order an immediate hold in fuel deliveries to Gaza. Our correspondent Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem.”
As we see, members of the Hamas terror group were presented as “health officials” and the regular violent rioting now in its seventh month was, as ever, misleadingly portrayed as “protests” and “demonstrations”. Aldridge’s claim that “around 1,000 Palestinians” took part in the incidents on October 12th is inaccurate: in fact around fifteen times that number participated in the violence.
BBC audiences were not informed that the “hold in fuel deliveries to Gaza” related to $60 million worth of fuel donated by Qatar.
“Channel 10 news military analyst Alon Ben-David said Israel had seen Friday as a test for Hamas, which had been expected to temper border protests in response to Israel allowing the transfer of fuel into the Strip. Hamas had failed this test, he said.
In recent days Qatari-bought fuel had begun entering the Strip to allow operation of its only power station, in a bid to alleviate conditions in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Israel has facilitated the delivery over the objections of the Palestinian Authority, hoping it will help ease months of protests and clashes. […]
For months residents of the strip have been receiving only four hours of electricity a day on average. Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator, told the Reuters news agency the delivery will add a few more hours of electricity to Gaza’s 2 million residents.
But it was met with criticism by officials close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose rival administration was not involved. […]
In a statement Tuesday Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior official close to Abbas, threatened retaliatory measures if the fuel deliveries continued.
Abbas has reportedly threatened to cut off funds to Gaza in response to the fuel transfers.
“When Qatar pays for the fuel, Hamas in Gaza will collect the bills and put it in its pocket, and this is an indirect financial aid to Hamas,” a PA official said Saturday…”
Yolande Knell opened her report using the ‘Israel says’ formula:
Knell: “The Israeli military says Palestinians have been burning tyres and throwing stones and explosive devices at its troops. It says soldiers shot at a group which broke through the border fence using a bomb and approached an army post.”
In contrast, here is a local report on the same events:
“In the most serious incident, in the south of the Strip, the IDF said several Gazans planted a bomb by the fence. After it exploded and blew a hole in the fence, some 20 Palestinians came through and ran toward Israeli soldiers stationed in a snipers’ position.
Most of the Gazans pulled back and returned through the fence into the Strip. However, three continued to move towards soldiers, who fired at them, killing them. […]
The army said around 15,000 protesters hurled grenades, bombs, firebombs and rocks at Israeli forces at various locations along the border. Hadashot TV reported that for the first time soldiers were also being shot at with crossbows. […]
Heavy smoke from burning tires at the Kerem Shalom crossing in the northern Strip prompted authorities in Israel to order residents of the adjacent kibbutz to stay indoors. Ynet said firefighters were putting up large fans throughout the community to help clear the smoke.
Meanwhile, ten fires broke out in southern Israel that were sparked by incendiary balloons launched over the border.”
Knell: “The protesters are demanding an end to the blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt and the right to return to Palestinans’ ancestral land which now lies inside Israel.”
Unsurprisingly, Knell did not mention that her “end to the blockade” theory is undermined by the fact that no comparable rioting has been staged along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Neither did she bother to clarify that the so-called ‘right of return’ is intended to eradicate the Jewish state.
Significantly, Knell did not explain to BBC audiences that the Hamas-orchestrated rioting in fact prevented the entry of the Israel facilitated Qatari fuel donation aimed at improving conditions for residents of the Gaza Strip.
Airbrushing both the violent coup of 2007 in which the terror group Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and the ample evidence of Hamas involvement in the organisation of the ‘Great Return March’ events which the BBC has failed to report for over half a year, she closed her report:
Knell: “Israel accuses Hamas – the militant group which runs Gaza – of orchestrating the demonstrations as a cover to launch attacks. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began in late March. One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.”
As we see, Knell concealed the fact that a significant proportion of those killed have been shown to have links to terror organisations – as Hamas itself has admitted.
Even in a simple 65 second item in a news bulletin, BBC audiences are being fed a selective and partisan account of events which actively hinders their understanding of this ongoing story.