One theme repeatedly promoted in cross-platform BBC reporting is that the situation in the Gaza Strip is essentially the result of the “blockade” imposed by Israel and Egypt. Often no attempt is made at all to explain why the counter-terrorism measures had to be put in place. On other occasions the BBC uses the “Israel says” formula to tick the impartiality box but without any substantial explanation of what Israel’s “security concerns” or “security reasons” actually entail. Some more recent examples include:
“A blockade, which Israel says it’s imposed because of security concerns, has severely restricted imports and exports and the movement of people.” BBC World Service radio 1/8/19
“But peace didn’t last long and Israel still controls who and what goes in and out of Gaza. It says the blockade is for security reasons.” BBC Radio 1 & BBC Radio 1 XTRA 14/5/19
“And really the context to all of it is that the Palestinians in Gaza say they want an easing of the blockade that Israel says it carries out for security reasons.” BBC Radio 1 & BBC Radio 1 XTRA 13/5/19
“…Israel tightened its blockade on the region citing security concerns and strictly controlling all movement of goods and people in and out of the Gaza Strip.” BBC Two 13/5/19
“One of the demonstrators, Bahaa Abu Shamala, said Palestinians were highlighting their historical dispossession and calling for an end to the blockade which Israel says it imposes for security reasons.” BBC Radio 4 30/3/19
“Hospitals have been badly affected by the economic blockade maintained by Israel and on the other side by Egypt – they say for security reasons.” BBC Radio 4 18/1/19
“Gaza’s economy has also been badly hit by a blockade by Israel and Egypt – needed, they say – for security reasons.” BBC News website 30/12/18
“However, given the blockade maintained by Israel – it says of course that’s for security reasons – travelling to the West Bank requires special permission which many do not get.” BBC Radio 4 24/12/18
“The economy’s been impacted by a blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt – they say for their security…” BBC World Service radio 17/12/18
“Gaza is a place that the UN said six years ago could be unlivable by 2020. Today they’re warning that two million people who live here are slipping deeper into poverty because of what they’re calling deplorable living conditions. The blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt – they say for security reasons – is a major factor.” BBC Radio 4 17/12/18
Early on the morning of August 10th a serious incident took place in the southern section of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli military said on Saturday that a “large-scale terror attack” was thwarted as troops killed four Palestinians who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip, armed with AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, hunting knives and bolt cutters. The Israel Defense Forces released a number of photos of the seized weapons.
The army said in a statement that the incident began at 4:00 a.m. Saturday as lookout troops spotted four figures heading toward the border fence “in military formation” from the direction of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. […]
The four Gazans were killed by Israeli soldiers who “opened fire once one of the terrorists scaled the fence,” the military said in an initial statement, adding that a hand grenade was thrown at the troops during the clash but none of the soldiers were injured.”
On the morning of August 11th another incident took place in the northern sector of the same border.
“Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian gunman who opened fire at them while attempting to sneak into Israel from Gaza early Sunday, the military said, as fresh fighting broke out on the tense border. […]
“IDF lookouts spotted an armed terrorist approaching the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorist shot at IDF troops. The troops, who were prepared for the event because of the lookout, opened fire at the terrorist,” the army said in a statement.”
Earlier this month a similar incident took place in the southern sector when a Hamas operative infiltrated Israeli territory, injuring three Israeli soldiers.
A media outlet truly committed to providing “impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them” would of course report such incidents in order to provide its audience with context to the phrase “the blockade which Israel says it imposes for security reasons”.
The BBC, however, has to date ignored all three of those serious recent incidents in its English language reporting. The two latest attacks have however been briefly mentioned on the BBC Arabic website.