Roughly four hours after a terror attack took place near Dolev on August 23rd the BBC News website published a written report headlined “Israeli teenage girl killed in West Bank bomb attack” and a filmed report titled “West Bank bomb blast kills 17-year-old Israeli girl”.
The synopsis to the filmed report states: [all emphasis added]
“An Israeli teenage girl has been killed and her father and brother injured in a suspected Palestinian militant attack at a natural spring near a settlement in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli military says an improvised explosive device was used.”
All four versions of the written report similarly opened by telling readers that:
“A 17-year-old Israeli girl has been killed in a bomb attack near a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military says.”
A Tweet promoting the article used the same terminology:
“Israeli teenage girl killed in bomb attack near Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank”
All four versions of the report also closed with the BBC’s standard but partial mantra on ‘settlements’ and ‘international law’ despite the fact that it has nothing to do with the story being reported.
“More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.”
In line with BBC editorial policy, the only mentions of the word terrorist came in direct quotes.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a “harsh terrorist attack”. […]
“The security arms are in pursuit after the abhorrent terrorists. We will apprehend them. The long arm of Israel reaches all those who seek our lives and will settle accounts with them.””
“The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, tweeted that he was “heartbroken and outraged by the brutal terrorist attack”.”
“Last Friday, two Israelis were injured near the settlement of Elazar in what police said was a car-ramming attack. The alleged assailant, a Palestinian man, was shot dead at the scene.”
“Earlier this month, an off-duty Israeli soldier was stabbed to death near the settlement of Migdal Oz. Israeli security forces subsequently arrested two Palestinian men in connection with the attack.”
BBC audiences were told that:
“In a speech in the Gaza Strip, the leader of the militant Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas praised the attack but did not say that it was behind it.”
They were not however informed that Haniyeh called the murder of a seventeen-year-old girl “a heroic attack” or that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad similarly described the attack on three Israeli civilians with an IED as “resistance”.
Notably, the first two versions of the written report stated that the victim of this latest attack had been:
“…hiking with her brother and father near the Ein Bubin spring outside Dolev when an improvised explosive device was detonated.”
In the third version the names of Rina Shnerb’s brother and father were added:
“…hiking with her brother Dvir and her father Eitan near a spring outside Dolev when an explosive device was detonated.”
That information corresponds with statements put out by officials investigating the incident.
“The army said an improvised explosive device was used in the attack. Police sappers determined that the bomb had been planted earlier at the spring and was triggered remotely when the family approached it.”
However in the fourth and final version of the written report – the one that will remain as “permanent public record” on the BBC News website – the BBC amended its description from the active (“was detonated”) to the passive:
“Rina Shnerb had been hiking with her brother Dvir and her father Eitan near a natural spring outside Dolev when an improvised explosive device blew up.”
The BBC’s refusal to describe such incidents as terrorism in its own words, along with its description of Palestinian terrorist organisations as “militants” and its editorial policy of promoting irrelevant and politically partial messaging concerning ‘international law’, as ever mars the accuracy and impartiality of its coverage of violent attacks against Israelis.