Just after 9 p.m. on the evening of December 25th sirens warning of incoming missiles were sounded in Ashkelon and surrounding communities. One rocket launched from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
“Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket toward the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday night as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was campaigning for the upcoming Likud leadership primary, prompting the premier to be rushed off stage to take cover for the second time in under four months.
The Israel Defense Forces said soldiers operating the Iron Dome missile defense system shot down the incoming rocket.”
The IDF later responded with strikes on Hamas infrastructure.
The first brief mention of that attack on the BBC News website came over fourteen hours later in a report relating to another topic – “Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in party leadership challenge” – which appeared on the ‘Middle East’ page on December 26th.
“There was a moment of drama at a campaign rally in the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday night when Mr Netanyahu was ushered off stage by bodyguards after an air raid siren warning of rocket fire from Gaza sounded.
It was the second time Mr Netanyahu, who styles himself as the person who can best bring security to Israel, was forced to take cover during a campaign rally, following a similar incident in September.”
The article includes a 45-second video, also posted separately on the BBC News website titled “Gaza rocket sends Netanyahu to shelter during rally in Ashkelon”.
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was briefly taken to a shelter during a campaign rally after a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at the southern city of Ashkelon.
Mr Netanyahu, who is campaigning to remain as leader of the conservative Likud party, was escorted off a stage by bodyguards. He was taken to a shelter after sirens sounded, before resuming the event.
It was the second such incident since September.
No group in Gaza said it had launched the rocket, which was shot down by an Iron Dome air defence interceptor, according to the Israeli military.”
Readers may recall that the “incident in September” was the only one of five separate attacks that took place that month to be reported by the BBC.
In the month before this latest attack, six incidents of rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip took place:
November 25th: one mortar fired at the Eshkol district.
November 26th: two rockets fired at Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev district.
November 29th: one rocket fired at the Eshkol district.
December 19th morning: one rocket fired at Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev district.
December 19th evening: one rocket fired at the Sha’ar HaNegev region.
Once again none of those incidents received any coverage whatsoever from the BBC, which repeatedly shows itself to have no interest in informing its audiences of the scale of repeated attacks against civilians in southern Israel (who since the beginning of this year alone have been targeted by over 1,300 rockets and mortars) but does wake up when a prominent politician has to evacuate to a shelter.