Summary of BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians – April 2020

Throughout the month of April 2020, seventeen written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and three of which were carried over from the previous month

(dates in brackets indicate the time period during which the item was available on the ‘Middle East’ page)

One report related to security issues:

Israeli man charged with spying for Iran (8/4/20 to 12/4/20)

One item quoted an Israeli official on a decision made by another country:

Hezbollah: Germany bans and raids Islamist group (30/4/20 to present) discussed here

The two items concerning Palestinian affairs related to the Coronavirus pandemic:

Coronavirus: ‘Gaza has no resources to fight this virus’ (6/4/20 to 9/4/20) discussed here

Palestinians working in Israel face coronavirus dilemma Yolande Knell (29/4/20 to present) discussed here

Of thirteen items relating to internal Israeli internal affairs, four reports were about politics:

Israel election: Netanyahu rival Gantz ‘agrees emergency unity government’ (26/3/20 to 1/4/20)

Israel ‘heading towards record fourth election’ (17/4/20 to 21/4/20) discussed here

Israel’s Netanyahu and Gantz sign unity government deal (20/4/20 to 22/4/20)

Israel coalition deal a victory for Netanyahu forged in isolation Tom Bateman (22/4/20 to 30/4/20)

Six items related to the Coronavirus pandemic:

Israel’s coronavirus patient 74 talks about her experience Tom Bateman (23/3/20 to 23/4/20)

Israel’s Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus (30/3/20 to 2/4/20)

Police cordon off town in Israel (2/4/20 to 3/4/20)

Coronavirus: Ultra-Orthodox Israeli town of Bnei Brak under lockdown (3/4/20 to 9/4/20) discussed here and here

Coronavirus: Israel’s ultra-Orthodox lockdown challenge Tom Bateman (7/4/20 to 10/4/20)

Coronavirus: Israeli drag queens take show online under lockdown Michael Shuval (14/4/20 to 25/4/20)

Three reports concerned technological and legal aspects of Covid-19 related cell phone tracking:

Coronavirus: Israeli spyware firm pitches to be Covid-19 saviour Rory Cellan-Jones BBC Technology (2/4/20 to 8/4/20)

Coronavirus: Israel halts police phone tracking over privacy concerns BBC Technology (23/4/20 to 26/4/20) discussed here

Coronavirus: Israeli court bans lawless contact tracing  BBC Technology (27/4/20 to 30/4/20)

During the first half of April the BBC News website was the most visited site in the world with over 40 million daily visits. However, over 76% of the Israel and Palestinian related items appearing on the website’s ‘Middle East’ page throughout April concerned Israeli affairs and once again BBC audiences saw no meaningful coverage of internal Palestinian affairs beyond politicised accounts of the Coronavirus pandemic in areas controlled by the PA and Hamas.

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