The synopsis to a video about the Covid-19 pandemic in the Gaza Strip which was uploaded to Youtube by BBC Arabic on April 16th included the following claim:
“The Strip, which has been living under the impact of the Israeli blockade since 2007, is considered the most densely populated in the world”
CAMERA Arabic contacted the BBC, pointing out that:
- The blockade on the Gaza Strip is not exclusively Israeli: Egypt also imposes a blockade on the territory. Among the media outlets which have in the past corrected their phrasing on that matter is Reuters News Agency.
- With 4,987 persons/km2, according to mid-2017 data published by the CIA’s World Factbook, the Gaza Strip is not the “most densely populated” territory in the world, as stated by the BBC. In terms of population density, it is located below Macau (21,346), Monaco (15,322), Singapore (8,188) and Hong Kong (6,491), and slightly above Gibraltar (4,522 persons/km2). The official mid-2019 number provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics – 5,453 persons/km2 – still places the Gaza Strip in 5th place in terms of population density. As for the population density in Gaza City – 9,370 persons/km2 – it is actually lower than many more of the world’s cities. The BBC itself confirmed that it is lower than several of London’s districts in 2018.
While the BBC did not correct the first point, on April 21st it did amend the synopsis to state that the Gaza Strip “is considered one of the most densely populated [places] in the world”.