Once again the BBC avoids a story which could enhance audience understanding

Just as revealing as the stories concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the BBC does elect to report are those it chooses to ignore.

As we have noted here in the past, the BBC has been telling its audiences for years that “Israel says” that the counter-terrorism measures imposed on the Gaza Strip are for security reasons.

“… the blockade, which Israel says is a necessary security measure.” (link to source

“Israel says the blockade aims to stop the supply of arms or other items for military use, and to put pressure on the Hamas administration.” (link to source)

“Israel tightened maritime restrictions on Gaza from 2007 [sic], leading to a blockade which it says it [sic] a vital security measure against the militant Islamist group Hamas, which administers the territory.” (link to source)

“Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to stop weapons being smuggled to militants within Gaza.” (link to source)

However the BBC more often than not refrains from reporting news which would clarify why such measures are necessary both on land and at sea.

Such a story was recently cleared for publication.

photo credit: IDF

“Israeli security forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons to the Hamas terror group’s naval commando unit in the Gaza Strip from the northern Sinai Peninsula through the Mediterranean Sea several weeks ago, the military said Wednesday. […]

On an unspecified date, navy soldiers monitoring the Mediterranean Sea “identified the suspected vessel and directed naval forces to it. Following a chase, the vessel was detained and two terrorist operatives on board were taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet,” the IDF said.

One of the two was Mahmoud Baker, whom the military identified as a senior smuggler who was worked with a number of terror groups in the Strip. “His capture represents a significant operational achievement,” the IDF said. […]

The IDF said that during their interrogation by the Shin Bet, the two men said the weapons they were smuggling were going to Hamas naval commandos.”

To date we have seen no evidence of the BBC showing any interest in reporting this story to its audiences. 

The BBC’s long standing avoidance of stories such as this means that its audiences are deprived of information which would contribute to their understanding of why “Israel says” what it does. That clearly conflicts with the BBC’s obligations as set out in the first of its five public purposes.

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