BBC continues to omit context to recurrent story

The final item in the January 11th afternoon edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ concerned the latest chapter in a story the BBC has been covering for nearly five years.

Presenter Razia Iqbal introduced her interview (from 49:00 here) with Father Francesco Patton, the Custos of the Holy Land, with an inaccurate claim: [emphasis added]

Iqbal: “For more than five decades the site where Jesus is thought to have been baptized was inaccessible because it was mined heavily during the Six Day War between Israel and Arab nations. That site has been successfully cleared of mines now and is once again a shrine and a place of prayer.”

The thousands of landmines that were cleared from the area (which had previously been under Jordanian occupation) were not laid “during” the Six Day War but after it.

“Following the 1967 War, a War of Attrition began on the eastern front. At a meeting in Damascus, on June 23, 1967, headed by Yasser Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership decided to continue the armed struggle against Israel by moving all organizations’ headquarters into the occupied territories. This resolution opened a new front in the Jordan Valley, followed by armed terror squads crossing the Jordan River and the Jordan Valley on their way to the eastern mountains of Samaria. The purpose of these infiltrations was to stir up the Palestinians in the West Bank into a popular rebellion or disobedience, to supply them with weapons and to prepare an effective leadership to initiate and execute terror operations in the future.”

Qasr al Yahud

In at least four previous reports published or aired since May 2016 the BBC has similarly failed to provide its audiences with an accurate account of when and why the mines were laid at Qasr al Yahud:



The BBC’s latest presentation of that story once again erases the context of the Jordan-based Palestinian terrorism which necessitated the laying of the mines that have since been cleared.

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