BBC clarifies inaccurate ‘Dateline London’ claim about Oslo Accords and Palestinian healthcare

Readers may recall that the January 16th edition of the BBC programme ‘Dateline London’ included erroneous information concerning the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility for healthcare under the Oslo Accords:


Mr Stephen Franklin made a complaint to the BBC on that issue and received a response which includes the following:

Thank you for contacting us about Dateline London broadcast on 16 January.

The purpose of this discussion was to highlight Israel’s world leading performance in vaccination. Shaun Ley spoke to Hugh Pym, the BBC’s Health Editor, and Jonathan Sacerdoti about the strategy of the rollout, the benefit of digitised patient records, the value of ‘real-time’ data and the wider political situation.

We agree we should have said the Oslo Accords give the Palestinian Authority oversight of public health under the principles of self determination, although there is a wider dispute between the two sides over the issue.

We have published a clarification on the following page, explaining the above:

That February 9th clarification reads as follows:

Notwithstanding the publication of that clarification indicating that the BBC is well aware of the responsibility of the PA for the healthcare of Palestinians, just one day after its appearance audiences once again heard an inadequate portrayal of the Oslo Accords on BBC World Service radio.

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  1. says: Grimey

    Every word in every report is precisely selected to damage Israel – as are the intended and unintended falsehoods – in the knowledge that nobody reads the later corrections – so who cares.

    1. says: Sid Levine

      You are a 100% correct. It appears that the BBC “school” train their reporters and editors how to produce these anti Israel articles – it has been going for more than 30 years!

      I asked under the UK Freedom of Information Act on 7 February 2021 the following and still awaiting a response!
      “Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I hereby request the following information with respect to the Balen Report produced in 2004:-
      1. The total cost to the BBC to produce the report
      2. The total of man-hours used to research and produce the report
      3. Copies of internal BBC documents that discussed this report
      4. The recommendations made by the respective parties involved in producing this report to the BBC Governing Body that the report in full or part were NEVER to be disclosed to the public or the limitation of disclosure after a specific time
      5. How many similar internal reports have been produced by the BBC that have not be disclosed to the public, titles, dates and costs involved.

  2. says: Lee Harris

    What use is their correction, on an obscure webpage, that is hardly noticed?
    There should be a campaign, that corrections are stated on air, preferably within the relevant programme.

  3. says: Jeffrey

    Still waiting for a response to my complaint from January 27th, to a BBC Online News report on the same topic. BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-6518572-Y9K8W1. It’s a well known tactic of theirs to publish defamatory headlines, knowing most people don’t bother reading the article itself, and then to point to mitigating text in the small print, when complaints are raised. In this instance the fault was in both the headline and the body of the report. Hence their problem and delayed response.

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