Two Gaza Strip incidents the BBC has chosen to ignore

Another example of the BBC’s chronic under-reporting of internal Palestinian affairs was seen on March 7th when three fishermen were killed in the Gaza Strip.

“Three Palestinian fishermen were killed in an explosion off the coast of the Gaza Strip in what appeared to be a misfired rocket launched by the Hamas terror group.

The explosion occurred close to the coast of Khan Younis, a city in the southern Gaza Strip. The three deceased fishermen, Yahya Mustafa al-Laham, Hamdi al-Laham and Zakaria al-Laham, were two brothers and their cousin, Gaza fishermens’ union head Nizar Ayyah told local media.”

Some Palestinian sources initially blamed Israel for the incident and the IDF put out a clarification.

Reuters reported that the PCHR – an NGO that the BBC has frequently quoted and promoted in the past – attributed the explosion to “errant Palestinian rocket fire”.

“The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said the boat was two miles offshore when the shell hit and “completely destroyed it”.

“The center condemns the incident, which indications suggest mostly likely occurred as a result of resistance training,” said the statement, referring to Palestinian militant groups.”

The Times of Israel noted that:

“Hamas regularly fires experimental rockets toward the sea, both to test their military capacities and as a show of force.

Hamas’s military wing said it mourned the death of the three fishermen “with great sorrow.”

In its statement, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades did not take responsibility for the deaths of the three fishermen.

“The resistance leadership and the security forces will form a specialized team to discover the circumstances of this painful incident, and the whole truth will be announced as soon as possible, God willing,” the terror group said.

In a statement, the Hamas Interior Ministry also said it was “investigating the incident.””

After the fishermen’s family had complained that investigation had yet to produce any results Hamas issued a statement blaming Israel for the incident and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad promised “a response”.

BBC audiences have to date seen no reporting whatsoever on that incident.

Hamas had previously said that it would investigate an explosion (likewise unreported by the BBC) which took place in Beit Hanoun on January 23rd.

“An explosion was reported Saturday morning in a building in the northern Gaza Strip, with multiple people said injured. […]

Palestinian reports indicated that 36 people were injured lightly to moderately. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. The Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip, said it was investigating.”

That investigation is apparently still pending. At the time the PCHR reported that:

“According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 08:30 on Saturday morning, 23 January 2021, an internal explosion occurred in the home of a member of a Palestinian armed group in the center of Beit Hanoun town, northern Gaza Strip. Two families occupied the house, a total of 10 persons, including five children and three women. The explosion resulted in 47 injuries among the house’s residents and neighborhoods [sic], including 19 children and 15 women […]

Field investigations indicate that the houseowner is a member of an armed group, and that the accident resulted from the explosion of a large-sized explosive device stored inside the house. […]

PCHR stresses that the use of civilian objects to save or manufacture explosives is a clear violation of the international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and Protocol (I) to the Geneva Conventions. PCHR points out that this accident is a violation of the right to life, as stipulated in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right, which Palestine acceded to in April 2014. PCHR considers that the recurrence of such incidents is a threat to the right to life and puts civilians’ lives in unacceptable and unjustified danger. […]

PCHR points out that this incident is not the first of its kind as it was preceded with many similar incidents over the past years that inflected [sic] dozens of causalities and destroyed many civilian houses and properties…”

The BBC’s reporting on shortfall missiles which kill and injure Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip has long left a lot to be desired. As we see, despite being one of the few Western media outlets to have an office in the Gaza Strip, the corporation has completely ignored two serious incidents in the last month and a half.  

BBC audiences have seen no shortage of reporting on the ICC decision to investigate “the Situation in Palestine”, mostly focusing their attentions on topics such as “Israeli military operations in Gaza and the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank”. Audience understanding of that story would clearly be enhanced were they also informed of incidents such as the above.  

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  1. says: Neil C

    Bullseye!! Elon Musk would be proud! It took him a few attempts to land a rocket on a target at sea. If true it shows that Hamas now has the ability to hit a target two miles away, so any future rocket attacks on Israel would no longer be errant misfires hence should be referred to the ICC for breaking international law by deliberately targetting civilians thus making Bensouda eat her own doodaa.

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