BBC Jerusalem bureau ignores another Sheikh Jarrah story

In November of last year we documented the BBC’s failure to report on the rejection of a court proposed compromise to the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute by the families involved.


As noted at the time:

“In early May of this year [2021] the BBC began promoting a one-sided narrative concerning “the threatened eviction of Palestinian families” which consistently failed to provide audiences with the full details of the decades long Sheikh Jarrah property dispute. When Hamas exploited that dispute as an excuse to spark conflict on May 10th, the BBC adopted and promoted the terror group’s narrative. In early August BBC audiences were provided with multiplatform coverage (some pre-emptive) of a court session that had been postponed.

It is hence all the more remarkable that the BBC has to date totally ignored the November 2nd rejection of the proposed compromise by the families at the centre of its previously extensive coverage – and not least the involvement of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in that rejection.”

That rejection of the proposed compromise did not prevent the BBC – and in particular its Jerusalem bureau correspondent Tom Bateman – from continuing to promote the narrative that “Israel” was threatening the families who refused to pay rent with “eviction” or from amplifying the Hamas narrative promoting that property dispute as a ‘reason’ for the May 2021 hostilities.

On March 1st the High Court of Justice issued a ruling allowing four families (al-Kurd, al-Jaouni, Eskafi, and Abu Hasna) to remain in their homes in Sheikh Jarrah until the dispute over the ownership of the property is resolved.

“The High Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that four Palestinian families in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah will not be evicted until the Justice Ministry settles their ownership claims to the property. […]

In an unprecedented move, the High Court ruled that the Palestinians could not be evicted unless the Justice Ministry examined the Palestinians’ claim to the homes. The Justice Ministry is responsible for sorting out land registration and issuing titles to property but has effectively frozen the process in much of East Jerusalem, citing political and logistical difficulties.

In the meantime, the Palestinian families will deposit a symbolic amount of rent — NIS 2,400 ($740) per year — in a bank account belonging to both sides’ lawyers. If the Justice Ministry rules against them, the funds will be transferred to Nahalat Shimon. […]

“At this point, I will repeat the principle of the compromise issued by the assembled justices. But this time, not as a compromise, but as a court ruling binding the two sides,” wrote Justice Yitzhak Amit for the majority.”

Although the BBC Jerusalem bureau is aware of that High Court ruling, to date audiences have once again not seen any reporting on that topic.

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