BBC News and two Hamas arrests stories – part one

Hamas’ long-running efforts to propagate terrorism in Judea & Samaria were described by the ITIC as follows in November 2021:

“Hamas attempts to encourage terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria and to subvert security (while at the same time preserve relative quiet in the Gaza Strip and promote an arrangement with Israel). Its objectives are on the one hand to undermine Israel and on the other to bolster Hamas’ status among the Palestinians by challenging the PA and sabotaging its governance. Hamas makes continuous efforts to handle and direct terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria. Israel put a stop to most of the efforts while they were still in their early stages, sometimes with PA support, but on a number of occasions the networks successfully carried out lethal attacks. Hamas also works to disseminate its anti-Israeli propaganda and incitement to violence through local and Arab media outlets, and issues calls to the residents of Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem to carry out terrorist attacks.”

Israeli arrest operations to thwart Hamas cells in Jerusalem or Judea & Samaria have rarely been given BBC coverage. A 2014 Hamas coup attempt against Mahmoud Abbas was ignored by the corporation at the time.

On September 19th the ISA announced the arrests of members of yet another terror cell directed from the Gaza Strip.

“Israeli security forces broke up an alleged Hamas terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks in the West Bank, arresting seven of its members earlier this month, the Shin Bet security service revealed Monday.

The cell received its directions from Yahya Amer Muhammad Abu Saifan, 26, a Hamas terrorist living in the Gaza Strip involved in recruiting Palestinians in the West Bank, the Shin Bet said.

The Shin Bet said the seven members, from the Nablus area and Hebron, had practiced shooting and had conducted tests with explosive devices. Several firearms and materials used for making explosives were seized following their arrests.”

That story has yet to receive any coverage from the BBC despite its wider implications, as outlined by the Long War Journal:

“The arrest of the militants signals Hamas’ continued efforts to direct attacks against IDF troops and Israeli civilians during a major uptick in violence inside the West Bank. Since last year, militant organizations led by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have strengthened their presence in several northern West Bank cities. Furthermore, they have established units loyal to the organizations in Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, and Tubas that regularly clash with IDF troops.

While PIJ and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have taken credit for much of the strikes in the West Bank, Hamas stands to benefit the most during this period of significant violence. The weakening of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority coupled with instability created by the almost daily reports of assaults creates a narrative for Palestinians that a West Bank governed by Hamas is a viable alternative over the current authority whose influence erodes further each passing day.”

As noted here previously, BBC audiences have to date not seen any serious reporting aimed at broadening their understanding of the current situation in Palestinian Authority controlled areas, including on the topic of Hamas’ efforts to undermine the PA. Those chronic omissions – which clearly flout the BBC’s obligation to provide “range and depth of analysis and content” – became all the more significant when the BBC did cover the arrests of additional Hamas operatives by the Palestinian Authority the following day, as we shall see in part two of this post.

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