Inaccuracy and omission in BBC report on release of terrorist

A report by David Gritten headlined ‘Israel releases longest-serving Palestinian prisoner’ was published on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on January 5th.

Just fifty-one of that report’s 395 words relate to the victim of the terror attack which was the reason for the incarceration of the “longest-serving Palestinian prisoner” Karim Younis (who is actually an Israeli Arab) along with his cousin and his uncle.

“Karim Younis was convicted in 1983 of the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier, Avi Bromberg, in the occupied Golan Heights three years earlier. […]

Avi Bromberg’s sister, Adah, told the Israel Hayom newspaper on Tuesday that it was “unthinkable that such people should walk among us, laugh, and enjoy themselves”.”

Avraham (Avi) Bromberg was not kidnapped and murdered “in the occupied Golan Heights” as claimed by Gritten. Bromberg did serve as a tank mechanic in the Golan Heights but on the day that he was kidnapped and shot in the head, he was on his way home to Zichron Ya’akov.

As noted in a report by Walla (as well as at other Hebrew language outlets), Bromberg was attacked just a short distance from his hometown. He had been given a lift by a senior officer as far as the Nahal Hadera junction. There he got a ride in a van with Israeli number plates driven by someone who had attended the same Hadera school as him. Bromberg was soon attacked, shot in the head and then dumped on wasteland by the two cousins from Wadi ‘Ara who were in the vehicle. The following morning Bromberg, who had managed to crawl to the roadside despite his injuries, was found by electricity corporation workers and four days later he died from his wounds in Rambam hospital in Haifa.

Gritten informs BBC audiences that:

“He [Younis] became a significant figure in prison, writing political works and calling for agreements with Israel.”

According to journalist Shlomi Eldar, Younis’ debut book promotes “one state for two nations” – i.e. rejection of Jewish statehood.

Gritten uncritically quotes the Palestinian Authority president with no attempt made to inform readers that Abbas is entering the nineteenth year of his four year term of office:

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Younis “represents a symbol of the Palestinian people and the free people of the world in steadfastness”.”

Readers are not informed that in 2017 Abbas appointed the convicted terrorist Karim Younis (who was a member of Fatah at the time that he committed the attack) to Fatah’s central committee or that in the same year the PA named two town squares after the two murderers. No mention is made of payments to Younis under the Palestinian Authority’s scheme of salaries for terrorists.

Instead, Gritten provides a link to a paywalled ‘Ha’aretz’ report which most readers would not be able to access before going on to uncritically promote statements from the obviously unrepentant terrorist:

“He [Younis] was later greeted by relatives and friends in his home village of Ara, in northern Israel […]

“It was 40 years full of stories, prisoners’ stories and each story is a story of a nation,” Younis said, with a black and white keffiyeh wrapped around his shoulders.

“I am very proud to be one of those who made sacrifices for Palestine and we were ready to sacrifice more for the sake of the cause of Palestine.”

Younis wrote before his release that he felt sorrow for the Palestinian inmates he would be leaving behind in prison. They include his cousin, Maher Younis, who was convicted of the same kidnapping and murder and is expected to be released later this month.”

The report’s penultimate paragraph uncritically promotes another quote from Abbas, with no attempt made to clarify to readers that “Palestinian prisoners” include convicted terrorists:

“President Abbas said securing the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails was “the cause of the entire Palestinian people”.”

Gritten closes his report with a link to a political NGO he inadequately portrays as a “human rights group”:

“About 4,700 are being held in Israeli prisons and detention centres, according to Palestinian human rights group Addameer. It says they include 150 minors and 835 administrative detainees, who have neither been charged nor tried.”

BBC audiences are not informed that ‘Addameer’ is affiliated to the PFLP terrorist organisation and hence hardly the most objective source on the topic of incarcerated terrorists, which have included some of its own staff.

Related Articles:



More from Hadar Sela
Join the Conversation


  1. says: Grimey

    For how much longer must BBC audiences suffer from being fed biased reports on every aspect of Palestinian terrorists without let-up and with true reasons for their detention being withheld ? Surely it is time for both the Israeli and British governments to intervene and warn the BBC that such reports are treacherous and in breach of fair journalism ?

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *