The terror attack which took place on the evening of January 27th outside a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Neve Ya’akov and resulted in the murders of seven civilians and injuries to at least three others was reported on the BBC News website and on the BBC One television channel.
Viewers of BBC One’s ‘News at Ten’ saw a report from the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman which was introduced without clarification of the nationality or ethnicity of the victims but did mention Palestinians. [emphasis in italics in the original]
“Seven people have been shot dead tonight in a synagogue in East Jerusalem. A 14-year-old boy is among the dead and a number of other people were wounded. Police said the attacker was killed by the security forces as he fled the scene. Tensions have been high since nine Palestinians – both militants and civilians – were killed during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank yesterday. It was one of the deadliest raids in years as tensions rise in the region. The US and UK have condemned tonight’s synagogue shooting. Here, the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly described it as a horrific attack coming on Holocaust Memorial Day.”
That description clearly does not adequately clarify that eight of those nine Palestinians were terrorists actively attacking Israeli forces at the time of their deaths and one was an uninvolved civilian caught up in the gunfire.
Around halfway through his report from the scene, Bateman likewise introduced the topic of the counter-terrorism operation which had taken place in Jenin the previous day and the sole mention of the word terror in his report related to that operation.
Bateman: “Israel said it had acted on intelligence of imminent attacks by Islamic Jihad – a Palestinian militant group – calling it a counter-terror operation.” [emphasis added]
Roughly an hour after the incident took place the BBC News website published a report which was initially headlined “Five shot dead at Jerusalem synagogue – reports”. In the hours that followed that report was amended numerous times and it later carried the headline ‘Jerusalem synagogue attack: Seven killed in shooting’.
In that report too, the word terrorist only appears in attributed – and unnecessarily qualified – quotes.
“Police described the attacker as a “terrorist” and said he had been “neutralised”.”
“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack.””
From the sixth version of the report onwards, readers found the neighbourhood of Neve Ya’akov described as a “settlement”:
“Israeli worshippers had gathered for prayers at the start of the Jewish Sabbath in a synagogue in the Jewish settlement and were leaving when the gunman opened fire. Police say that officers then shot him dead.” [emphasis added]
Readers were also told that:
“Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of the international community.”
The BBC failed to inform its audiences that Neve Ya’akov was established in 1924 on land purchased by Jews but had to be abandoned when Jordan invaded Judea & Samaria and parts of Jerusalem in May 1948.
The BBC News website also published a live page headed “Seven killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack” on the evening of January 27th.
The words terror, terrorist and terrorism once again only appeared as quotes from the Israeli police – including in a filmed interview with the head of police in Jerusalem which was also published separately on the BBC News website – or from foreign officials condemning the attack. Speculative linkage to the previous day’s counter-terrorism operation in Jenin – which is also the narrative being promoted by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organisations – was again advanced.
That live page includes a contribution from Tom Bateman, which he also Tweeted, in which he stated:
“We’ve heard a few loud bangs, possibly coming from a big Palestinian neighbourhood nearby, suggesting clashes between residents and the Israeli forces.”
That BBC News website live page includes coverage of condemnations of the attack from the head of the UN, the White House, the US ambassador to Israel, the US State Department, the UK foreign secretary and the German ambassador to Israel, all of whom appropriately used the words terror or terrorist to describe the deadly attack on civilians at a place of worship.
The BBC, however, continues to apply its absurd and offensive policy of refusing to describe attacks against Israelis as terrorism in its own words, even though it has no problem using that terminology when reporting similar incidents elsewhere in the world.