BBC News website airbrushing of PIJ and Hamas

On the morning of March 9th a counter-terrorism operation took place in the Samaria district. As reported by the Times of Israel:

“Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunmen were shot dead by Israeli forces in the northern West Bank on Thursday morning during an attempted arrest raid, police said.

According to a Border Police spokesman, undercover officers entered the Palestinian village of Jaba’, south of Jenin, to arrest two men wanted for a series of shooting attacks against Israeli forces in the area and the nearby Israeli outpost of Homesh.

Amid the raid, the wanted Palestinians and another gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle at the troops, who returned fire, killing them, the spokesman said.”

The three were later claimed by the PIJ as members of that terrorist organisation. In their vehicle were IEDs with PIJ markings as well as two rifles and a handgun.

In contrast to many previous counter-terrorism operations, visitors to the BBC News website saw no stand-alone coverage of that particular incident in which three members of a proscribed terrorist organisation were killed. The only brief mention of that story came in a report by Tom Bateman and Raffi Berg which was published on the afternoon of March 9th under the headline ‘Israeli mass protests against reforms block roads and airport’ and was subsequently updated to include the following:

“US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin landed at the airport on Thursday and was reportedly forced to alter his schedule because of the protests.

In talks with his Israeli counterpart, Mr Austin expressed concern about escalating violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It came hours after three Palestinian militants were killed in a gun-battle with Israeli forces in the town of Jaba.

Israel said the militants had opened fire as an undercover unit carried out an arrest raid. The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, said the three had been “executed”.” [emphasis added]

As we see, while that forty-eight-word portrayal of the incident uncritically amplifies Palestinian propaganda and uses the euphemism “militants”, readers are not informed that the three were members of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad – despite the fact that one of the feedback averse writers of this report had known that to be the case for several hours before it was published.

Later on March 9th a terror attack took place in Tel Aviv.

“Three people were shot and wounded in a terrorist shooting near a cafe in central Tel Aviv on Thursday night, police and medics said.

Police said the Palestinian attacker opened fire at people outside the cafe on the corner of Dizengoff Street and Ben Gurion Street, an area typically bustling on Thursday night. He then fled the scene while shooting at other people in the area, before being shot dead in a shootout with police officers a short time later.

One victim was listed in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery and was still fighting for his life, said doctors at Ichilov Medical Center, where the injured were taken. The other two were listed in serious and moderate condition, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.”

The terrorist from Ni’lin was claimed by Hamas, which put out a statement praising the attack.

Despite the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman being aware of that terror attack and the Hamas connection, no coverage whatsoever has appeared on the BBC News website to date.

Later on March 9th an IED was discovered on a bus in the town of Beitar Illit.

“Israeli forces on Thursday night searched for a suspected terrorist they believed had infiltrated the settlement of Beitar Illit and planted a makeshift bomb on a bus.

A “terrorist infiltration” alert sounded in the settlement after the suspected improvised explosive device was discovered.

Residents were ordered by the military’s Home Front Command to remain in their homes and lock their doors and windows until further notice. The restrictions were lifted at 7 a.m. on Friday.”

Remarkably, the story of a town with over 60,000 residents being put under lockdown overnight as security forces searched for a terrorist did not receive any BBC News website coverage.

Readers may recall that just ten days previously the BBC News website had published a backgrounder in which it purported to explain “Why is Israel-Palestinian violence surging?”. As we noted, the word Hamas (and also Palestinian Islamic Jihad) does not appear in that backgrounder. The BBC however continues to airbrush those Iranian backed proscribed terrorist organisations from the portrayals of “Israel-Palestinian violence” that it provides to its audiences. 

Related Articles:



More from Hadar Sela
BBC’s ME editor says “there haven’t been all that many” terror attacks in Israel
The effect of the BBC’s partial reporting of terror attacks against Israelis.
Read More
Join the Conversation


Leave a comment
Leave a comment

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