An overview of BBC website reporting on Pessah rocket attacks

Throughout the four days between the morning of April 5th and the morning of April 9th, Israelis celebrating the festival of Pessah (Passover) were subjected to over a hundred rocket and mortar attacks from three fronts.

BBC News website coverage of the majority of those attacks was for the most part found in reports on other events, with one incident not reported at all.

Early on the morning of April 5th – Passover eve – at least nine rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, one of which hit a factory in Sderot during working hours.

“Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired rockets at several towns in southern Israel early Wednesday morning, following clashes between police and Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. […]

The launches set off alert systems in Sderot and a number of nearby communities. Around 20 minutes later, further warning sirens sounded at a kibbutz in the area.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, five projectiles were launched in the initial salvo, four of which were intercepted by air defense systems. The military said four more rockets were fired shortly after, all of which fell in open areas.

The Sderot Municipality said one of the rockets struck a factory in the industrial area, causing damage. There were no reports of injuries.”

The first BBC reporting on those attacks appeared in an article by David Gritten & Yaroslav Lukov published on April 5th under the headline ‘Al-Aqsa mosque: Violence as Israeli police raid Jerusalem holy site’ which was previously discussed here.

“Militants in the Gaza Strip later fired rockets at Israel and its military carried out air strikes in response. […]

Following the clashes, Israeli media reported that militants fired 16 rockets from Gaza, triggering sirens in communities in southern Israel.

One rocket hit a factory near the city of Sderot and the rest were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system or landed in open areas, they said.

No group has so far said it was behind the rocket fire, but it is believed that Hamas approved the launches.”

Another vague mention of those attacks appeared in a report by Yolande Knell – ‘Ramadan and Passover raise tensions at Jerusalem holy site’ – which also appeared on April 5th:  

“Militants in Gaza swiftly responded by firing rockets at southern Israel, prompting Israel warplanes to bomb sites there linked to Hamas.”

On the evening of April 5th, after the Passover holiday had begun and Jewish Israelis were celebrating the Seder, two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Kibbutz Kissufim.

“The Israel Defense Forces said one of the launches on Wednesday failed to clear the border and landed inside Gaza, and the second struck an open area near the border fence.”

The sole mention of that attack came in a report by Lucy Williamson & David Gritten which was published the following day on the BBC News website under the headline ‘Israel blames Hamas for Lebanon rocket barrage as tensions rise’:

“Another two were fired on Wednesday evening, with one falling within the Strip and a second landing in an open area near the Gaza border fence.”

On the morning of April 6th – the first day of the Passover holiday – residents of the Western Negev region again had to run for cover from attacks from the Gaza Strip.

“Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a number of rockets early Thursday morning, setting off rocket warning sirens in Israeli communities near the border, the military said. […]

The Israel Defense Forces said seven surface-to-air rockets were launched, with all of them exploding in the sky. It added that two of the rockets were fired in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea and the rest toward Israel. […]

The launches set off alert systems in the communities of Ranen, Patish, Dorot and Havat Shikmim, with residents instructed to take cover in bomb shelters.”

That barrage (along with the two previous ones) was briefly mentioned in the report titled ‘Israel blames Hamas for Lebanon rocket barrage as tensions rise’ by Lucy Williamson & David Gritten which appeared on April 6th:

“Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, have also fired 25 rockets at Israel over the same period, and the Israeli military has carried out air strikes there in response. […]

The Israeli military meanwhile said that seven rockets were launched from Gaza early on Thursday morning and that all of them exploded in the air.”

On the afternoon of April 6th Israelis living or holidaying in the north-west of the country came under rocket attack from Lebanon.

“Thirty-four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon on Thursday afternoon, with 25 intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system over northern Israel, the military said. At least three people were injured and several buildings were damaged. […]

The Israel Defense Forces said five of the rockets landed inside Israel, and most of the rest were downed by Iron Dome. The impact sites of four others were not yet clear.”

Those attacks were reported in the article by Lucy Williamson & David Gritten titled ‘Israel blames Hamas for Lebanon rocket barrage as tensions rise’ which appeared on April 6th (discussed here) which opens as follows and gives more details later:

“The Israeli military has accused the Palestinian militant group Hamas of firing dozens of rockets from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.

It said most of the 34 rockets were intercepted but that five hit Israeli territory, causing damage to buildings.

One man was lightly wounded by shrapnel, according to medics.”

That report was replaced on April 7th by another one written by Lucy Williamson & David Gritten – titled ‘Israel strikes Lebanon and Gaza after major rocket attack’ – in which readers were told that:  

“A man was injured by shrapnel in northern Israel on Thursday afternoon as a result of the rocket fire from Lebanon, which the Lebanese army said originated from the outskirts of al-Qulaila and two other border villages near Tyre – Maaliya and Zibqine.

The Israeli military said 25 of the 34 rockets were intercepted, but that five hit Israeli territory.

In the north-western border town of Shlomi, the rockets left craters in the road, and damaged vehicles and a bank. A car was also damaged in the village of Fassuta.”

The rocket attacks from Lebanon were also briefly mentioned in two reports covering other terror attacks, both of which promoted linkage between rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and events on Temple Mount.

Two British-Israeli women killed in West Bank shooting’ by David Gritten, 7/4/23:

“The shooting took place hours after Israeli warplanes carried out air strikes in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The military said they were in retaliation for the biggest rocket attack on Israel launched from Lebanon for 17 years, which it blamed on the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The rocket barrage followed two nights of Israeli police raids at the al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem that caused anger across the region.”

Tel Aviv car-ramming kills Italian tourist and injures 7’ by Yolande Knell & Christy Cooney, 8/4/23:

“The attacks in the West Bank took place hours after the Israeli military carried out air strikes on targets belonging to the Palestinian militant group Hamas in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The military said the strikes were a response to a barrage of 34 rockets fired from Lebanon into northern Israel on Thursday, which it blamed on the group.

Tensions are running high following two nights of Israeli police raids at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque – Islam’s third holiest site – earlier this week.

The raids triggered violent confrontations with Palestinians inside the mosque and caused anger across the region.

The rockets fired from Lebanon formed the largest such barrage in 17 years.”

On the evening of April 6th the Upper Galilee community of Metula was attacked with mortars fired from Lebanon.

“Several mortars impacted near the northern Israeli town of Metula, the military confirms.

Earlier, local security officials instructed residents of the town near the border with Lebanon to remain in shelters amid sounds of explosions.

The Israel Defense Forces says several mortars were found following scans of the area.”

The BBC News website did not report that attack at all.

The night of April 6th – 7th saw more rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, including a hit on a home in Sderot.

“The Israel Defense Forces says 44 projectiles, including rockets and anti-aircraft missiles, were launched from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel overnight.

In a briefing with reporters, military spokesman Daniel Hagari says nine of the rockets failed to cross the border and fell short in the Palestinian enclave, 12 were fired toward the sea, 14 landed in open areas in Israel, one landed in a populated area in the southern city of Sderot, and eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.”

Those attacks were briefly mentioned in the April 7th report by Lucy Williamson & David Gritten titled ‘Israel strikes Lebanon and Gaza after major rocket attack’:

“During the strikes, at least 44 rockets were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel, Israeli media reported.

Most were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system or fell in open areas, but at least one house in the city of Sderot was hit.”

On the night of April 8th – 9th rockets were fired from Syria towards communities in the south Golan Heights.

“Six rockets were launched from southern Syria at the Golan Heights on Saturday night and early Sunday in two separate barrages hours apart, with three landing in Israeli territory, the military said. […]

The IDF said Saturday night that three rockets were fired, of which one crossed the border and landed in an open area near the northern Israeli town of Meitsar. An incoming rocket alert was activated in an open area near the town shortly before, the IDF said. […]

Hours later, around 3 a.m., three more rockets were fired from southern Syria at Israeli towns in the Golan Heights, the military said.

One of the projectiles in the second barrage was intercepted by Iron Dome, while another landed in an open area near the towns of Natur and Avnei Eitan. The third projectile fell short in Syria.”

On April 9th the BBC News website published an uncredited report headlined ‘Israel hits multiple targets in Syria after rockets fired into Golan Heights’ which makes no mention of the civilian communities affected by those attacks:

“The Israeli military reported two separate rocket salvoes originating from Syria late on Saturday and early on Sunday.

Three rockets were launched in the first, one of which landed in the southern Golan Heights, it said.

In the second, two rockets crossed the frontier and one was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system, the military added.”

Notably – but not surprisingly – over a hundred attacks on civilian targets during a national holiday were not described by the BBC as terrorism in any of its reports. Where the identity of those responsible for the attacks was mentioned, the BBC used the word ‘militants’ and in some of these reports Hamas – which is designated as a terrorist organisation by the UK – was euphemistically referred to as a “Palestinian militant group”.

Throughout the four days of coverage of attacks from three fronts, BBC audiences saw no reporting from any of the regions targeted and did not hear any personal stories from Israelis who had their Pessah holiday disrupted by Palestinian rocket attacks, not least the family who suffered a direct hit on their home in Sderot.

As we see, much of the BBC’s reporting promotes the notion of linkage between rocket attacks launched from three fronts and earlier events on Temple Mount. However, as noted here previously, BBC reporting on those earlier events completely erased the highly relevant issue of Hamas incitement from the picture presented to its audiences, meaning that they lack understanding of the broader context of what the BBC describes as “tensions” and the factors that link Palestinian rioting on Temple Mount and rocket attacks from three different locations.

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  1. says: Grimey

    When it comes to Israel, the BBC is not a news service. It is a propaganda service for Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah – with all its so-called “reports” expressly designed to demolish the Israeli state.

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