BBC News skips the background to Jordan gun smuggling story

On April 24th the BBC News website published a short report by Raffi Berg headlined “Israel arrests Jordanian MP for alleged gun-smuggling”.

Relating to news that broke the previous evening, the report’s account of what was known and permitted for publication at the time reads as follows:

“A Jordanian MP has been arrested by Israel for allegedly trying to smuggle weapons into the occupied West Bank, Jordan’s foreign ministry says.

Imad al-Adwan was detained on Saturday night at the Allenby Bridge crossing, Jordan’s Ammon news agency reported.

Authorities said they found 12 machine-guns and 270 other types of firearms, according to unverified video on Israeli social media.”

Regarding the MP himself, readers are told that:

“Mr Adwan, 35, is a member of the Jordanian parliament’s Palestine Committee.

A prominent Jordanian MP who is opposed to Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel, Khalil Atiya, said Israel’s arrest of Mr Adwan “harm[ed] the dignity of Jordanians”.”

While Berg did choose to amplify that pointless statement from Atiya, no mention is made of Adwan’s previous statements of support for Palestinian terrorism and Hamas.

The background to the story provided to BBC audiences reads as follows:

“Jordan and Israel officially established ties after signing a peace treaty in 1994, but their relationship has recently been strained over violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinians on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem, of which Jordan is custodian.

More than half of Jordan’s population is estimated to be of Palestinian origin. Many of its citizens identify with the struggle of Palestinians in the West Bank and there have been mass demonstrations against Israel, especially at times of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.”

Notably, Berg chose not to provide readers with considerably more relevant background information concerning a topic which the BBC has serially ignored for a long time: weapons smuggling from Jordanian territory into Israel.

In the past year alone, Israeli security forces have foiled numerous attempts to smuggle weapons through Israel’s long eastern border with Jordan, none of which has been covered by the BBC News website. In December 2022 the Times of Israel reported on that topic:

“…Israeli authorities say they are beginning to gain the upper hand in a relentless battle to stymie the mass smuggling of arms into Israel and the West Bank, where the weapons are helping fuel an uptick in attacks by terror groups and deadly criminal activity within Israel’s Arab communities. […]

In the past year, the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces, with some assistance from the Shin Bet security agency, have managed to foil dozens of smuggling attempts along the 309-kilometer (192-mile) border Jordan shares with Israel and the West Bank, counting over 480 weapons seized.

For comparison, in 2020 and 2021 combined, just 276 firearms were seized along the eastern border […]”

In January 2023 the police confiscated another 32 handguns in two separate incidents. On April 20th the police announced that they had seized 63 guns in the northern Arava area.

As we have repeatedly observed in recent months, the BBC’s reporting on the surge of Palestinian terrorism – including a backgrounder written by Raffi Berg – has consistently failed to inform audiences how weapons smuggling from Jordan and Lebanon has contributed to the increased violence.

While this latest story has clearly attracted the BBC’s attention because of the involvement of a Jordanian MP, the corporation continues to avoid informing its audiences about the basic issue of wider regional facilitation of the Palestinian terrorism – and related counter-terrorism operations – on which it regularly reports.

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  1. says: Neil C

    Well it’s Raffi Berg again, he has no morals and should be ashamed of his unprofessional reporting of blatant illegal arms transfers from Jordan to Israel. He should be imprisoned for twenty years. If Jordanian MP’s can stoop this low in support of their false assumption that there is/was once a Palestinian State, then that must be from his childhood indoctrination rather than based upon fact and vomon sense. There are 1.9 Billion Christians in the world, 1.8 billion Muslims in the world and 17 million Jews, despite Judaism being older than both the others. Now just who is being persecuted Mr Berg a persection that you are assisting! #defundthebbc

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