BBC News website reporting on PIJ hunger striker and rocket attacks

On the morning of May 2nd a report headlined “Palestinian Khader Adnan dies in Israel jail after 86 days on hunger strike” appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page.

The BBC’s euphemistic portrayal of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a “militant group” – rather than an Iranian backed terrorist organisation designated by the UK, the US, the EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel – clearly does not contribute to readers’ understanding of the reason for Adnan’s detention.

Readers of that report were not informed that Khader Adnan had been arrested in February for suspected membership in a terror group, support for a terrorist organisation and incitement or that he had been indicted and was being held in custody until the completion of the legal proceedings.

As the day went on amendments were made to the BBC’s report (but not including the main photo caption describing Adnan as an “activist”) and the version that appeared on the BBC News website on the evening of  May 2nd was credited to David Gritten and headlined “Khader Adnan: Rockets fired after Palestinian hunger striker dies in Israeli jail”.

While readers of that version of the report were similarly not informed in the BBC’s own words that the PIJ is a widely designated terrorist organisation, in the fourth paragraph they were correctly informed that:

“The prisoner, Khader Adnan, was a senior figure in Islamic Jihad who had been charged with terrorism offences.”


“Israeli authorities accused him of supporting terrorism, affiliation with a terrorist group and incitement, and he was due to go on trial this month.”

The article described Adnan as having “been in and out of detention by Israel over the past two decades” but fails to explain why. It went on:

“The 45-year-old had been on hunger strike four times before in protest, helping to make his name well known to Palestinians. […]

Adnan began a fifth hunger strike immediately after being detained by Israeli forces at his home in Arraba, near the city of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, on 5 February.”

Remarkably, the backdrop of increased Palestinian terrorism in recent months – including attacks by members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad – was not mentioned at all in Gritten’s reporting.

Equally significantly, BBC audiences were told nothing of Adnan’s documented record of praise for terrorism and incitement, including in this speech in 2007:

Gritten chose to provide uncritical amplification of statements and claims made by a variety of sources including the PFLP affiliated NGO ‘Addameer’ which he described merely as a “Palestinian prisoners’ rights group” and quoted on the topic of administrative detention, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club which he portrayed as an “advocacy group”, Adnan’s wife, the PIJ terrorist organisation itself and the Palestinian Authority prime minister:

“Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Israel had “carried out a deliberate assassination against the prisoner Khader Adnan by rejecting his request for his release, neglecting him medically, and keeping him in his cell despite the seriousness of his health condition.””

On the morning of May 3rd the headline to Gritten’s report was changed again, with its new wording promoting false equivalence between rocket attacks launched by the PIJ from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian communities and the IDF’s later response in the form of strikes on Hamas military installations: “Khader Adnan: Israel-Gaza violence flares after Palestinian hunger striker dies”. Once again the main photo caption portraying Adnan as an “activist” was left intact.

While much of that version is identical to the previous one, it was updated to include the latest information concerning rocket attacks and the response. [emphasis added]

“More than 100 Palestinian rockets and mortars were fired into Israel and Israeli warplanes struck sites said to be linked to Hamas, which governs Gaza.

A Palestinian man was killed in a strike on Gaza, local officials said. […]

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt Col Richard Hecht said 104 rockets were fired in total. Eleven fell into the sea, 14 landed inside Gaza, 24 were intercepted by Israel’s air defence system, 48 fell in open areas, he added.

At least one rocket hit a building site in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Tuesday afternoon. A 25-year-old Chinese worker was moderately injured by shrapnel and two other foreign workers were lightly injured.

Two other people were lightly injured while running to a shelter overnight. […]

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said on Wednesday morning that a 58-year-old man called Hashel Mubarak was killed north of Gaza City, and that five other people were injured.”

Gritten refrained from informing BBC audiences that the “five other people” were injured when rockets fired by the PIJ terrorist organisation fell short and landed in Beit Hanoun and that what he describes as “the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza” is in fact a notoriously unreliable arm of the same Hamas terrorist organisation which gave the OK to the PIJ’s rocket and mortar attacks against civilian targets in Israel.

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  1. says: Grimey

    By glorifying murdering terrorists as “militants”, the BBC has blood on its hands.
    But it doesn’t care – its target of wiping Israel off the map just carries on.

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