Overview of BBC News website reporting on casualties in Israel

During Operation Shield and Arrow (May 9th to May 13th inclusive) two people were killed in Israel by rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists.

On the early evening of May 11th a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a four-storey building in Rehovot, killing one person and wounding five others. The victim was later identified as 80 year-old Inga Avramyan and her disabled husband was among the injured.

On May 11th the BBC News website published a report which was originally headlined ‘Israeli air strike kills militant commander in Gaza’ and credited to Rushdi Abualouf and Antoinette Radford. That report was updated several times throughout that day and the next. The version currently appearing on the BBC News website is credited to Raffi Berg and Rushdi Abualouf and headlined ‘Rocket kills woman in Israel as strikes target Gaza militant commanders’.

Readers of that 868 word report which will remain on the BBC News website as “permanent public record” find the following account of the incident in Rehovot:

“Later, one woman was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a building in the central Israeli city of Rehovot.

It was the first fatality in Israel since it began an operation against PIJ on Tuesday morning with a series of air strikes that killed another three of the group’s commanders.”

And later:

“Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance service said there was a direct hit on an apartment building in Rehovot, about 21km south of Tel Aviv, killing one person. It said five people have been wounded by rockets and 16 injured running to shelters since the rocket fire began on Wednesday.”

The report was not updated to include the victim’s name and age when that information was made public and a subsequent report published early on May 13th – ‘Gaza: Sixth militant commander killed in Israeli air strike’ by Raffi Berg and David Gritten – also failed to provide any further details, stating only that:

“One Israeli civilian has been killed and five wounded by Palestinian rocket fire in the same period, Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service says.”

On the afternoon of Saturday May 13th three people were wounded when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a site near Moshav Shokeda.

“They were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, which said it was treating a 35-year-old and a 40-year-old in serious condition due to shrapnel injuries, and a 39-year-old man in light-to-moderate condition. The 35-year-old man, a Palestinian laborer from the Gaza Strip at work in Israel, later died of his wounds, the hospital said.

He was later identified as Abdullah Abu Jaba, a father of six. He was alongside his brother, who was seriously wounded in the attack and undergoing surgery at Soroka.”

The following day the Israeli authorities announced that Abdalla Abu Jaba had been recognised as a victim of terror, thereby entitling his family to receive state benefits.

On the morning of May 14th the BBC News website published a report by David Gritten headlined ‘Israel-Gaza: Shaky start to ceasefire ending five days of fighting’ in which readers were told that:

“Palestinian rocket fire into Israel has killed two people, one Israeli and one Palestinian working in the country.”


“One woman was killed when a rocket hit an apartment building in the central city of Rehovot on Thursday, while a worker from Gaza was killed when he was hit by rocket shrapnel at a building site in the southern Sdot Negev region.”

In short, all of the three relevant BBC reports failed to provide the names and personal details of the two people killed by rocket attacks launched by Palestinian terrorists on May 11th and May 13th and the BBC showed remarkably little interest in informing its audiences about the Palestinian brothers who were killed and seriously injured in a rocket attack perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist organisations.  

According to the ITIC, seventy-seven people in Israel required medical treatment as a result of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip between May 9th and May 13th, including the brother of the Gaza resident killed near Shokeda. Thirty-two people were wounded by shrapnel, glass shards, blast waves or while running for cover. Forty-five people needed treatment for psychological trauma.

The BBC report of May 14th mentions fatalities in Israel and in the Gaza Strip but does not relate to injuries. The BBC report published on May 13th states:

“At least 33 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed – about half of them civilians – since Israel carried out a series of air strikes early on Tuesday that killed three top PIJ commanders, the Palestinian health ministry there says. Another 147 people have been wounded.

One Israeli civilian has been killed and five wounded by Palestinian rocket fire in the same period, Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service says.” [emphasis added]

Clearly that portrayal does not provide BBC audiences with a realistic picture.

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  1. says: Ben R

    today the BBC website has a report about buildings destroyed by israel with “only a 5 minute” telphone warning. The building was reportedlly occpied by some desabled people. It is completely slanted against israel as usual. Nowhere does it highlight that israel actually warns [in order to save any civilain lives even though terrorist can capitalise on that and escape] whereas gazan rockets which are intended to kill civilians come with NO warning!!

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