SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – MAY 2023

Throughout the month of May 2023, twenty-nine written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and nine of which were carried over from the previous month.

(dates in brackets indicate the time period – Israel time – during which the item was available on the ‘Middle East’ page)

Three items (one of which was carried over from the previous month) concerned terrorism or counter-terrorism operations:

Songs of grief at funeral for sisters killed in occupied West Bank (9/4/23 to present)

Israel says it killed Palestinian gunmen who shot dead British-Israelis Tom Bateman & David Gritten (4/5/23 to 9/5/23) discussed here

Palestinian gunmen among three killed in Israeli Nablus raid Yolande Knell (22/5/23 to 27/5/23) discussed here

Nine reports related to Operation Shield and Arrow and the events which preceded it: (discussed here, here, here and here)

Khader Adnan: Israel-Gaza violence flares after Palestinian hunger striker dies David Gritten (2/5/23 to 7/5/23) discussed here

Israeli strikes on Gaza kill top militants and 10 civilians David Gritten (9/5/23 to 10/5/23)

Israel and Gaza militants in heaviest fighting for months Raffi Berg & David Gritten (10/5/23) 

A very frightening day for Israelis and Palestinians Yolande Knell (10/5/23 to 17/5/23)

Rocket kills woman in Israel as strikes target Gaza militant commanders Raffi Berg & Rushdi Abualouf (11/5/23 to 17/5/23)

Gaza: Sixth militant commander killed in Israeli air strike David Gritten & Raffi Berg (12/5/23 to 17/5/23)

Gaza cancer patients face life-threatening treatment delays Yolande Knell & Rushdi Abualouf (13/5/23 to 18/5/23) discussed here

Israel-Gaza: Shaky start to ceasefire ending five days of fighting David Gritten (14/5/23 to 19/5/23)

Israel-Gaza: Palestinian family left homeless after strikes Tom Bateman (17/5/23 to 22/5/23 and 25/5/23 to 5/6/23) discussed here

One item carried over from April concerned the PA’s reaction to a greeting for Israel’s Independence Day:

Palestinians condemn EU’s von der Leyen for ‘racist trope’ Yolande Knell (27/4/23 to 5/5/23) discussed here

One report concerned a diplomatic story:

EU cancels Israel event over far-right minister’s plan to attend Yolande Knell (8/5/23 to 12/5/23) discussed here

One item carried over from the previous month concerned the ’peace process’:

Israel and Palestinians: Gulf between hope and reality of peace Jeremy Bowen (18/4/23 to 21/4/23 and 26/4/23 to 4/5/23) discussed here

Two items concerned journalists:

Israeli military failing to investigate journalists’ deaths – report Tom Bateman (9/5/23 to 12/5/23) discussed here

Shireen Abu Aqla: Al Jazeera reporter’s family still hope for justice Tom Bateman (11/5/23 to 13/5/23) discussed here

One report had a historical topic:

Oldest most complete Hebrew Bible sells for $38m at auction David Gritten (18/5/23 to 22/5/23)

Three reports were about events that happened in other countries:

Djerba Tunisia: Worshippers killed near Africa’s oldest synagogue (10/5/23 to 13/5/23) discussed here

Italy: Agents die when boat capsizes on Lake Maggiore (30/5/23 to 1/6/23)

Five members of Palestinian militant group killed in Lebanon blast David Gritten (31/5/23 to 4/6/23) discussed here

Of eight reports concerning Israeli affairs, six (five of which were carried over from previous months) concerned protests for and against the government’s proposed changes to the judicial system:

Israel protests: Thousands march against Netanyahu court reform (19/3/23 to 20/3/23 and 24/3/23 to 17/5/23)

Police water cannon strike down protesters in Israel (27/3/23 to 28/5/23)

Israel judicial reform: Why is there a crisis? Raffi Berg (27/3/23 to 26/4/23 and 29/4/23 to 18/5/23)

Israeli Arabs torn over judicial reforms protest movement Rhodri Davies (26/4/23 to 1/5/23 and 4/5/23 to 18/5/23 ) discussed here

Israel: Huge rally pushes back at judicial reform protests Yolande Knell (28/4/23 to 5/5/23)

Israel protests: Drone footage shows thousands in Tel Aviv (28/5/23 to 1/6/23)

Two items related to events in Jerusalem during holidays:

Violence and fireworks inside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque (5/4/23 to present)

Jerusalem: Journalists attacked as Israeli nationalists march in Old City Tom Bateman (18/5/23 to 23/5/23) discussed here

In addition – not included in our count – two items relating to or tagged Israel appeared in the ‘updates’ section underneath the ‘Middle East’ page but not on the page itself:

Elon Musk: I will say what I want even if it costs me Tom Gerken & Shayan Sardarizadeh (17/5/23)

CT sarcophagus (22/5/23)

Once again BBC News website audiences saw no reporting on internal Palestinian affairs during May. Since the beginning of 2023 only one item in that category (concerning a girls’ boxing club in Gaza) has appeared on the BBC News website.

Among the stories from PA and Hamas controlled areas that were ignored by the BBC during May were the death of a man while in Hamas detention, the death of a boy at a zoo in the Gaza Strip, a series of armed robberies in PA controlled areas, UNRWA budget shortages, PA fears of a Hamas coup, clashes between demonstrators and PA security forces, Hamas death sentences, the killing of an alleged collaborator in Nablus, Hamas victories in student elections in PA controlled areas, the PA’s arrest of a political activist and arrests related to alleged land sales.

Related Articles:

SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – APRIL 2023

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