What did BBC reports from a Jenin hospital ignore?

Visitors to the BBC News website’s live page covering the two-day counter-terrorism operation in Jenin on July 3rd and 4th learned that hours after that operation had begun, Jeremy Bowen flew to Israel, perhaps in expectation of a somewhat longer round of conflict.

Bowen’s uninformative July 4th filmed report from outside the Khalil Suleiman government hospital in Jenin was also posted on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page under the headline ‘The scene at the hospital near Jenin’s refugee camp’.

Another report filmed at the same hospital appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page under the headline ‘Stones thrown and tear gas fired near Jenin hospital’. That report, which shows a large group of Palestinian males – some throwing stones – gathered outside the hospital, was also promoted on the live page, together with an unverified claim from a political NGO.

Several of the written reports published on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page also include references to hospitals:

Jenin: Israeli military launches major operation in West Bank cityYolande Knell and David Gritten

“At the Palestinian hospital by the main entrance to the camp the mood was grim. […]

Jovana Arsenijevic of the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières told the BBC she was at a hospital that had seen more than 90 patients wounded by gunfire or shrapnel from explosive devices.”

Israel’s Jenin operation reignites Palestinian angerJeremy Bowen

“Fury and frustration rage through young Palestinian men who have gathered in angry knots at road junctions in the town and outside a hospital on the edge of the Jenin refugee camp.”

Gaza-Israel exchange of fire as Israeli forces complete Jenin withdrawalDavid Gritten

“Outside a hospital in the nearby city centre, Palestinians protesters threw stones at an Israeli military vehicle, prompting it to fire tear gas in response.” [emphasis added]

None of those BBC reports provides any clue as to why those noticeably mostly young male “protesters” were located specifically outside that hospital.

Later on the evening of July 4th, after the BBC cameras had apparently moved on, shooting took place outside a hospital in Jenin as reported by the Jerusalem Post:

“But Tuesday night, the IDF was drawn into an extended gunbattle surrounding Jenin’s hospital.

In many past rounds of fighting in the West Bank and Gaza, terrorists have systematically used hospitals to obtain a place of refuge during fighting with the IDF, sometimes even firing rockets from hospitals in Gaza.

Around 8:00 p.m., significant IDF forces were seen suddenly pulling up to the hospital on social media, with the expectation that they had arrived to try to arrest dozens of injured terrorists.

As they were arriving, social media showed they were already greeted with a significant exchange of fire.”

A Gaza Strip based social media account noted that not all the terrorists located in the Jenin government hospital were there because of injuries:

The topic of terrorists hiding in hospitals – and therefore using staff and patients as human shields – clearly did not interest the BBC’s international editor (or any of its other journalists on the ground) as he presented his report from outside the government hospital’s front door.

As the BBC’s record of reporting from hospitals in the Gaza Strip that are similarly used by terrorists shows, that should not come as much of a surprise to members of its funding public in the UK relying on information provided by the BBC in order to understand this story.

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  1. says: Neil C

    Bowen continues to be the provider of fake and distorted news items in an effort to promote Israel as the aggressors and Palestinians as the the peaceful protesters when the world knows they are not. Bowen and the BBC’s failure to provide unbiased reporting and information are the very reason the conflict is still on going. #defundthebbc

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