Inconsistency in BBC descriptions of the location of two shooting attacks

On the morning of July 25th a shooting attack took place on Mount Gerizim:

“Three Palestinian gunmen, claimed as members of the Hamas terror group, were killed by Israeli forces while attempting to attack a small Samaritan community in the northern West Bank on Tuesday morning, the military said.

The exchange of fire took place in the Mount Gerizim area, just south of Nablus, and close to the Jewish settlement of Har Bracha. The area is home to a tiny community of Samaritans, known as Shomronim in Hebrew.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, a car with the three gunmen arrived in the area, and two got out and opened fire at troops of the 603rd Combat Engineering Battalion who were guarding an army post at the entrance gate to the Samaritan community.”

Later the same day, the BBC News website published a report by Raffi Berg headlined ‘Palestinian gunmen killed near West Bank Samaritan community’. Some five hours later that report was updated to include information concerning the Hamas affiliations of the perpetrators:

“The official Palestinian Wafa news agency said Israeli forces took away the bodies of the men, who it said were aged between 32 and 43, and their vehicle. The militant Islamist group Hamas said the three were members of its armed wing.” [emphasis added]

Hamas is of course a terrorist organisation which is proscribed in full by the British government, among many others. Nevertheless, the British public service broadcaster continues to portray that terrorist organisation using the euphemistic term “militant” and without clarifying that it is proscribed by numerous countries including its own.

By way of context, Berg’s report provides the standard yet unhelpful BBC portrayal of Palestinian casualties:

“It [the incident] comes amid spiralling Israeli-Palestinian tensions in the West Bank.

Since the start of the year, more than 160 Palestinians – militants and civilians – have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

That chosen wording makes no attempt to inform readers on the relevant issue of the proportion of what it calls “militants” among those killed. Instead, BBC audiences are left to guess how many of those “more than 160 Palestinians” were terrorists and how many were civilians. Significantly, the BBC’s standard portrayal also fails to clarify that some of those predominantly male “civilians” were carrying out terror attacks (at least 12 not claimed by terrorist organisations) or engaged in violent rioting at the time of their deaths.

In the first six months of 2023, forty-three Palestinians were killed while carrying out terror attacks or afterwards. Of the total number of those killed in the locations specified by the BBC, at least 118 were affiliated with terrorist organisations, including at least twenty-one from Hamas.

Nevertheless, the BBC continues to promote the same mantra in every relevant article, thereby wilfully failing to fully inform its funding public.

Another interesting aspect of Berg’s report is its description of the location of the attack:

“Three Palestinians have been shot dead after opening fire on Israeli soldiers near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s military has said.

The troops were guarding the Samaritans, a tiny community which traces its origins back to biblical Israelite tribes. […]

The area where the incident took place is home to the Samaritans, a community believed to number fewer than 900, half of which live in Israel and the other half under Palestinian rule outside Nablus. Unusually, its members hold both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship.

They practise a religion which is rooted in Judaism, but has its own official status, customs and sets of beliefs.”

Readers may recall that on July 5th another attack took place in the same location and that the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman reported the killing of the perpetrators two days later during an arrest operation.

Unlike Raffi Berg’s accurate portrayal of the location of the latest attack and the community’s residents, Tom Bateman inaccurately described the previous one as having taken place “in a Jewish settlement”. CAMERA UK submitted a complaint on that topic over two weeks ago but has yet to receive a response from the BBC.

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