Over 24 hours late and just 37 words: BBC News ‘reports’ Tel Aviv terror attack

Late on August 6th (Israel time) the BBC News website published a report by the Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell about a counter-terrorism operation that had taken place several hours earlier.

During that operation, three wanted terrorists on their way from Jenin to carry out a shooting attack against Israeli civilians near Mevo Dotan were shot dead. Nevertheless, the portrayal of that incident on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page was as follows:

The headline to the report itself likewise failed to mention the word terrorists and instead merely informed readers that “Israeli security forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank”.

Knell’s portrayal of that incident read as follows: [emphasis added]

“Israeli security forces say they have killed three alleged Palestinian militants in the north of the occupied West Bank, near the Jenin refugee camp. […]

In a statement, the army said the group was heading to carry out an attack and that an automatic rifle was found in their car.”

Two hours later Knell found it appropriate to add uncritical amplification of the talking points of a Palestinian Authority official and two UK designated terrorist organisations to her article. Notably, she made no effort to put their descriptions of the elimination of wanted armed terrorists en route to an attack against civilians as “crimes” and “terrorism” into their appropriate and accurate perspective.

“After the killing of three Palestinians on Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said: “These horrific crimes in Jenin would not have taken place had the perpetrators not felt safe from punishment.”

Palestinian armed groups condemned the killings, vowing for revenge.

“The enemy, which assassinated three of our Palestinian people, will not escape paying the price of its crimes,” said a spokesperson for Hamas who rules Gaza.

The Islamic Jihad, which has members in Gaza and the West Bank, said: “The enemy will realise that its foolishness and terrorism will be met by a strong response from the resistance.””

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad does indeed have “members in Gaza and the West Bank” and in fact it claimed two of the three people Knell chose to describe merely as “alleged Palestinian militants”. The three terrorists were:

Naif Abu Suias (or Souis/Sweis), aged 26, who was claimed by the PIJ and was apparently the leader of the cell

Lu’ayy Abu Na’asa who was also claimed by both the PIJ and Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades

Baraa Ahmed Qurum (or Karem), aged 15, who was claimed by Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.

Despite having amplified the messaging of Hamas and the PIJ, Knell failed to inform her readers that the Israeli security forces’ statement on the incident noted that Suias was a “prominent military operative… who was involved in military activity against our forces and in advancing military activity directed by terror elements from the Gaza Strip.” [emphasis added]

Readers of the second version of Knell’s report also found a brief two-and-a-half sentence reference to a fatal terror attack in Tel Aviv on August 5th which had not previously received any BBC News website coverage whatsoever:

“…an Israeli security guard was killed in an attack in Tel Aviv.” […]

“The killings came the day after a Palestinian gunman fatally shot an Israeli security guard in Tel Aviv. Another guard shot and killed the attacker.”

BBC audiences were not informed that the victim of that attack – Chen Amir – was a civilian municipal employee and the father of three small girls. Neither did Knell bother to inform readers that the terrorist who carried out that attack was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Jenin.

Knell did however dedicate notably more of her word count to another violent incident:

“On Friday, armed Jewish settlers attacked a Palestinian village where a young Palestinian man was shot dead…” […]

On Friday night, extremist settlers went on the rampage in a Palestinian village in the West Bank, killing a 19-year-old man. Israeli police say two settlers have been arrested.

The latest settler attack has been condemned as terrorism by Washington, its stronger language appearing to show increased frustration with the positions of Israel’s far-right government.”

In addition to the two men arrested, five additional people were detained in relation to that incident in Burqa which is still under investigation. Later, five Palestinians were also arrested in connection with the same event.

As reported by the Times of Israel, the US State Department not only condemned what Knell describes as “the latest settler attack” but also the terror attack in Tel Aviv.

“The US State Department issued two tweets within a minute of each other on Saturday evening, using very similar language.

“We strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that killed one and wounded two others as well as other recent terrorist attacks against Israelis. We express our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and call for an end to these acts of violence and incitement to violence,” read the first tweet.

“We strongly condemn yesterday’s terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian. The US extends our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. We note Israeli officials have made several arrests and we urge full accountability and justice,” read the second tweet.”

Remarkably, Knell chose not to inform her readers of that condemnation of the terror attack that the BBC News website had initially ignored for well over 24 hours and then later ‘reported’ in a mere thirty-seven words.

Some sixteen hours after that second version of Knell’s report appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, it was updated again. The headline was changed to “Israeli forces kill three Palestinian militants in West Bank” but one hour later yet another amendment was made and the headline currently uses the ‘Israel says’ formula: “Israel says its forces killed three Palestinian militants in West Bank”.

The version which currently appears on the BBC News website tells BBC audiences that one of the three terrorists was claimed by the PIJ:

“Islamic Jihad claimed one of those killed was a member, and vowed a “strong response from the resistance”.”

Readers are told that “The youngest of those killed on Sunday was 15 years old, Palestinian reports said” but not that Baraa Ahmed Qurum was claimed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.

Knell’s portrayal of the terror attack in Tel Aviv in the latest version of her report comes in thirty-five words which still provide no details about the victim and again fail to clarify that the terrorist was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad:

“The deaths on Sunday came a day after a Palestinian gunman fatally shot an Israeli security guard in Tel Aviv. Another guard killed the attacker.

He is said to have come from the Jenin area.”

Once again Knell refrained from informing readers of the US State Department’s condemnation of that attack. The description of the incident in Burqa and related statements in the latest version is 114 words longer than in the previous version.

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  1. says: NORMAN COHEN

    The Burqa attack was an attempted lynching by a mob of Arabs armed with rocks fireworks and baseball bats of a Jewish shepherd nearly a mile from the village who shot one of his assailants in self defence and who is now in an intensice care unit in hospital with a serious head injury he suffered before being able to get off a shot at his assailants.

  2. says: Grimey

    Let us be crystal clear about this ………………….
    The BBC is stuffed with arabists who align with Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah in their quest to destroy Israel – by distorting every incident as it arises – and using omissions, lies and propaganda in its reports. That’s it !

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