On the morning of September 20th the BBC News website published a report by Yolande Knell and Lucy Williamson headlined ‘Six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank and Gaza’.
Obviously that headline does not inform BBC audiences that all of those killed were engaged in violence directed at Israeli troops at the time of their deaths and the report’s opening paragraph is no more informative:
“Six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, medics say.”
In the eleven hours following its publication, the report was amended three times. The version currently appearing on the BBC News website begins by telling readers that: [emphasis added]
“Four men were killed during a military raid in Jenin refugee camp late on Tuesday night. Three of them were claimed by militant groups as members.
Another young Palestinian man was killed during an Israeli raid in Jericho on Wednesday morning.
The sixth was killed during violent demonstrations on Tuesday evening near the Gaza-Israel separation fence.”
Knell and Williamson’s description of the July 19th incident on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip reads as follows:
“Tensions now seem to be spreading to Gaza, where a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces for the first time during several days of violent protests by the separation fence.
The Israeli military said hundreds of rioters gathered next to the fence and detonated explosive devices, and that its forces responded with “riot disposal means and sniper fire”.
It added that it was aware that a Palestinian had died and that the incident was under review.”
“On September 19, 2023, Palestinians rioted near the eastern border of the Gaza Strip “in support” of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque. […] In the return camp in eastern Khiza’a in Khan Yunis, rioters detonated three IEDs near the fence. IDF forces responded with live fire. The ministry of health in Gaza reported the death of Yusuf Salem Yusuf Radwan, 25 years old, a resident of Bani Suheila, and the wounding of 11 Palestinians, one of them seriously.” [emphasis added]
Knell and Williamson’s explanation of the background to rioting on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip reads as follows:
“There is speculation that Hamas, which governs Gaza, has allowed the protests to restart as it tries to gain leverage in indirect talks with Israel brokered by Qatar.
Tensions have risen as a result of delays on Qatari aid which Israel allows into Gaza.
A Palestinian official familiar with the negotiations said that these were continuing, but progress had not been made.”
As previously noted here, Hamas is responsible for the renewed rioting. Contrary to the impression given by the BBC, the “delays” to Qatari aid are not directly connected to Israel. The ITIC explains:
“The Palestinian media reported that Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, left the Gaza Strip on September 13, 2023. According to the social media, al-Emadi’s visit ended without result after several meetings had been held with the Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to calm the situation. It was further reported that following the failure of the meetings, the terrorist organizations in Gaza ordered the protesters to begin harassment activities along the security fence according to a schedule which would be arranged between the young people and the Hamas administration.
“Sources in Hamas” reported the movement’s leadership was angry at Qatar’s recent measures regarding its monthly grant and its refusal to pay the salaries of the public sector workers in the Gaza Strip. They claimed the meeting held with al-Emadi had been very tense after he informed them that the funds for the civilian workers and for operating the Gaza power plant’s fourth turbine, which had only been in operation for two months, would not be renewed. The sources added that al-Emadi had told the Hamas leadership in no uncertain terms that Qatar could not eternally give money to the Gaza Strip and better, permanent solutions had to be sought. The “sources” stated that the decision to renew the activity of the “insurgent youth” in the Gaza Strip was a decision taken at the highest levels of the leadership and it objective was “to force Israel to find solutions”.
While the September 19th incident in Jenin is the main focus of the report by Knell and Williamson, readers are not informed of the reason for what they describe as a “military raid”. The ITIC reported the context as follows:
“On the evening of September 19, 2023, Israeli security forces operated in the Jenin refugee camp to detain wanted Palestinians. The forces surrounded the house of Mahmoud Abu al-Bahaa’, an AAMB commander. An exchange of fire with local terrorists developed. In response, the IDF attacked the shooters with a drone. As the forces were leaving, a military vehicle carrying fighters ran over an IED on the outskirts of Jenin and stalled. Terrorists continued shooting at the forces as the vehicle was extracted.
Hamas’ Jenin Battalion claimed responsibility for shooting and detonating explosive devices. The AAMB also issued a claim of responsibility stating its operatives had participated in the exchange of fire with the Israeli forces and used locally produced IEDs. The Jenin Battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, claimed operatives of its engineering unit had detonated two IEDs to attack IDF armored vehicles and put them out of action. They also claimed to have exchanged fire with the security forces on several streets along with AAMB and Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operatives.”
The BBC’s emotional account names two of the four armed men killed:
“At one of the camp’s entrances, Umm Omar showed the dried blood around her fingernails from one young militant she had dragged into her home during the night.
Raafat Khamaysi, 22, was injured in the exchange of fire with Israeli forces close to her house. She said he bled for two hours before he died.” […]
Outside the house where 24-year-old Mahmoud al-Saadi’s body was brought before burial, the sound of gunfire to honour his death met the wails of his family – militants and his mother each claiming him in their own way.”
BBC audiences are not informed that al-Saadi was claimed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or that at least two of the three others killed – Ata Yasser Ata Musa and Mahmoud Khaled Ararawi – were PIJ operatives.
Knell and Williamson describe the September 20th incident in Aqabat Jaber, near Jericho, as follows:
“Wednesday morning saw a deadly Israeli military raid in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho.
The local hospital said that a 19-year-old man who died was shot in the head. He has since been buried.
Witnesses said that locals had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers who entered the camp.
The Israeli military said explosive devices were also thrown as its forces carried out an arrest raid.”
The ITIC noted that:
“Before dawn on September 20, 2023, Israeli security forces operated in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp (south of Jericho) to detain wanted Palestinians. As they entered the camp, local residents rioted and threw rocks at them. They responded with live fire, killing a Palestinian who had thrown IEDs at them.”
Knell and Williamson tell BBC audiences that:
“The bloodshed in Jenin was the latest in an upsurge in violence in the West Bank, where the Israeli military says it has been carrying out counter-terrorism activities over the past year and a half.”
However they fail to make any mention of the rise in Palestinian terrorism which is the context for those counter-terrorism activities but choose to end their report with the following statement:
“Israel blames Hamas for instigating increased attacks against its soldiers and civilians in the West Bank.”
Remarkably, Knell and Williamson have nothing whatsoever to tell readers about the fact that Hamas itself boasts of its activities in Judea & Samaria, including terror attacks and rocket launches at civilian communities, or its smuggling of explosives and production of explosive devices in that area.