How did BBC News report a counter-terrorism operation?

On the night of September 23rd/24th the IDF carried out an operation to dismantle terrorist infrastructure in the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem which was reported by the Times of Israel as follows:

“Two Palestinians were killed and an Israeli soldier was moderately hurt early Sunday morning during exchanges of fire near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, Palestinians and the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it operated against terror infrastructure in the city’s Nur Shams refugee camp, where it destroyed a command center and dozens of explosive devices.

Throughout the activity, gunmen exchanged fire with IDF troops and detonated bombs against them. The army said it fired upon assailants and identified hitting a number of them.”

The Jerusalem Post reported:

“The Yahalom special forces demolitions unit and combat engineering units exploded several IEDs in the road in the town near Tulkarem. At least one high-explosive anti-armor device was placed in the area along with other concealed charges by terrorists ahead of the IDF raid. Images published by the military show the use of D9 bulldozers in the area.”

Those images can be found here. Additional units operated to destroy a command & control centre and neutralise an explosives store:

“The terrorist control room was filled with observation equipment and computers. Photographs by the IDF show that terrorists had set up cameras and Realtime feeds that provided surveillance of the area and streets from multiple angles. The armory consisted of dozens of pipe bombs and several large gas tanks.”

The Jerusalem Post also reported that:

“Hamas confirmed the death of one of its al-Qassam Brigade members, Asaad Jab’awi, in battle. The terrorist organization claimed that a second Palestinian casualty, Abdurrahman Suleiman Abu Daghash, had also died fighting Israeli forces.”

Other reports named the Hamas terrorist as Osaid Abu Ali, aged 21 or 22.

Listeners to BBC World Service news bulletins early on the morning of September 24th (from 02:33 here and from 03:00 here) heard the following account of those events from newsreader Gareth Barlow: [emphasis in italics in the original, emphasis in bold added]

“Israeli forces have raided a refugee camp in Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank. Reports say two Palestinians were killed. Eyewitnesses said about 40 Israeli military vehicles surrounded the Nur Shams camp which was covered by snipers on rooftops. An armoured bulldozer was used to dismantle barriers. Armed Palestinian groups said they responded with small arms and homemade bombs.”

As we see, that report completely failed to inform BBC audiences worldwide of the command & control centre and the explosives stash that were the reason for the operation and no mention was made of the tens of ready-to-use explosive devices that were found there and neutralised. The claim that a bulldozer was used “to dismantle barriers” misled audiences: the bulldozer was actually neutralising IEDs planted along the road. The BBC made no mention of the fact that the terrorist organisation Hamas had claimed one of the people killed as one of its operatives.

In short, the BBC’s report came nowhere near to providing its audiences worldwide with an accurate and impartial – or even informative – account of this story.

Related Articles:



More from Hadar Sela
BBC Radio Wales’ brief but misleading presentation of UK antisemitism
A Holocaust Memorial Day programme failed to accurately inform listeners on antisemitism...
Read More
Join the Conversation


  1. says: Malone Cooper

    BBC has never really cared about the facts when it comes to reporting on Israel and its mideast conflict. It should become clear to any unbiased reader that the focus of the BBC Mideast reporting is geared towards the indoctrination of its readers. And to a large extent, it has , unfortunately, been succeeding. Like the NYT, it has lost its journalistic endeavors as it becomes obsessed with its activism.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *