BBC News reporting on the Ra’anana terror attack

Some three hours after a terror attack had taken place in Ra’anana on January 15th, the BBC News website published a report by Raffi Berg headlined ‘Israel: Woman killed, 17 hurt in suspected Palestinian car-ramming attack’.

The attack was in fact a combined car-ramming and stabbing attack and as we see, the BBC used the superfluous word “suspected” in its headline even though the two perpetrators had been arrested at the scene. The report opens:

“A 70-year-old woman has been killed and 17 other people injured in what police say was a terrorist attack in Israel.”

The woman murdered in the attack – Edna Bluestein – was in fact 79 years old. Not only did the “police say” that the incident was a terror attack: as reported by the Times of Israel, one of the terrorists confirmed that assessment:

“One of them reportedly told the Shin Bet that “when the war in Gaza started,” they “decided to carry out an attack and become martyrs… Initially, we intended to stab Jews, but then we decided to run over as many Jews as possible.””

Berg’s report does not inform BBC audiences that several of the “other people injured” are children before going on: [emphasis added]

“There have been few reports of attacks in Israel since the war began on 7 October and Monday’s incident will further increase the sense of anxiety among Israelis.”

In fact, over a thousand terror attacks took place in October, November and December 2023, of which the BBC only reported four. Eight Israelis were killed in terror attacks during those three months but the BBC only reported four of the fatalities. Berg’s word games hinge on his use of the phrase “in Israel”. He excludes terror attacks that took place in Judea and Samaria during that time period (particularly during October) as well as numerous attacks in Israel’s capital city, including the following:

One member of the security forces was injured in an attack with a petrol bomb in east Jerusalem on October 9th.

On October 12th two policemen were injured in a shooting attack on a police station near the Old City of Jerusalem which was claimed by the PFLP.

On October 30th a police officer was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

On November 3rd a member of the security forces was injured by a petrol bomb in Issawiya.

On November 6th a Border Policewoman was killed and another officer was wounded in a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem.

One member of the security forces was killed and four wounded in a shooting attack at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem on November 16th which was later claimed by Hamas.

Four civilians were killed and five others wounded in a shooting attack at a bus stop in Jerusalem on November 30th which was carried out by members of Hamas. That attack was reported on the BBC News website.

On December 28thstabbing attack took place at the Mazmuria checkpoint near Jerusalem in which a member of the security forces and a civilian security guard were wounded.

Berg goes on to tell readers that:

“Tensions have also been heightened in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza. Local health officials say more than 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in raids targeting militants and in other incidents, as well as in settler-related violence.”

Berg refrains from clarifying that the majority of those predominantly male Palestinian casualties were involved in terrorism and/or violent rioting at the time.

Some two hours after the initial publication of Berg’s report about a fatal terror attack against Israeli civilians, including children, the following paragraph was added:

“The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that two Palestinians – 22-year-old Mohammed Hassan Abu Sabaa and Ahed Mahmoud Mohammed, 23 – were shot dead by Israeli forces during what it called “confrontations” in the town of Dura, south of Hebron, on Thursday night. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been approached for comment.”

Some four hours later, that part of the article was amended again and now reads:

“The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that two Palestinians – 22-year-old Mohammed Hassan Abu Sabaa and Ahed Mahmoud Mohammed, 23 – were shot dead by Israeli forces during what it called “confrontations” in the town of Dura, south of Hebron, on Thursday night.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its forces had been attacked with petrol bombs and rocks, and had “responded with riot dispersal means and live fire”.

“An assailant who hurled a Molotov cocktail at the forces was killed, and additional hits were identified,” it said.”

In fact, the incident in Dura did not take place “on Thursday night” – i.e. January 11th – but on January 15th.

Remarkably, Berg elected not to inform BBC audiences about another incident in the same district on the evening of January 12th:

“Three terrorists who tried to infiltrate the Adora settlement, near Hebron, on Friday evening and carried out a shooting attack were killed by Israeli security personnel.

An IDF reserve soldier was moderately wounded in his leg in the initial attack. The soldier, 34, was evacuated to a hospital for further treatment.

Following an alert regarding an attempted terrorist infiltration into the community, the Home Front Command issued orders that residents of Adora take shelter in buildings, lock the doors, and close the windows.”

The residents of Adora remained in lock down for some twelve hours. Two of the three terrorists who infiltrated the community and tried to carry out an attack were 16 years old and the third was nineteen.

The fact that the BBC did not find that incident newsworthy is particularly remarkable in light of its serially unhelpful portrayal of the topic of Palestinian casualties and its record of frequently focusing audience attentions on the topic of minors.



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  1. says: Neil C

    Raffi Berg is a barefaced liar and a disgrace to the so called profession of journalism. Over a thousand incidents of continuing terrorism and he calls it a few? Revoke his work visa and expel him from the country. The fact that they were all in their teens proves that Hamas is getting desperate and continues to hide behind children and brainwashes children from birth to do their dirty work

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