Omissions in BBC report on Jenin counter-terrorism operation

On January 30th the BBC News website published a report by Raffi Berg about a counter-terrorism operation which had taken place several hours earlier at the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin.

Among the changes made to that report in the eight hours following its publication was a change to the headline which originally read “Israeli forces kill three Palestinian militants in West Bank hospital raid” and was subsequently amended to read “Israeli forces kill three Palestinian fighters in West Bank hospital raid”.

The report tells BBC audiences that:

“Israeli forces have killed three members of Palestinian armed groups in a hospital in the occupied West Bank. […]

Hamas, an armed Palestinian Islamist group which is fighting a war with Israel in Gaza triggered by its unprecedented attacks on Israel on 7 October, said the Israeli forces had “executed three fighters”, including one of its members.

Another armed group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said two of those killed were its members and were brothers. It added that one of them had been receiving treatment at the hospital.”

The BBC’s report does not provide the names of the terrorists or any information concerning their past activities. The fact that one of them was armed while hiding in the hospital is also not mentioned.

“In a joint statement, the IDF, Shin Bet, and police said the leader of the terror cell, Muhammad Jalamneh, 27, had been in contact with Hamas officials abroad. He was previously injured while preparing a car bomb attack, armed other operatives for shooting attacks, and planned “a raid attack inspired by the events of October 7,” according to the statement.

Jalamneh was also reported to be a spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing in the Jenin camp.

A handgun on Jalamneh’s body was seized during the raid, the IDF said.

The IDF named the other two operatives as brothers Muhammad and Basel Ghazawi. Muhammad was involved in shooting attacks at Israeli troops in the West Bank while Basel was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, according to the military.”

The BBC’s report promotes a second-hand quote from the director of the hospital:

“They executed the three men as they slept in the room,” the hospital’s director, Dr Naji Nazzal, told Reuters. “They executed them in cold blood by firing bullets directly into their heads in the room where they were being treated.”

An additional quote from the same person which appears at the end of the report suggests that the “they were being treated” claim is inaccurate: [emphasis added]

“Dr Naji Nazzal said one of the men, who PIJ identified as its member, had been receiving treatment at the hospital since 25 October for a spinal injury which had left him paralysed.”

The BBC clearly made no effort to contact Dr Nazzal to ask him why – not for the first time – he had allowed members of terrorist organisations to hide inside the hospital he manages. The absence of such information hampers the ability of readers to put another quote promoted by Berg into its correct context:

“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the guardian of the Geneva Conventions which codify international humanitarian law, has expressed concern over the raid.

“Under international humanitarian law, hospitals and medical patients should be respected and protected at all times“, the ICRC said, adding that it would raise the issue “as part of its confidential dialogue with the concerned authorities”.” [emphasis added]

Berg does not bother to inform BBC audiences that the ICRC’s own website clarifies that there are exceptions to that rule:

Once again we see that BBC audiences are not provided with the full range of information in reports on counter-terrorism operations in Palestinian Authority controlled areas.

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1 Comment

  1. says: David Price

    Can you link these terrorists to the terrorists who murdered Tiran Fero in 2022?

    1. Same terrorist group, the Jenin Brigades, associated with PIJ
    2. Same hospital (there’s only one hospital in Jenin)

    The targets were very specific. There were 20 assailants who kidnapped and murdered Fero. Could these 3 have been present at the time and would that have been known to the IDF?

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