No BBC follow-up on responses to appointment of new PA PM

On the morning of March 15th the BBC News website published a report about an event which had taken place the previous day.

Written by David Gritten and headlined “Palestinian president appoints long-time adviser as prime minister”, that report opens by telling BBC audiences that:

“President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Mohammad Mustafa as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the occupied West Bank.

Mr Mustafa, a US-educated economist and former senior World Bank official, is a long-time adviser to the president.

His predecessor, Mohammed Shtayyeh, resigned three weeks ago, citing the “emerging reality in the Gaza Strip”.

Mr Abbas is under pressure from the US to reform the PA so it can govern Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war ends.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented last month a vision for the territory that made no mention of any role for the PA.”

Later in the report, readers are informed that:

“The presidential decree issued on Thursday appointing Mr Mustafa said his priorities included leading humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza and organising the reconstruction of what has been destroyed during the war.

Another priority was to develop plans for the “reunification of institutions across the homeland’s governorates as a single geographical, political, national, and institutional unit”, it added.

It also called for “continuing the reform process” of Palestinian institutions, with the aim of “a robust and transparent governance system subject to accountability, combating corruption, and ensuring good governance”.

Notably, Gritten did not bother to remind his readers that Palestinians have not had the chance to vote in over eighteen years or that Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the last scheduled elections in 2021.

Despite having reported those “plans for the “reunification of institutions across the homeland’s governorates as a single geographical, political, national, and institutional unit””, the BBC failed to produce any coverage whatsoever of a subsequent development in that story which took place later on the day that Gritten’s report was published.

“Palestinian terror group Hamas on Friday criticized the “unilateral” designation by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of an ally and leading business figure as prime minister with a mandate to help reform the PA and rebuild Gaza.

Mohammad Mustafa’s appointment comes after mounting international pressure to overhaul the Palestinian governing body of the West Bank.

Hamas said the decision was taken without consulting it despite recently taking part in a meeting in Moscow also attended by Abbas’s Fatah movement to end long-time divisions.

“We express our rejection of continuing this approach that has inflicted and continues to inflict harm on our people and our national cause,” Hamas said in a statement.

“Making individual decisions and engaging in superficial and empty steps such as forming a new government without national consensus only reinforces a policy of unilateralism and deepens division.””

Neither have BBC audiences been told anything about the caustic response to that criticism by Hamas and additional factions from Fatah.

“Fatah hit back at Hamas late Friday, accusing the Islamist terror movement in a statement of “having caused the return of the Israeli occupation of Gaza” by “undertaking the October 7 adventure.”

This led to a “catastrophe even more horrible and cruel than that of 1948,” they said.

“The real disconnection from reality and the Palestinian people is that of the Hamas leadership,” said Fatah, bitterly deriding Hamas for failing to “consult” with the rest of the Palestinian leadership before launching its attack on Israel.

It also charged Hamas with negotiating with Israel in an effort to obtain “guarantees for its leaders’ personal security.””

Just three weeks after the October 7th massacre the BBC began to produce coverage concerning supposed Israeli plans for ‘the day after’ the war and a recurrent feature in those and other BBC reports has been the presentation of American views on that topic – for example:

“The secretary of state said “affirmative elements” were necessary for a “sustained peace”.

“It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” he said.” [source]

“…the US president wants Israel to return to some kind of revitalised peace process. He wants the Palestinian Authority (PA) eventually to run Gaza while Israel agrees arrangements for an independent Palestine alongside Israel.” [source]

“The US, Israel’s major ally, wants the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern Gaza after the war.” [source]

In this report, Gritten tells readers that:

“The White House welcomed Mr Mustafa’s appointment and called for the formation of a “reform cabinet” as soon as possible.

“The United States will be looking for this new government to deliver on policies and implementation of credible and far-reaching reforms,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

“A reformed Palestinian Authority is essential to delivering results for the Palestinian people and establishing the conditions for stability in both the West Bank and Gaza.””

Although BBC audiences are sadly used to chronic under-reporting of internal Palestinian affairs, it nevertheless notable that, despite its repeat promotion of the notion of a “reformed Palestinian Authority” taking control over the Gaza Strip, the BBC did not consider it necessary to inform its audiences of this latest Hamas-Fatah spat and its potential implications on proposals for a ‘peace process’ currently being vigorously pushed by Western powers.

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  1. says: Geary

    BBC World ‘hears’ of rumours of rape in wars in East Africa. Who cares or even notices when all your correspondents are in top hotels in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv (or London)?

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