BBC News ignores Gaza bank heist story

If one had assumed that a $100 million bank heist would merit at least one BBC headline, one would be wrong – so long as the robbery took place in the Gaza Strip and was perpetrated by Hamas.

In early May the French newspaper Le Monde reported events that had taken place the previous month:

“Armed groups in Gaza, including one with presumed Hamas links, last month robbed the Bank of Palestine of some $70 million, French daily Le Monde reported Saturday.

The funds were taken from the vaults of several branches of the bank, it said, citing a Bank of Palestine document sent to “certain international partners” detailing the robberies.

On April 16, staff discovered a hole in the ceiling of the safe deposit room at one of the bank’s Gaza branches and found that some $3 million worth of Israeli shekels destined for cash dispensers were missing, Le Monde said.

The next day, armed groups equipped with explosives returned to the site, blew up a cement protection chamber and took more than $30 million in various currencies from three safes.

Two days later, the biggest Gaza branch was attacked by commandos who said they answered to “Gaza’s highest authorities,” which the paper said is understood to mean Hamas.

They took more than $36 million worth of shekels.”

The Palestinian Monetary Authority subsequently announced an investigation into the issue.

In late May the IDF’s Arabic language spokesman revealed an internal Hamas document obtained by the IDF.

“On Wednesday, Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s spokesman to the Arab press, revealed documents which he said prove that the terror group stole 400 million shekels ($108 million), more than the initial Le Monde report alleged, due to the “economic crisis facing Hamas.”

The papers, which he said were drafted by a senior Hamas member named “Abu Jihad,” were presumably discovered by IDF forces in Gaza.

“While the residents of Gaza are experiencing an economic and social crisis, Hamas — without any hesitation — is stealing from civilians for the sake of its survival and the survival of its members,” stated Adraee.”

Remarkably, BBC audiences have seen no coverage whatsoever of those bank robberies and their affects on account holders, even in the “human stories” section of the BBC News website’s dedicated “Israel-Gaza War” page.

Notably, this is not the first time that Hamas has robbed banks, with previous incidents having taken place in 2014 and in 2011, when the BBC did find fit to report the story.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Neil C

    Oh no Hamas can do no wrong according to the BBC so why bother reporting facts like that, typical BBC example of reporting by omission
    #defundthebbc

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