The BBC's reporting of Israel's military action in Jenin is deeply misleading

Basic information and facts which show Israel's case are being ignored


TOPSHOT - Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters from an armoured vehicle during an ongoing military operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on July 4, 2023. Israel pushed on for a second day on July 4 with its biggest military operation in years in the occupied West Bank, which left 10 Palestinians dead and forced thousands to flee their homes. (Photo by Ronaldo SCHEMIDT / AFP) (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

July 04, 2023 17:11

Jenin has once again become a key hub for Palestinian terror groups. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have cells there, and these terrorist groups are supported by Iran. The Palestinian Authority appears incapable of, or disinterested in, doing anything about it.

Located in the northern part of the West Bank, Jenin is just 50-odd miles from both Haifa and Netanya on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Rather than sit and wait for more deadly terrorist attacks on Israeli soil, and to put an end to the growing violence witnessed in recent months, Israel mounted a limited operation to dismantle a growing terror network.

So far the operation appears to have been a relative success. An IDF spokesperson claims that Israel arrested over 100 wanted Palestinians and killed nine terrorists involved in the fighting.

Not that you would know much about all this if you were receiving your information from the BBC.

One video, ‘what is happening in Jenin in 60 seconds’,describes an IDF attack on what the IDF says is a  ‘command and control centre’ as most likely being ‘just a house where people were meeting’ – as if it were a completely random strike on a civilian apartment building. Viewers are also told the target is a ‘refugee camp’, an area that is ‘incredibly densely populated’, that the chances of people being caught in the crossfire are ‘high’ and that 2023 is ‘already the deadliest year in the West Bank’ since 2005.

What they omit to tell people in the 60-second introduction to the topic was anything about why Israel was actually carrying out the operation. Not a single word. 

This one-sided reporting is visible throughout the BBC’s online presence.

The BBC have been running a ‘live coverage’ page since early Monday morning, shortly after the operation began. Instead of saying that a limited IDF operation is taking place in just a few key streets, the BBC’s reporting describes it being like a ‘real war’ (update 10:15 3 July), giving voice to those suggesting that the Israelis want to ‘destroy the camp and displace its people’ (update 12:09). They even went as far as reporting on an attack on civilians in a theatre, before pointing out that the news may actually be fake (16:26).

They cannot help themselves. Rather than point the finger at the terrorist enclave inside the camp that has driven the spike in deadly violence BBC Monitoring in its update at 14:03 suggests that the operation was a response to pressure from ‘far-right’ cabinet ministers in Israel’s government. As if Israel does not take this action when necessary, whoever is sitting in Government. This is not news; it is not even informed commentary – it is rank bias that has no connection at all to what is taking place on the ground.

A BBC correspondent found someone they could quote to suggest that there was ‘a massacre in the camp’, though it is unclear what efforts, if any, were made to verify this claim. A timely reminder of the widespread 2002 massacre claims from Jenin that were also shown to be totally unfounded.

The updates, such as ‘hospital and ambulances attacked’ included numerous ludicrous claims, and more often than not, everyone listed as attacked, was a journalist, or a medic riding in an ambulance.

Another correspondent posted a tweet on Tuesday morning carrying footage filmed by the BBC. Just nine seconds long, and without any text, it shows an area that experienced severe damage, and the limited angles shown imply that much of the area may have been wiped out. This decontextualised footage of just one corner in one street has been shared widely and viewed over 400,000 times.

You would expect this from online propaganda outfits. It is deeply disturbing to see it from the BBC.

The sum of the reporting is deeply misleading. There is constant use of the words ‘refugee camps’, as if the attack is on refugees, as opposed to a targeted operation against gunmen who have taken over the streets. The site of the original camp, opened in 1953, is now a built-up urban area that is indistinguishable from the rest of the town.

And there is a constant narrative that implies heavy bombardment in a ‘densely populated’ area – even though the Journalists at the BBC should surely be aware that the low casualty count completely undermines the details of their own reporting. 

The BBC knows all this of course, and if they truly wanted to inform they could do so easily. Which is why it is always worth remembering that the awful bias and distorted reporting at the BBC on all matters related to Israel is not an accident, incompetence, or laziness. It is a deliberate choice.

July 04, 2023 17:11

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