Ambassador to UK: I was just a block away from Tel Aviv terror attack with my daughters

Tzipi Hotovely: “I was with my children when there were sirens coming out of everywhere”



The Israeli ambassador has described the terror of being just “a block away” from the Tel Aviv shooting with her young children.

Tzipi Hotovely told Sky News about her shock at what had happened and how she sought safety in a nearby hotel with her three daughters.

She said: “We were staying a block away from the place where the terror attack took place. I was driving with my three daughters and we couldn’t continue to our hotel, there were sirens coming out of everywhere.”

Ms Hotovely said she and other Israelis were “sadly quite used to the idea that our security forces are active”. She said she and her children couldn’t leave their hotel for several hours until the gunman had been located.

During the Sky interview she attacked the BBC for its failure to report the Tel Aviv shooting attack as terrorism in the aftermath of the attack. Ms Hotovely said that “some places in the BBC were reporting on the Palestinian who got killed without saying he was a terrorist, without using the proper name”.

She added: “[It] is pure terrorism. The terrorist was really there in order to take lives of innocent people. We need to condemn that together because this is the same terror that is happening in London or Paris or Berlin.”

The first headline relating to the attack on the BBC website was published around one hour after the shooting took place, and referred to “several wounded in gun attack in Tel Aviv”.

The broadcaster’s guidelines explain “the word ‘terrorist’ itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding”, and instruct staff to “use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as ‘bomber’, ‘attacker’, ‘gunman’, ‘kidnapper’, ‘insurgent’ and ‘militant’.”

Media watchdog CAMERA said that the BBC had followed its own guidelines in this instance but there have been other instances where it has “ignored those editorial guidelines when covering terror attacks in the UK and elsewhere”.

A spokesman for CAMERA said: “The BBC has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why it has reported attacks in London, Barcelona, Tunisia and Germany as terrorism but refuses to use the same terminology when attacks take place in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Hadera or Tel Aviv.”

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