As has been noted here on numerous occasions, over the past two
years the BBC has avoided providing its audiences with any serious
reporting on the topic of Hamas’ efforts to build up its infrastructure in
Palestinian Authority controlled areas and certainly has not proffered any
analysis of how that factor has influenced the surge in terrorism seen over the
last ten months.
Concurrently, the BBC’s portrayal of the
reasons for restrictions on entry to Israel from the Gaza Strip is often at
best superficial and at worst misleading; particularly when its journalists
elect to amplify populist notions of “collective punishment” but ignore
cases in which entry permits are abused for the purpose of terrorism.
A recent announcement from the Israeli security forces
highlights both those issues as well as that of Hamas’ deliberate use of the
civilian population of the Gaza Strip as human shields – a topic which the
corporation has similarly failed to adequately address.
“A joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency),
Israel Police Southern District and IDF operation resulted in the arrest on
June 16 of 65-year-old Faiz Atar from Bet Lahia in Gaza, who had a permit to
enter Israel to conduct trade.
The Shin Bet said the suspect hid cash in his
shoes for Hamas, and smuggled tens of thousands of euros to terrorist
operatives in the West Bank.
As the investigation continued, the domestic intelligence agency
gleaned valuable information on Atar’s family in Gaza and their activities on
behalf of Hamas, including tunnel digging.
“It emerged that his sons made use of his home
to meet with Hamas operatives. The investigation revealed information on tunnel
openings, which are partly located underneath civilian structures – including
innocent civilian residential buildings and mosques – and rocket launch
locations, which are located near civilian structures in a manner that
endangers the civilian population in the Strip,” the Shin Bet said in a
“Security forces nabbed a Gazan resident at
the Erez Crossing in June with 10,000 euros stuffed in his shoes, intended for
Hamas operatives in the West Bank. When the suspect, identified as Jabaliya
resident Itallah Sarahan, 37, was questioned, security forces learned that he
received a permit to enter Israel for trade purposes two weeks prior to his
On his first day visiting Israel, a Hamas
policeman on the Gazan side of the crossing asked Sarahan if he would smuggle
cash to Hamas in the West Bank. Sarahan “expressed his willingness to do so,”
the Shin Bet said, leading the Hamas police officer to take him to a meeting
with the Islamist regime’s operatives, who paid him for the mission and
provided him with special shoes in which the money was hidden.”
The BBC cannot possibly claim to be meeting its remit of enhancing “audiences’ awareness of
international issues” as long as it continues to avoid such stories and the
broader issues behind them and the omission of that context of course shapes
audience views of Israeli counter-terrorism measures.