Even by BBC standards this is a messy cut-and-past job:
If you follow the simple, clear and correct Israel closes Gaza’s Erez crossing link from the BBC Mid East and News homepages you will reach Gaza conflict: Erez crossing ‘attacked’ amid Israel raids. You may be sorry if you do.
Attack of the ‘scare quotes’
Is there any doubt the crossing was attacked? If there was, why didn’t a BBC person go and check? Is there any reason for amid Israel raids in the headline other to deflect any possible blame from Hamas for attacking a crossing that benefits Gazan people? The article continues: Israel says it has closed the Erez crossing after it came under rocket fire from Gaza, wounding four people. Well, is it closed or not? Is the BBC suggesting that the crossing remains open and perhaps Israel is lying about it? The photo caption below, at least, expresses no doubt.
The crossing is used by aid workers, journalists and Palestinians with Israeli permits to enter or leave Gaza. Almost 100% of those Palestinians are being transferred to hospitals or their escorts. There is a field hospital at the crossing but Hamas forbids Gazans using it. The victims were Israeli-Arab taxi drivers, who were at the crossing to pick up wounded Gazans and bring them into Israel for medical treatment. Surely this was a colour item the BBC should have picked up on had they bothered to either visit the crossing or Ashkelon’s Barzilai hospital? It might even have picked up on the accusation by an Israeli-Arab official at Erez accusing Hamas of not caring about the well-being of the Palestinians in Gaza. BTW Ashkelon (13 KM from the Gaza border) is under frequent daily rocket barrage as it both a major city and well within the range of 17.7 KM range of the Qassam rocket which the BBC always informs us is homemade and primitive. Ironically the power station at Ashkelon provides a good proportion of Gaza’s power, which hasn’t stopped it being a frequent target. After this point the story more-or-less ignores Erez Crossing, except for one bizarrely placed sentence. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said Palestinian militants had fired missiles at the Erez crossing from a concealed rocket launcher in northern Gaza, with a Twitter link indicating that once again no one from the BBC bothered checking. It becomes general with BBC boilerplate about casualties.
I expect Hamas finance chief ‘killed’ was a sub-editors oversight. Do none of the BBC subeditors read their own copy? The one paragraph reference to Mohamed al-Oul (al-Goul?) who was in charge of managing Hamas’ funds comes four paragraphs and three unrelated photographs later. Perhaps the BBC was waiting for Hamas instructions before adding detail? According to Israel television al-Oul was hit while driving in his car, thousands of dollars in cash was scattered by the explosion – another piece of colour detail the BBC missed. BTW the ‘scare quotes’ return. Is there any possibility that al-Oul wasn’t ‘killed’ or this is just an unsubstantiated rumour?
Excuse my curiosity but why is no one else in the photograph running?
- Waiting to transport sick, drivers at Gaza crossing come under attack, Lazar Berman & Marissa Newman, The Times of Israel, 24 August 2014
- Hamas’s own goal, JPost editorial, The Jerusalem Post, 15 July 2014