On BBC Website, Israeli Noise More Serious than Palestinian Terrorism

On the evening of November 2, 2005, five Israelis were injured in a mortar attack on the community of Netiv Ha’asarah by Palestinian terrorists firing from Gaza. The shells also struck a high-tension electrical line, cutting off power to the surrounding area; hit a car, showering a pedestrian with shrapnel; and damaged a house in the community.

That same day, Qassam rockets fired from Gaza landed in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai; a 55-pound bomb was neutralized by army sappers after being discovered near the Karni crossing in northern Gaza; and an Israeli woman was stabbed by a Palestinian attacker in Jerusalem.

Readers of BBC’s Web site, however, found nothing there about the terrorism targeting Israeli men, women and children with Palestinian mortars, rockets, bombs, or knives. There was no mention at all of the attacks on www.BBC.co.uk.

Instead readers of the British news agency’s Web site learned about the “widespread fear” among Palestinian children caused by the sonic booms of Israeli airplanes and read about allegations by medics that the noise “induces miscarriages.” On November 3, the most prominently featured article on the Middle East page of BBC’s Web site was “Medics condemn Gaza sonic booms”  which quoted critics of Israel condemning military jet noise over Gaza. The article discussed at length their petition to Israel’s Supreme Court claiming that “according to international law, the booms are collective punishment against the civilian population and thus illegal.”

The BBC has for years displayed a bias in its news judgement, presenting stories which cast Israelis as aggressors responsible for Palestinian suffering rather than as victims of Palestinian violence. While the BBC article one-sidedly discusses the alleged threat to Palestinian women and children in Gaza by Israeli noise, it never once refers to the Israeli women and children who are daily threatened with death by Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks.

Netiv Ha’asarah – target of the attack ignored by BBC – was hit by over 100 mortar shells in the past three years.Twenty-two-year old Dana Glakowitz,was killed in a mortar attack there. The southern Israeli town of Sderot has been the target of hundreds of rocket and mortar attacks, some of them deadly. On June 28, 2004, 49-year-old Mordechai Yosefov, 49, and his three- year-old grandson Afik Zahavi were killed outside a kindergarten in Sderot by Qassam rockets shot by Palestinian terrorists. Two other toddlers, Dorit Aniso, 2, and Yuval Abebeh, 4, were playing in the streets of Sderot when they were cut down by Palestinian rockets three months later on September 29, 2004. Twenty other Israelis were wounded in that attack. On January 15, 2005, Ella Abukassis, 17, tried to protect her younger brother from a Qassam rocket launched into Sderot by Palestinian terrorists, but was mortally wounded by the shrapnel. Her brother escaped with light wounds.

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