Context missing from BBC News’ backgrounder on Strait of Tiran

BBC Watch

On June 21st an article was published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the headline “Egypt court quashes Red Sea islands’ transfer to Saudis“. At the bottom of that article concerning an internal Egyptian debate appears a background insert titled “Why the Red Sea islands matter”.Tiran art backgrounder

There, BBC audiences were correctly informed that:

“Sanafir and Tiran are islands that lie about 4km (2 nautical miles) apart in the Red Sea. Tiran sits at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, on a strategically important stretch of water called the Strait of Tiran, used by Israel to access the Red Sea”

However, they were also given the following context-free information:

“Israel captured the islands in 1956 and 1967, subsequently returning them to Egypt both times”

The BBC did not bother to inform readers why that was the case.

“In 1949, Egypt established itself on…

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