Guardian, Telegraph claim that IDF killed Gaza family in 2014 contradicted by new report

UK Media Watch

A Guardianreport by Harriet Sherwood on Aug. 14th, 2014 (‘Gaza counts the cost of war: Whole families smashed under the rubble’) began by noting that “at least 59 Palestinian families suffered multiple casualties over four weeks of Israeli bombardment in Gaza”.

Among the casualties putatively caused by Israeli bombs were nearly a dozen members of the Siyyam family (alternatively spelled Siyam or Siam).


Nabil Siyyam, 33, wept as he recalled the morning he lost his wife and four children, along with his left arm. A fifth child was in a critical condition in an Egyptian hospital. Nabil pulled up his shirt to reveal shrapnel wounds over his torso.

Nabil Siyyam, 33, wept as he recalled the morning he lost his wife and four children, along with his left arm. A fifth child was in a critical condition in an Egyptian hospital. Nabil pulled up his shirt to reveal…

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Revisiting the BBC’s claims about a 2014 story from Rafah

BBC Watch

On July 21st 2014 the BBC News website published an article titled “Gaza crisis: UN calls for ceasefire as deaths pass 500” in which readers learned that:

“Overnight air strikes in southern Gaza kill more than 30 members of two families in Khan Younis and Rafah, local officials say”.

On the same date the website also produced a photographic feature titled “Gaza crisis: Fear and funerals” which included two images relating to the family in Rafah which the BBC again described as having been killed by Israeli fire.

Siyam family 1Siyam family 2That incident was the subject of a subsequent investigation and the Military Attorney General recently published its findings (section 3 here). [emphasis added]

“In media reports, as well as in a complaint and in reports of NGOs and international organizations, it was alleged that on 21 July 2014, 12 members of the Siyam family were killed…

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Guardian adds tiny addendum which undermines the very premise of their report

UK Media Watch

We recently commented on a Guardian article published on Aug. 24th which perversely portrayed the radical, regressive anti-Zionist group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as the victim of a smear campaign by a pro-Israeli group putatively funded by Sheldon Adelson.  

However, since we published our post, we learned of one other major problem with the report (by the Guardian’s Sam Levin) besides its whitewashing of SJP – one which undermines the entire premise of the report.

Per the JTA:

An anti-BDS group founded by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson did not fund a poster campaign targeting pro-Palestinian student activists as “Jew haters” and terrorists’ allies, contrary to a report in a major newspaper, the group said.

The Maccabee Task Force in a statement issued late Wednesday called the report in the Los Angeles Times “completely false,” saying the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative foundation based…

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BBC’s ME bureau chief flags up Hamas treatment of journalists

BBC Watch

On August 22nd the BBC’s Middle East bureau chief put out this Tweet:

Colebourn tweetThe link leads to the following statement from the Foreign Press Association (FPA):

FPA stmtReaders may recall that two years ago, during the conflict between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, the FPA found it necessary to put out an even more strongly worded statement concerning Hamas’ treatment of foreign journalists at the time.

FPA statement Hamas Aug 14Back then, however, BBC audiences were not informed – even via Twitter – of restrictions placed on journalists by the terror group.

Related Articles:

Mapping changes in the BBC’s disclosure of restrictions on journalists

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Revisiting the BBC’s 2014 reports on Gaza’s power plant

BBC Watch

Readers may recall that on July 29th 2014 the BBC devoted considerable coverage to the story of an explosion at a power plant in the Gaza Strip.

““Power plant destroyed” screamed the sub-heading in a BBC News website report on July 29th 2014.Power plant written

That article was among numerous items produced by the BBC on the same day which included content relating to what the BBC immediately concluded was an Israeli strike on Gaza’s power station. BBC journalists extensively promoted that version of the story despite the fact that Israeli sources had stated that the power plant was not deliberately targeted.

Viewers of BBC television news programmes (along with visitors to the website) saw reports by Chris MorrisIan Pannell and Martin Patience and Chris Morris. They heard statements such as the following one from Ian Pannell:

“Israel wants to weaken Hamas any way it can, which…

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BBC News passes up on an unusual Middle East story

BBC Watch

Eighteen months have passed since the BBC last reported on the topic of the sick and wounded Syrians receiving medical care in Israel and so its audiences may not be aware of the fact that the provision of that humanitarian aid continues.

One of the patients arriving at the border earlier this year presented a particular challenge to the medical teams.

“The girl arrived at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa in recent weeks with very serious wounds that she received after finding herself caught in a firefight between rival militias […]

Some two weeks after she arrived at the hospital, after her wounds had nearly healed, Rambam doctors discovered the young girl had cancer.

They refused to release her, insisting that they could not let her cancer go untreated. […]

And so a search began for a bone marrow donor, a search that led to a relative living in a…

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You may have missed it, but Palestinian terrorists tried to kill Jews again

UK Media Watch

One of the benefits of our transition from focusing entirely on the Guardian to monitoring all UK media outlets is that we’re now better able to contextualize Israel related news reports and op-eds we analyze.  Whilst the Guardian’s coverage still suffers from institutional anti-Israel bias, over the last several years we’ve noticed a slight but noticeable improvement.

We’ve also reached the conclusion that the Independent’s coverage is the worst out of all the major British media outlets we monitor.

Indeed, if you were to base your understanding of the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas solely on the Indy’s coverage, you’d almost be forgiven for believing that Israel just bombed Gaza for 51 days out of some sadistic impulse to inflict pain and suffering on the civilian population. 

Context regarding rocket fire on Israeli towns and the use of human shields by a genocidal antisemitic movement known as Hamas was almost…

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