On the morning of December 6th the BBC News website’s Middle East page published an article titled “Israel advances bill to legalise West Bank settlements”. Around five hours later the article was completely re-written and the headline changed to read “Israeli MPs advance bill to legalise West Bank outposts”.
As long as a decade ago, the BBC’s ‘style guide’ alerted the corporation’s journalists to the difference between ‘settlements’ and ‘outposts’.
Be careful that you don’t mean settlements. They are very different.
Outposts are usually little more than a few caravans occupying a hilltop. They serve a dual purpose: firstly to create new facts on the ground and expand the land included in the adjoining settlement; secondly to defy the Israeli government and show the strength of the settler movement.
Some of these outposts are called ‘unauthorised outposts’ by the Israeli government – generally meaning no permission was granted for…
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