Media Lens Message Board: To BBC re ‘mistaken’ killing of Palestinian man

To BBC re ‘mistaken’ killing of Palestinian man

Posted by John Hilley on January 7, 2011, 6:26 pm

Dear Tarik Kafala

The BBC’s online report ‘West Bank civilian dies in Israeli army raid in Hebron’ leads with this line:

“Israeli troops have shot dead a 67-year-old Palestinian man by mistake in an operation to arrest members of the Islamist militant organisation, Hamas.”

Why does the piece assume this man was shot “by mistake”?

Firstly, where’s the usual “Israel says” caveat?

Moreover, isn’t it evident that the Israeli army just decided to shoot this man while asleep in his bed, whether he was the suspect or not?

After all, there’s no indication that they attempted to waken or identify the person they supposedly thought was their suspect, leading to the reasonable assumption that there was no mistake in the actual, deliberate act of killing an unarmed, defenceless, sleeping civilian.

Don’t you think this way of reporting permits the false message that the IDF were ‘mistaken’ in their actions, rather than guilty of randomly murdering a civilian, any civilian?

Perhaps you would like to look again at the wording and tenor of this story, hopefully realising the very distorted impression it conveys.


John Hilley

Media Lens Message Board: To BBC re ‘mistaken’ killing of Palestinian man.

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