Israel’s President slams ‘atrocious’ BBC coverage of conflict with Hamas

Israel President Isaac Herzog has labelled the BBC’s coverage of the Hamas-Israel conflict as “atrocious”.

It follows the Beeb’s decision not to refer to Hamas as a terrorist organisation. That is despite leading politicians such as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and United States President Joe Biden both calling the organisation a terrorist group.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Isaac Herzog said Israeli families had been “wiped off the face off the earth” and asked what else the BBC needed “in order for them to admit that we are dealing with the worst terrorist organisation in the world?”.

Herzog told the paper: “I feel the BBC’s reporting is atrocious. The fact that it does not recognise Hamas as a terror organisation requires a complete legal battle and public battle. It’s unbelievable.

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“I’ve seen the booklet that each of those terrorists received. Each one is instructed to go into an innocent village and kibbutz or city and immediately torture whoever is abducted, immediately.

“What other type of torture do they want before they decide it was a terrorist organisation?”

The BBC’s editorial guidelines says the organisation does not use the word “terrorist”. It does however say it makes it clear that Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK Government.

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A statement from the BBC board, after its regular monthly meeting held earlier this week, said: “No one who has watched or listened to harrowing reports over the last 10 days could be left in any doubt about the horror brought about by Hamas’s attack on defenceless civilians in Israel.

“As this war continues, with so many deaths of innocent civilians in both Israel and Gaza, the BBC will no doubt continue to come under scrutiny about the way in which we cover it – that is to be expected and also welcomed. The BBC is listening.

“We believe that our editorial guidelines serve us well, and continue to serve us well in difficult circumstances; we do periodically review them as a matter of course, and when we do so at our next planned review in the spring, we will consult and debate these issues just as we always do.”

On Monday, the BBC said it has received complaints about its coverage of the conflict and there have been accusations of bias from both sides.

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