The head of Israel’s Government Press Office issued a warning to the BBC Saturday evening, following its eyebrow-raising initial coverage of the deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem last night which killed two people and injured three others, including a toddler.
The terrorist murdered 21-year-old Aharon Banita-Bennett and wounded his wife and two-year-old child, along with another person, and murdered 41-year-old father of seven, Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, as he attempted to save them.. The terrorist attacker – a 19-year-old college student and Islamic Jihad member – then stole Lavi’s gun and opened fire on police, who responded by fatally shooting him.
But to the shock and anger of many readers – who took to social media to vent their outrage – the BBC’s initial headline read: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two”.
The channel later changed its headline to the more accurate “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City,” but GPO head Nitzan Hen nevertheless reprimanded the BBC for its biased reporting Sunday.
“There is a limit to the lack of objectivity in press coverage, and this time we are talking about an outrageous title which reminds one of the headline given by the CNN TV station after the slaughter at the synagogue in Har Nof, which introduced the attack as ‘an attack on an Israeli mosque,'” said Hen Saturday night, referring to a series of equally shocking headlines given by the American news network in its coverage of that deadly attack.
“While the BBC corrected its title later this evening, tomorrow I intend to reprimand the head of their office in Israel and to warn him directly that we do not intend to let this pass unchallenged,” Hen added.