US/World News

BBC apologizes for misleading terror attack headline

(JNS.org) – Following complaints by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a BBC headline on the recent Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem, the British news organization recanted and apologized. The Islamic State and Hamas terror groups both claimed responsibility for the Friday, June 16 deadly attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, carried out by three Palestinian terrorists, which killed Israeli Border Police Staff Sgt. Major Hadas Malka, 23, at Damascus Gate, and left two others injured. Malka was stabbed to death as she responded to a Palestinian shooting attack at the nearby Zedekiah’s Cave. All three attackers were killed by Israeli forces. Malka reportedly worked to free her weapon while fighting off her attacker.

The BBC’s original headline and tweet read, “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem,” which omitted the fact that it occurred in response to the fatal stabbing of an Israeli police officer. Netanyahu called on Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to censure the BBC for the misleading headline. The Israeli embassy in London filed a complaint, citing the network’s “false reports” and “refusal to use the word terror when it comes to attacks on Israeli citizens.”  Following the complaint, the BCC removed the offending tweet and changed the article headline to, “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.”

“We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it. Whilst there was no intention to mislead our audiences, we regret any offense caused,” the BBC said in a statement.

Also expressing outrage over the BBC headline choice was President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted, “You mean after they stabbed a female Israeli police officer to death… right? This is as close to being misleading as possible,” Trump Jr. replied.

“Need a new term for this nonsense. Sort of the opposite of victim blaming. How about Culprit Coddling? Maybe Criminal Cozying? Thoughts???,” he added in a second tweet.

Malks was laid to rest at military cemetery in Ashdod just after midnight Sunday morning. Thousands attended her funeral. She is survived by her parents and five siblings.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences on behalf of the government and the nation to the Malka family Sunday morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “Their grief is our grief; their sorrow is that of the entire nation. Hadas was a young person full of life. She was imbued with a sense of mission of defending the State of Israel. Her commanders and those under her command loved her and trusted her,” Netanyahu said.

He announced that in the wake of the attack, Palestinian visits to Israel that were approved for the Muslim observance of Ramadan were revoked and that security forces are preparing to demolish the homes of the attackers. He added that he instructed police to beef up security around the Damascus Gate.

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement on Saturday condemning the deaths of the three attackers, calling it a “war crime” by Israeli forces. The PA has not condemned the Friday night attacks.

“I call on the countries of the world to condemn both the murder and those who praise it, and demand the immediate cessation of Palestinian Authority payments to the families of terrorists, something that only encourages terror,” Netanyahu also said Sunday.

The Islamic State initially claimed responsibility for the attack, the first time it has claimed responsibility for a Palestinian terror attack in Israel. Hamas later denied the claim, saying that one of the attackers was a member of Hamas and the other two identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

CAP:  Israeli Border Police Staff Sgt. Major Hadas Malka

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