Terror Tunnel: The Media’s Selective Omission 

Source: Terror Tunnel: The Media’s Selective Omission | HonestReporting

A view of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. Photo by David Buimovitch/Flash

Following our complaint, the BBC has added a correction to its story, which now includes the sentence: “The army said the destruction took place on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza.” The story also includes the following footnote:



On Monday, a terror tunnel leading from Gaza under the border into Israel was destroyed by the IDF. As a result seven Palestinians – Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists – were killed and another twelve wounded. The Times of Israel reports:

The tunnel, which the IDF described as a “grave and unacceptable violation of Israeli sovereignty,” started in the Gazan city of Khan Younis, crossing under the border and approaching the Israeli community of Kibbutz Kissufim, the army said.


The tunnel was detonated from within Israel, adjacent to the security fence,” the military said in a statement.

TOI also reports:

The explosion took place inside Israeli territory. The majority of the dead were activists that entered the tunnel after it was exploded and died in the Gaza Strip, and not as a result of the explosion,” said an IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee.

Reuters also reports:

Israel was at pains to point out that its action against the tunnel was carried out on its own side of the border.

Why is this information concerning the exact location of the detonation important?

  • Israel is regularly and falsely portrayed as an aggressor, particularly when responding to Gazan terrorist threats. In this case, Israel did not mount any actions within Gazan territory.
  • Palestinian terrorist organizations may feel compelled to respond militarily and will portray such action as a legitimate response to IDF “aggression” even though this is a false narrative.


Source: IDF

Yet, some media failed to include the relevant information.

The Washington PostBBC and The Guardian all fail to mention that the tunnel had been destroyed from the Israeli side of the border. Instead, references to the 2014 Gaza conflict, which took place, in the main, within the Gaza Strip itself, do nothing to dispel the impression that that the IDF has once again taken action against Palestinian territory.

The BBC’s headline (note the use of the word “militants”), with the stress on Gaza, also implies that this incident took place there rather than on Israeli territory.



Ultimately, this incident clearly shows that Palestinian terrorists are still working towards carrying out acts of violence and terror against Israelis. It is clear who the aggressors are. The media should also make it clear.

We’ve contacted the media outlets above asking for clarifications.

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