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June 8, 2016 6:30 am

BBC Stuffs UNRWA Messaging Into Report on Attacks in Jordan

avatar by Hadar Sela

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Students at a UNRWA School in Gaza, in 2011. Photo: UN / Shareef Sarhan.

Students at a UNRWA School in Gaza, in 2011. Photo: UN / Shareef Sarhan.

On June 6, the BBC News website reported an attack on security personnel in Jordan, in an article titled “Jordan officers killed in attack at Baqaa camp near Amman.”

Five people have been killed in an attack on Jordanian intelligence officers at a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the capital, Amman, government officials say.

It described the incident, rare in Jordan, as a “terrorist attack.”

Covering the same incident, the AP reported that:

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The targeted security office is a two-story building facing the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa near the Jordanian capital of Amman. The camp has a population of tens of thousands, including many Syrian refugees who have settled there since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011.

A highway separates the security compound and the camp.

Although the relevance, if any, of the location of that story is unclear, from the second version of its report onwards, the BBC elected to promote UNRWA messaging, including a link to the organization’s profile of Baqaa camp — but not to its webpage, which clarifies that “[m]ost Palestine refugees in Jordan, but not all, have full citizenship.”

The Baqaa camp was one of six set up in 1968 for Palestinian refugees fleeing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. […]

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) says Baqaa is the largest camp in Jordan.

It is believed to house more than 100,000 refugees.

UNRWA says the camp continues to face major challenges, including unemployment, poverty and the need for structural repair.

Furthermore, one of the two links to related reading posted under the article on the BBC’s Middle East page is a link to a photo essay from 2013, which promoted an exhibition staged within the framework of UNRWA’s public relations campaign.

One can but wonder what was going through the mind of the editor who found it appropriate to exploit a report about a terror attack in Jordan for the opportunistic promotion of politicized messaging on an unrelated topic.

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  • Hillel

    Clearly the British have vested interest given they aided tge Jordanians in capturing the “west bank” and recognised annexation in 1959. When Israel recaptured it it was a slap in the pom’s face and they don’t like it.

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