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‘Urgent’ BBC probe of seven of its Arabic-division writers

Social media posts from the broadcaster's writers mock a kidnapped Israeli grandmother and support Hamas terrorism.

“BBC” news sign. Credit: Pixabay.
“BBC” news sign. Credit: Pixabay.

The BBC is “urgently investigating” six reporters and a freelancer following complaints of anti-Israel posts on social media.

“We take allegations of breaches of our editorial and social media guidelines with the utmost seriousness, and if and when we find breaches we will act, including taking disciplinary action,” stated a spokesman for the publicly-funded British broadcaster.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis stated on Oct. 16 that its Arabic researchers brought the social media postings to the attention of the BBC.

“As of now, the BBC has cut ties with one of the journalists, while the investigation of the others is ongoing,” CAMERA, a media watchdog, said.

The posts included “statements justifying the killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas,” referring to the Oct. 7 massacre—during which Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,400 Israelis—as a “morning of hope,” mocking relatives of an Israeli grandmother kidnapped by Hamas and saying that “Israel’s prestige is crying in the corner,” CAMERA said.

The seven persons under investigation are Mahmoud Sheleib (senior broadcast journalist), Aya Hossam (broadcast journalist), Sally Nabil (correspondent), Salma Khattab (Cairo-based), Sanaa Khouri (Beirut-based religious affairs correspondent), Nada Abdelsamad (Beirut-based programs editor) and Egypt All Sports, a company run by Amr Fekry (BBC Arabic sports correspondent and pundit), according to CAMERA.

The Telegraph reported that the BBC has cut ties with Hossam, a freelancer. The BBC has faced backlash for not referring to Hamas murderers of civilians as “terrorists.”

An Oct. 17 statement from the BBC board said that “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 defenseless civilians in Israel.” 

The board added, “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.”

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