BBC apologises over presenter’s ‘Israeli forces are happy to kill children’ claim

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BBC apologises over presenter’s ‘Israeli forces are happy to kill children’ claim

A BBC spokesperson said the language used by Anjana Gadgil in a BBC News channel interview on Tuesday 'was not phrased well and was inappropriate.'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The BBC has apologised after presenter Anjana Gadgil claimed “Israeli forces are happy to kill children” in an interview with former prime minister Naftali Bennett over the military operation in Jenin.

A spokesperson told Jewish News the language used by the Gadgil in a BBC News channel interview On Tuesday “was not phrased well and was inappropriate.”

They confirmed they had received “comments and complaints” concerning her interview with Bennett “about recent events in the West Bank and Israel”, but the spokesperson defended the BBC’s overall coverage of Israel’s military operation in Jenin saying it had been “impartial and robust.”

In a statement a BBC spokesperson said: “BBC News has received comments and complaints concerning an interview with Naftali Bennett broadcast on the BBC News channel about recent events in the West Bank and Israel.

“The complaints raised relate to specific interview questions about the deaths of young people in the Jenin refugee camp.

“Across the BBC’s platforms – including our news channel – these events have been covered in an impartial and robust way. The United Nations raised the issue of the impact of the operation in Jenin on children and young people.

“While this was a legitimate subject to examine in the interview, we apologise that the language used in this line of questioning was not phrased well and was inappropriate.”

Agadgil was interviewing the former premier on BBC World News when she attempted to counter his claim that Palestinian deaths as a result of the military action were those of “young terrorists”.

She said to Bennett: “Terrorists, but children. The Israeli forces are happy to kill children.”

The Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and Bennett himself later condemned the BBC presenter’s comments in the interview, which have now been raised with the corporation.

It is understood that Board president Marie van der Zyl spoke directly with BBC director general Tim Davie over the matter.

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