Hundreds protest against 'BBC pro-Israel bias' of Gaza coverage in cities across the UK

The broadcaster has denied anti-Palestinian coverage of the 'complex' conflict

Hundreds of people have protested against the BBC’s coverage of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Demonstrations in London, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool took issue with alleged “bias” towards Israel but the broadcaster has also received complaints that it favours the Palestinians.

More than 3,700 people signed up on Facebook to join the demonstration at Media City in Manchester on Saturday and similar events have also drawn crowds outside the BBC’s London headquarters.

On Tuesday, protesters presented an open letter from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and other groups to the Director General outside Broadcasting House.

It claimed news coverage was “devoid of context or background” about the previous Israeli occupation of Gaza.

“We would like to remind you that Gaza has no army, air force, or navy, while Israel possess one of the strongest militaries in the world,” it continued.

“When you portray the occupier as the victim, and the occupied as the aggressor, we would like to remind you that resistance to occupation is a right under international law.”

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge earlier this month.

The UN estimates that 77 per cent of those killed have been civilians, including many children, but Israel has blamed Hamas for allegedly concealing rocket launchers and military equipment in residential buildings, schools and mosques.

In Liverpool, protesters gathered outside the BBC Radio Merseyside on Tuesday and in Manchester, a “Stop the Bombing of Gaza” event was held.

A vigil in memory of Palestinian casualties was held in Newcastle and numerous protests calling for an immediate ceasefire from the Israeli military have been held in recent weeks across the UK.

According to the Stop the War Coalition, more demonstrations against BBC coverage and the conflict in general are planned over the coming days in Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Worcester.

A BBC News spokesman said the organisation was reporting “widely and extensively across TV, radio and online, on many different aspects of this ongoing and complex conflict”.

“Our role is to explain what is happening and why, and we endeavour to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views,” he added.

"We are committed to continuing to report and analyse sometimes fast moving events in an accurate, fair and balanced way."

Read more: Israel targets Hamas leaders as Palestinian death toll rises
MORTAR FIRE CAUSES FIRST ISRAELI FATALITY AFTER HAMAS REJECTS CEASEFIRE
EX-SOLDIER: I'VE SEEN SHOCKING TREATMENT OF PALESTINIANS
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones