CNN for example, referred to the terrorist in quotation marks. This is not the first time the site has cast doubt over the terrorist motivations of an attack when perpetrated in Israel. Indeed, in December 2015, Israel demanded an explanation from the US news network for what it described as “dishonest and unethical journalism.” in its coverage of a stabbing attack which took place in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The BBC headline reporting the attack avoided the use of the term ‘terror’ at all: ‘Tel Aviv shooting: Three killed in shopping center attack.’ Like CNN, BBC has also come under serious criticism in the past for its apparent biased reporting on terror attacks in Israel. In October, 2015 a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City which resulted in the death of two Israelis at the hands of a 19-year-old Palestinian, was reported: ‘Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.’
Several other news sites have also followed in a similar fashion. Headlines in Sky News, The Guardian and The Telegraph also omitted any mention of the nature of Wednesday’s attack while The New York Times referred to the terrorists as “Palestinian gunmen.” By contrast, Fox News headlines led with “Terror in Israel.”