BBC World Service to launch emergency radio for Gaza in response to Israel war

BBC World Service to launch emergency radio for Gaza in response to Israel war
The BBC's new radio service will provide information relating to safety advice and how to access basic necessities for Gazans who are under an Israeli siege and indiscriminate bombardment.
2 min read
01 November, 2023
The BBC World Service previously launched a similar service for Gaza in 2014 [Getty]

The BBC will start an emergency radio service for the people of Gaza in response to Israel's ongoing war in the territory, the British broadcaster's World Service arm said on Wednesday.

The programme will aim to provide people in Gaza with the latest information plus safety advice on where to access shelter, food and water supplies, said the BBC.

The Palestinian enclave is under suffering a "complete siege" imposed by Israel and indiscriminate bombardment, which has so far killed over 8,700 people, mostly women and children.

"BBC News Arabic are extremely well-placed to offer this vital service for the people of Gaza at a time of greatest need," BBC World Service Director Liliane Landor said in a statement.

Produced in Cairo and London, the Gaza radio service will run one programme from November 3 and begin a second daily broadcast from November 10.

Gazans, however, are likely to face challenges accessing the radio service, as Israel continues to impose telecommunication blackouts in the territory, with many only accessing internet services through international SIM cards.

Live Story

The BBC World Service, which represents the British broadcaster's non-commercial international broadcasting services, has a previous track record of launching emergency broadcasts.

In the summer of 2014 it launched a service for Gaza following Israel's escalated assaults in the territory, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians.

It also launched an emergency radio service during the conflict in Sudan in May, and ran extended TV bulletins in Ukraine following the invasion of the country last year. 

During the current Israeli war on Gaza, the BBC was criticised for being "too lenient" on Israel and "dehumanising" Palestinians, with reports of staff "crying in toilets" over its coverage.

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)