French TV channel 'deletes clip' of journalist criticising Israel's Gaza bombing

French TV channel 'deletes clip' of journalist criticising Israel's Gaza bombing
Journalist Alain Gresh appeared on BFMTV to discuss an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire in Gaza, saying 'we must remember that this escalation has been triggered by Israel'.
2 min read
09 August, 2022
Israel recently carried out a deadly bombing campaign against Gaza [Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty]

A French television channel has deleted a segment of an interview with well-known journalist Alain Gresh, who criticised Israel over its deadly bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Orient XXI Middle East media website director and former editor-in-chief of French newspaper Le Monde diplomatique appeared on popular broadcaster BFMTV on Sunday.

There, he discussed an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire after Israel announced it had agreed to the deal but before the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group's reply.

"First, we must remember that this escalation has been triggered by Israel, without Israel - at the time it conducted its operations - having suffered any attack," Gresh said.

"This is the fourth or fifth war that Israel has waged against Gaza, with hundreds of people killed.

"The Palestinian people live under occupation, in Gaza as in the West Bank. And this situation can only lead to violence, to confrontations."

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BFMTV published the two-minute clip in which Gresh made these comments on its website, but the journalist later tweeted that the segment had been removed.

The link Gresh posted redirected to BFMTV's international news page at the time this article was published, though Twitter users had shared the deleted clip on social media.

Gresh said he thinks BFMTV removed the clip because of his views on Israel, French left-wing newspaper Libération's fact-checking service CheckNews reported.

"Today, the subject of Palestine arouses fears, especially when approached as I do in a bit of a radical way," he said.

BFMTV told CheckNews the "entire segment is, of course, available on [streaming service] RMC BFM PLAY and, therefore, accessible to whoever wants it".

BFMTV owner Altice France's communications director, François Raineteau, said the clip in question was deleted "to avoid any manipulation" since it "was truncated [cut down], not whole".

Raineteau added that there is "no censorship on BFMTV" and that "all opinions and all parties to the conflict are present on air, in interviews or in stories, as well as on our site".

Gresh appeared on BFMTV again on Monday to discuss the ceasefire and whether it would hold.

The channel published this discussion on its website.

Israel's brutal bombing of Gaza, which lasted three days, killed at least 43 Palestinians, among them 15 children.