BBC correspondent laments Israeli health and safety?

Wyre Davies recently reported the demolition of a Palestinian restaurant, except he didn't really say why it happened...

by Media Hawk on 23 April 2013 13:11

You'd think being from the BBC, Wyre Davies would be well versed in his health and safety and planning regulation knowledge. After all, no one loves bureaucracy quite as much as the BBC.

But apparently the BBC journalist who is the organisation's Middle East Correspondent has scant time for explanations and context, especially when it comes to the demolition of Palestinian buildings. 

Here's what he tweeted recently:

Our pals at BBCWatch have a full explanation which you can read over there. But here's a gist:

The site of the Al Mahrour (also spelt Al Makhrour) restaurant is situated in Area C where, according to the Oslo accords signed willingly by the representatives of the Palestinian people, Israel has administrative and security control.

The restaurant was constructed without planning permission or the appropriate building permits and hence was the subject of a demolition order issued in 2005 and carried out in May 2012. The restaurant was then rebuilt – also illegally without the necessary planning permission or building permits. The restaurant’s owner/constructor was given the opportunity to appear before the planning committee of the Civil Administration. A second demolition order was issued and that was carried out on April 18th 2013. The electricity line to which Davies refers was also illegally connected.

One presumes that back in his native Wales, Wyre Davies would not raise so much as an eyebrow if his local authority issued a demolition order for a food and drink establishment intended to host members of the public which made no attempt to comply with planning regulations on issues such as fire safety, sanitation, hygiene, structure safety, drainage, waste disposal, electricity supply and so forth. In fact, he might be quite relieved to see such an obvious disregard for public safety being addressed by those responsible. 

So really, in not allowing this shanty-restaurant to stay standing and attract business, the Israelis are perhaps (probably?) saving lives. Imagine if a gas line exploded, imagine if hundreds got sick because of a sewage problem, imagine if shortcuts led to the structure collapsing? 

Because it's Area C, administered by Israeli authorities, who would the world be quick to blame? Indeed. Israel.

Perhaps next time Mr. Davies gets on his "all of which the Israelis call illegal" high-horse, he'll consider the real implications of putting Palestinians in rickety restaurants without planning permission.

Maybe the BBC needs to send him on a health and safety refresher course?

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