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Four of Britain’s top lawyers have complained to Ofcom over the BBC’s refusal to label Hamas ‘terrorists’ after its attacks on Israel.

The corporation last night defended its decision not to describe Hamas militants as ‘terrorists’ in its coverage of the deadly attacks in Israel, despite receiving a huge backlash from politicians and those within the Jewish community.

The broadcaster’s refusal continues despite King Charles condemning the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’ while the Prince and Princess of Wales spoke of their distress following ‘Hamas’s terrorist attack’.

Instead, the BBC refers to Hamas as a ‘militant’ group and described the slaughter of civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of trying to ‘wilfully mislead’ by not using the word terrorist, while Defence Secretary Grant Shapps called on the corporation to ‘get the moral compass out’ and Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the broadcaster to ‘explain’ its reasoning.

Lord Wolfson KC, Lord Pannick KC, Lord Grabiner KC and Jeremy Brier KC have now accused the BBC of failing to show impartiality ‘beyond doubt’ by describing Hamas in ‘more sympathetic terms’ as ‘militants’.

The four senior lawyers signed a letter calling on Ofcom to investigate. In a letter seen by the Telegraph, they said: ‘On 7th October 2023, Hamas launched a large invasion of the State of Israel which resulted variously in the slaughter, rape and abduction of over a thousand Israeli citizens. There is nothing controversial about that. It is a fact.

KFAR AZA, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 10:  Israeli soldiers patrol near burned and desroyed houses after an attack by Palestinian militants on this kibbutz near the borde with Gaza on October 10, 2023 in Kfar Gaza, Israel. Israel has sealed off Gaza and conducted airstrikes on Palestinian territory after Hamas attack killed hundreds and took nearly 100 hostages. On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza by land, sea, and air, killing over 700 people and wounding more than 2000. Israeli soldiers and civilians have also been taken hostage by Hamas and moved into Gaza. The attack prompted a declaration of war by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and ongoing retaliatory strikes by Israel on Gaza killing hundreds.  (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)