Back in August 2006 it turned down a DEC appeal for Lebanon for the same reason - impartiality. It was specifically concerned that the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah might break down.
So as Charlie points out.
Did the DEC not remember the Lebanon precedent?Did BBC News warn that their impartiality was going to be questioned? Were they consulted? If the Appeal would bring criticism, was it really thought that it would be so strong and so credible that it should sway BBC policy? Would it not have appeared more confident and consistent to allow the appeal, take some flak and move on? In practice has this not made the BBC look much worse?
As he concludes
The BBC is now suffering from self-inflicted collatoral damage. One very senior BBC News person described the BBC Gaza Appeal decision to me as ‘a mess’.