BBC admits faulty coverage of Gaza hospital explosion

‘It was wrong to speculate,’ BBC says, acknowledging its coverage of Gaza hospital explosion was inappropriate, suggesting Israel was to blame, before evidence emerged proving explosion was caused by terror rocket.

By World Israel News Staff

The BBC issued a clarification Thursday, acknowledging that the broadcaster mishandled coverage of the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City earlier this week, inappropriately speculating that the explosion could have been the result of an Israeli air strike.

On Tuesday, BBC correspondent Jon Donnison said that the hospital explosion was likely caused by an Israeli strike.

While the BBC did not explicitly blame the IDF for the explosion, Donnison highlighted his own speculation of an Israeli bombing as the blame and ruling out alternative possibilities, despite lacking any evidence to back up his theory.

“It’s hard to see what else this could be really given the size of the explosion other than an Israeli air strike or several air strikes,” Donnison said.

Subsequent evidence brought by the Israeli military, the Biden administration, and CNN all point to a misfired terrorist rocket, likely launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as the cause of the explosion.

On Thursday evening, the BBC walked back its earlier reporting with a correction.

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“We have reviewed our coverage of the immediate aftermath of an explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday night. During this our correspondent was giving instant analysis on the ground from Jerusalem in what was a confusing and difficult story.”

“The programme repeatedly made it clear that it had yet to verify who was behind the blast, including in the questioning by the presenter.”

“The correspondent said that the Israelis had been contacted and were investigating.'”

“He then explained that in his experience as a reporter in Gaza that he had never seen explosions of this scale caused by rockets being fired out of the territory. He again stressed that the pictures had yet to be verified.”

“We accept that even in this fast-moving situation it was wrong to speculate in this way, although he did not at any point report that it was an Israeli strike. This doesn’t represent the entirety of the BBC’s output and anyone watching, listening to or reading our coverage can see we have set out both sides’ competing claims about the explosion, clearly showing who is saying them, and what we do or don’t know.”