The UK state broadcaster issued an apology on Wednesday after incorrectly reporting Israeli soldiers were targeting “medical teams as well as Arab speakers” while clearing Hamas terrorists out of a Gaza hospital.
The BBC said its report on the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) taking on Hamas terrorists inside a hospital “fell below our usual editorial standards” after the newsreader stated attacks were targeting medics and Arabic speakers.
The live televised report, which caused outrage and a complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, saw BBC newsreader Monica Miller state to the audience that:
…at this moment we are hearing from Reuters that is reporting Israel says its forces are carrying out an operation against Hamas at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital and they are targeting people including medical teams as well as Arab speakers. They are also saying that Israel is calling on all Hamas operatives inside the hospital to surrender at this point.
Good god, this is blood libel from the BBC.
The IDF said it entered the hospital *with* its own medical teams and Arabic speakers, so it can help people.
BBC reports the IDF is *targeting* medical teams and Arabic speakers.
That’s not a coincidence.pic.twitter.com/m4PEcOtFRP
— Oliver Cooper (@OliverCooper) November 15, 2023
The Board of Deputies said they were “absolutely appalled” that the BBC had misreported that the IDF was taking medical teams and Arabic speakers into the hospital to help patients there so catastrophically. “At best”, they said, the misreading of the situation showed a “staggering lack of care” which made a mockery of the BBC’s “oft-stated dedication to professionalism and impartiality”, behind which the Corporation has hidden in the past month to justify not calling the Hamas attack on Israel a terrorist act. The BBC was also criticised for the error by the Israeli Embassy in London.
The BBC’s perceived bias against Israel and towards Hamas has been the subject of comedic parodies, however a Hamas spokesman has also walked out of a BBC interview in recent days over being challenged over the killing of families in Israel.
The broadcaster issued an apology on Wednesday, and said on air:
And now, an apology from the BBC. BBC News as it covered initial reports that Israeli forces had entered Gaza’s main hospital, we said that medical teams and Arab speakers were being targeted. This was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report. We should have said IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation. So we apologise for this error, which fell below our usual editorial standards. The correct version of events was broadcast minutes later.
The @BBCWorld @BBC apologizes after falsely claiming that our forces targeted medical staff and Arabic speakers at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza when IN FACT the @IDF entered the hospital with its own medical staff and Arabic speakers to help patients in need.
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) November 15, 2023