The BBC has admitted it made a mistake over its reporting of a rocket attack on a Gaza hospital.
BBC correspondent Jon Donnison was reporting live on air about claims that a hospital in the region, which borders both Egypt and Israel, had been struck by a bomb or missile.
Donnision, who has worked for the corporation for 25 years, told viewers the Israeli military had been contacted for comment adding: “But 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.”
Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs Gaza, claimed 500 people had died in the attack at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City.
Just hours after the broadcast an Al Jazeera livestream emerged of rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel which suggested the hit on the hospital had been caused by a Hamas rocket misfiring. The Israeli military also released infographics, drone footage and voice recordings to prove it did not strike the hospital. Follow-up reports and footage suggested the rocket had struck the hospital’s parking lot and there were no fatalities. Hamas is believed to have fired over 500 rockets into Israel from Gaza over the last 12 days.
Earlier today the BBC issued a correction over the story, admitting it had been “wrong” for Donnison to speculate as to which side had struck the hospital.
“We accept that even in this fast-moving situation it was wrong to speculate in this way, although he [Donnision] did not at any point report that it was an Israeli strike,” the corporation wrote on its “Corrections and Clarifications” page. ” 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.”
The BBC’s mea culpa comes days after protestors gathered outside the broadcaster’s London headquarters to condemn its refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist group. They have been designated a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and U.K. since 2021. The BBC continues to refer to them instead as “militants,” which has sparked criticism from both viewers and politicians, including foreign secretary James Cleverly and culture secretary Lucy Frazer.
The latest round of fighting in the region comes after Hamas launched a surprise massacre 12 days ago in which almost 2,000 Israeli civilians were tortured, raped and murdered.