The BBC has apologised for telling viewers of the BBC News Channel on Wednesday morning that Israeli forces had entered Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza and were “targeting” medical teams and Arabic speakers.
In fact, the IDF had announced that its forces entering the hospital “included” medical teams and Arabic speakers.
On its corrections page, the BBC said that its report “was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report. We should have said IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation”.
The statement said that the Corporation apologised for this error, “which fell below our usual editorial standards. The correct version of events was broadcast minutes later and we apologised for the mistake on air later in the morning.”
Earlier, the Board of Deputies had said it was “absolutely appalled” by the initial report. Its spokesman said: “At best, this shows a staggering lack of care when reporting on a highly volatile situation, which can have a knock-on effect all over the world, including in Britain, where antisemitic attacks have risen by more than 500 per cent since October 7. Incidents like this make a mockery of the BBC’’s oft-stated dedication to professionalism and impartiality. The Corporation must issue a public apology without delay for this egregious misreporting.”
A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in London, Orly Goldschmidt, said: “Regretfully, the BBC has, once again, fallen well short of its own editorial guidelines and, indeed, the minimal journalistic standards expected and required by any UK media outlet.
“Amid a time of war, and especially at this time, when the words of journalists have very clear real-world consequences, the BBC must do better in order to consistently meet journalistic standards.
“In the UK, antisemitism is rising, and we have seen figures to back this up, with a reported 1350% increase in antisemitic incidents. The BBC must be mindful of this and ensure it does inflame divisions and tensions in the country.”
To see the apology on BBC Twitter/X, click here.
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