The BBC apologised today after a newsreader incorrectly claimed that Israeli soldiers were “targeting medical staff and Arab speakers” at Gaza’s largest hospital.
A newsreader had been citing a report by news agency Reuters, stating that the IDF confirmed it would be carrying out a “precise and targeted operation” against Hamas in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital.
An IDF spokesperson told the publication: “The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians.”
However, the BBC newsreader had mistakenly said in what is understood to be a live broadcast: “We are hearing from Reuters that is reporting that Israel, it says its forces are carrying out an carrying out an operation against Hamas in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital and they are targeting people, including medical teams as well as Arab speakers.
READ MORE: BBC sparks outrage over Gaza hospital report – ‘this is blood libel!’
The newsreader then went on to repeat the misreported information, adding: “They are targeting … it’s Arab speakers as well as some of the medical staff there and they are asking all Hamas operatives in that hospital to surrender.”
The BBC aired a clarification and said it had “misquoted a Reuters report”, and added: “We apologise for this error that fell below our editorial standards.”
Following the initial report, Board of Deputies of British Jews demanded a public apology from the broadcaster.
In a tweet, the Board of Deputies said that it was “absolutely appalled” by the mistake, which it contented “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 percent since October 7th.”
It added: “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 reporting.”
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