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BBC apologizes after falsely claiming Israeli soldiers executed Gazans

Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

Britain’s public broadcaster BBC issued an apology this weekend for its radio station falsely claiming on Dec. 24 that Israeli soldiers were “carrying out summary executions in the Gaza Strip.”

BBC admitted that “although the accusations were attributed and our story contained a response from the Israeli military saying they were unaware of the incident and that Hamas was a terrorist organisation that did not value truth, we had not made sufficient effort to seek corroborating evidence to justify reporting the Hamas claim.”

"We apologise for this mistake,” the news agency stated.

The factually incorrect BBC report was based on a December article from the Associated Foreign Press claiming that “the Israeli army had carried out the summary execution of 137 Palestinian civilians” during military operations in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

However, at that time, the vast majority of the civilian population in northern Gaza had already been evacuated south, having been instructed by the IDF to leave the conflict area, consistent with Israel's policy to avoid harming civilians in battle zones.

BBC has a long history of bias against Israel and false reporting about the Middle East conflict.

One week after the brutal Oct. 7 massacre in Israel by Hamas terrorists, a former BBC chief correspondent defended the network's refusal to call Hamas a terror group.

Later in October, BBC and several other leading international media outlets repeated Hamas propaganda that the IDF had bombed the Al-Ma’amadani Hospital in the Gaza Strip. BBC reported at the time that hundreds of Gazans had been killed in the strike that was falsely attributed to Israel.

However, the Israeli military quickly provided evidence that showed the blast was caused by a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, a Hamas ally. The rocket was launched toward Israeli targets but failed and fell near the hospital. Hamas terrorists and their accomplices systematically operate from civilian areas such as hospitals, schools and mosques.

Reports later also indicated that there were dozens of casualties in the hospital blast and not hundreds, as the BBC and other media outlets falsely claimed.

In July 2023, BBC anchor Anjana Gadgil asked former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett if the Jewish state is “happy to kill children” following Israeli military operations against terrorists in Jenin, a West Bank town that has become a regional terror hub against Israelis.

"The Israeli military are calling this a 'military operation,' but we now know that young people are being killed, four of them under 18. Is that really what the military set out to do? To kill people between the ages of 16 and 18?” Gadgil asked Bennett during the interview.

"The Israeli forces are happy to kill children?” the BBC news anchor provocatively repeated her question to the former prime minister.

"Actually, all 11 people dead there are militants. The fact that there are young terrorists who decide to hold arms is their responsibility," Bennett responded.

Following a backlash of criticism, BBC Dir.-Gen. Tim Davie eventually issued a statement.

“Across the BBC’s platforms – including the BBC News Channel – these events have been covered in an impartial and robust way. The United Nations raised the issue of the impact of the operation in Jenin on children and young people. While this was a legitimate subject to examine in the interview, we apologize that the language used in this line of questioning was not phrased well and was inappropriate,” Davie stated.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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