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BBC marred by recent string of retractions and apologies related to Israel-Hamas war coverage

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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been blemished with a string of apologies and retractions related to stories detailing developments in the Israel-Hamas war.

England’s premiere outlet, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is the oldest and largest local and global broadcaster and has been heralded as an integral source of worldwide news.

But the broadcaster’s reputation has been questioned in recent weeks after a series of inaccurate news reports led critics and social media users to wonder why the BBC’s mistakes erred on behalf of Hamas and Palestinians.

On Tuesday, BBC News Channel aired a report that claimed Israeli forces had descended on Al Shifa hospital in Gaza and targeted “medical teams and Arab speakers” inside.

THE LEGACY MEDIA DECRIES ‘BOTHSIDESISM’ EXCEPT WHEN IT INVOLVES ISRAEL AND HAMAS

While reports did indicate the IDF had entered the hospital, no reports corroborated the claim that soldiers had targeted those inside.

The error led the BBC to issue an on-air apology, retraction and a written statement.

“As BBC News 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,” the BBC said. “We should have said IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation. We apologize for this error, which fell below our usual editorial standards.” 

The BBC also noted that the correct version of events was broadcast minutes later, which included an apology.

The BBC has not returned Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Following Hamas’ invasion of Israel on October 7, the BBC repeatedly referred to the organization as “freedom fighters,” “gunmen” or “militants” rather than terrorists. As the situation escalated into a war, viewers became increasingly frustrated with the news organization’s refusal to use the term “terrorists,” particularly after reports of Hamas’ brutal actions against civilians.

PROFESSOR SCOLDS BBC LIVE ON-AIR FOR REFUSING TO LABEL HAMAS ‘TERRORISTS’

The BBC was also criticized live on air by author and professor Matt Goodwin, who became frustrated during a conversation about Palestinian sympathy and the treatment of Jews.

“I can’t remember a time in my life when I felt more ashamed by our national debate, and our country, as I have over the last week. I’ve tried to imagine how I would feel if I was a British Jew. We have a national broadcaster, the BBC, unable to call a Nazi-inspired, ISIS-inspired terrorist group’ terrorists,'” Goodwin said.

The refusal to label the group as terrorist even led one former BBC journalist, Noah Abrahams, to quit his job.

The BBC initially defended its decision but eventually said they would refer to Hamas as a “proscribed terrorist organization” after meeting with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

The United Kingdom (UK) has referred to Hamas as an “Islamic terrorist group” since 2021.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, the BBC confirmed they would refer to Hamas as terrorists in accordance with the UK government.

The statement continued, “What the BBC does not do is use the word terrorist without attributing it, nor do we ban words. We also confirmed that for some days, we had not been using ‘militant’ as a default description for Hamas, as we have been finding this a less accurate description for our audiences as the situation evolves.”

BBC ANNOUNCES POLICY CHANGE AFTER BACKLASH, WILL NOW LABEL HAMAS ‘TERRORIST ORGANIZATION’

The BBC was also one of several new organizations, including The New York Times, the Associated Press and CNN, that rushed to report claims made by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

The Ministry in October claimed that Israel had bombed the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, resulting in 500 civilian casualties. But later reporting and intelligence briefs found the explosion was the result of a misfired rocket fired by Islamic Jihad, a Hamas ally. The death toll was also much lower than first reported.

BBC senior reporter Jon Donnision reported the false claim. The network later said his speculation on the tragic event was “wrong.”

“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 British network published 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.”

HAMAS SPOKESMAN STORMS OUT OF BBC INTERVIEW WHEN ASKED ABOUT KILLING ISRAELI CIVILIANS

Over the summer, the BBC apologized after news host Anjana Gadgil claimed that Israeli soldiers enjoy killing children.

During an interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Gadgil suggested that IDF forces were killing young people.

“Quite the contrary,” Bennet said. “Actually, all 11 people dead there are militants. The fact that there are young terrorists that decide to hold arms is their responsibility.”

He also noted that at least 50 Israeli citizens had been murdered in 2002 by militants from the Jenin camp.

“Terrorists, but children. The Israeli forces are happy to kill children,” Gadgil replied.

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The Board of Deputies of British Jews subsequently said they were “appalled” by the BBC presenter’s comments and said it was a “clear breach” of the corporation’s guidelines.

When contacted by Fox News Digital, a BBC spokesperson said BBC News had received comments and complaints concerning the interview. They said that while they covered the conflict in an “impartial and robust” way, the discussion fell short.

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,” the spokesperson added.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick and Alexander Hall contributed to this report. 

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.

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