BBC accused of putting lives at risk after rushing to blame Israel for hospital blast that ‘killed 500’ as PM takes jab | The Sun
THE BBC was slammed by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly today for putting lives at risk after rushing to blame Israel for a tragic hospital blast in Gaza WITHOUT verifying the facts.
It came as Rishi Sunak used PMQs to put the broadcaster on notice and remind its chiefs: "The words we say have impact".
Mr Cleverly later warned: "Everything has a cost and rushed inaccurate reporting costs lives.
"Taking a little extra time to verify facts can save lives both here and abroad."
The BBC sparked outrage as it jumped to attribute blame for last night's devastating attack on al-Ahli Hospital to Israel.
Instead of waiting for Israel's response to the incident, the broadcaster took at face value the words of baby-slaughtering terrorist organisation Hamas.
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After the blast, the Israeli Defence Forces urged world media to wait for its intelligence services to investigate.
Later an army spokesperson categorically denied Israeli responsibility, instead saying the explosion came from a failed rocket launched within Gaza.
British intelligence chiefs are conducting their own investigation and haven't reached a public conclusion yet.
In a packed out Commons chamber, the PM said: "We are working with our allies to establish the truth of what has happened and to do that robustly and independently.
"We should not rush to judgment before we have all the facts of the appalling situation that we saw yesterday, particularly given the sensitivities and impact on our communities, but also across the region.
"It's incumbent on all of those in positions of responsibility in this House and outside of the media to recognise that the words we say will have an impact, and we should be careful with them."
The row follows the storm over the BBC’s refusal to describe Hamas as a terror group.
The Royal family, Prime Minister and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have all branded the Hamas massacre which claimed 1,300 lives a terrorist attack.
But stubborn Beeb bosses have refused to follow suit in a bid to remain “impartial”.
And the broadcaster is now at the centre of a fresh storm over the report of the hospital blast.
In a live broadcast last night, BBC journalist Jon Donnison said in his piece to camera: “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.
“When we have seen rockets being fired out of Gaza we never see explosions of that scale.
“We might see half a dozen, maybe a few more, people being killed in such rocket attacks but we have never seen anything on the scale of the sort of explosion on the video I was watching earlier which is still to be verified.”
The broadcaster’s fact-checking department, BBC Verify, later reported that at least one expert had suggested it was not an airstrike.
Daniel Sugarman, Director of Public Affairs at the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “Of all the misreporting last night, I think this from the BBC is perhaps the most egregious.
Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry branded the Beeb “useless and irresponsible”.
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Dr Parry, who helped sink an enemy sub and rescued an SAS unit during the Falklands War, said: “What is wrong with our national broadcaster? Has it been thoroughly infiltrated by Islamists?
The BBC has been contacted for comment over the hospital report.
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