Experienced reporter Jon Donnison, who has been working for the BBC for more than 25 years, made a serious mistake when speculating about the explosion that occurred at Al Ahli Baptist Hospital last Tuesday.
According to Donnison, when the explosion occurred, it was “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.” That speculation, which accepted Hamas’s first version that Israel had attacked the health center, was rebuked this Thursday by the BBC itself.
Thus far, we haven't seen an apology from the BBC's Jon Donnison for - once again - getting it wrong. https://t.co/U59MStnzTO
— CAMERA UK (Formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch) (@CAMERAorgUK) October 18, 2023
“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.”
The BBC’s correction to one of its most senior reporter’s work comes after the Israeli Army and various independent sources refuted Hamas’ version of the explosion with audiovisual evidence.
Israel’s own Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a video containing an audio of two terrorists talking about a missile against the Israeli State that failed during launch. Moments later, the explosion occurred in the hospital in Gaza and independent sources have not yet determined the number of victims.
#VIDEO | El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Israel publicó una transmisión de Al Jazeera en la que se captó el momento en que la Yihad Islámica Palestina lanzó un cohete que cayó en el hospital de Gaza matando a cientos de personas. pic.twitter.com/rHQqokGPPD
— VOZ (@VozMediaUSA) October 17, 2023
Likewise, security experts have said that, based on the images of the damage to the hospital, everything indicates that Israel did not carry out an air attack against the health center due to the lack of structural damage and craters in the area.
Justin Bronk, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Wall Street Journal that photos and videos from the hospital suggest that a hit from a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip itself would explain the type of explosion.