As IDF forces stormed into the Al-Shifa hospital this morning, newsreader Monica Miller misquoted a report about the raid which the army is calling a ‘targeted operation against Hamas‘.
Speaking about the unfolding incident, Miller misread the initial report made by Reuters news agency, telling viewers: ‘We are hearing from Reuters that Israel says its forces are 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.’
The newsreader then went on to repeat the claim again, stating that Israel was ‘targeting Arab speakers as well as some of the medical staff there’.
Reuters had in fact been quoting a statement from the Israeli military that said Arab speakers and medical staff had accompanied its soldiers into the sprawling medical building as the raid began.
Britain’s largest Jewish community body today slammed the mistake, claiming ‘this shows a staggering lack of care when reporting on a highly volatile situation’.
BBC newsreader Monica Miller misquoted a report about what the IDF is calling a ‘targeted operation against Hamas
The IDF said Israeli troops delivered medical supplies to the Al Shifa hospital as pictured here
Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital, after the IDF raided the building this morning
The Board of Deputies of British Jews called for an immediate apology from the broadcaster adding that ‘incidents like this make a mockery of the BBC’s oft-stated dedication to professionalism and impartiality’.
The raid on the huge hospital could be a pivotal point in the bloody war. Around 1,000 male Palestinians were led out with their hands over their heads and some stripped naked as soldiers checked them for explosives or weapons, AFP reported.
It comes as both the IDF and US have insisted Hamas are hiding underground in tunnels beneath the hospital, using vulnerable patients as human shields. The terrorist group has denied this.
The statement from the Board of Deputies added: ‘We are absolutely appalled by BBC News footage which appears to show a newsreader misquoting a Reuters report which cited the IDF saying it was taking ‘medical teams and Arabic speakers’ into Al-Shifa hospital to help patients.
‘The BBC Newsreader quoted the Reuters report as saying that the IDF was ‘targeting medical teams as well as Arab speakers’.
‘The Corporation must issue a public apology without delay for this egregious misreporting.’
‘At best, this 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 per cent since October 7th.
In a statement on X, the BBC said: ‘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.
Israeli soldiers inside a military vehicle are seen on their way to storm the Al Shifa hospital in this picture released by the IDF
Last month following an explosion near the al-Ahli Hospital reporter Jon Donnison speculated that it had been caused by an ‘Israeli air strike’
‘This was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report. We should have said IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation.
‘We apologise for this error, which fell below our usual editorial standards. The correct version of events was broadcast minutes later and we apologised for the mistake on air later in the morning.’
Last month the broadcaster sparked backlash over its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war after a reporter speculated that a rocket that hit Gaza was an ‘Israeli air strike’, adding that it was ‘hard to see’ what else it could be.
Growing evidence suggested that the explosion at the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was caused by Islamic Jihad.
The incident, which the broadcaster apologised for and insisted it was wrong to speculate, led an Israeli official to say its government could take action if the BBC continued ‘crossing the line in accordance with our wars’.
It came after Israel’s president Isaac Herzog said its policy of referring to Hamas as militants was ‘atrocious’.
The corporation then quietly dropped the reference, instead referring to Hamas as a ‘proscribed terrorist organisation’ by the UK Government and others.