Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

ISRAEL has accused the BBC of peddling a “modern blood libel” over their coverage of the blast at a Gaza hospital.

A reporter immediately suggested it was likely Israel was at fault — yet evidence has since pointed at a Palestinian rocket being to blame.

Cover ImagesIsrael has accused the BBC of peddling ‘modern blood libel’ after they claimed Israel was likely at fault for the recent bombing of a hospital in Gaza[/caption]

AlamyOfficials in Tel Aviv said the BBC’s initial news report on the Gaza hospital bombing thwarted attempts to cool tensions in the region[/caption]

There were claims 500 people had died at the hospital, which is run by the Anglican Church.

Yeterday the Israeli government posted on social media likening the inflamatory report to an ancient antisemtic slur that Jews kill Christian boys to use their blood for religious rituals.

Officials in Tel Aviv also said the initial news dispatch thwarted attempts to cool tensions in the region and led to the cancellation of a summit bringing together the US and Palestinian leaders.

The Israeli post read: “Hey @BBCWorld, as of this morning your modern blood libel about the hospital attack is still up.”

It added: “We see you, and now everyone else does too.”

An investigation led by Israel suggests the hospital was hit by a faulty rocket fired from within Gaza towards Israel.

US president Joe Biden backed up the Israeli assesment.

Israel’s furious President Isaac Herzog raised the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East conflict with Rishi Sunak, as the PM started a two-day diplomatic mission.

Critics were already angry that the corporation was refusing to brand Hamas terrorists following the October 7 outrages that saw 1,400 killed in Israel.

And Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has been in contact with the BBC’s Director-General Tim Davie.

Mr Herzog said: “We feel that the way the BBC characterises Hamas is a distortion of the facts.

“There has to be an outcry so that there will be a correction and Hamas is defined as a terrorist organisation.

“What else do they need to see to understand that this is an atrocious terrorist organisation?”

“I feel the BBC’s reporting is atrocious. The fact that it does not recognise Hamas as a terror organisation requires a complete legal battle and public battle. It’s unbelievable.

ReutersBlood Libel is an accusation used by anti-Semitic groups and figures that Jewish people used the blood of Christians in religious rituals[/caption]

twitter/israelThe Israeli social media post read: ‘Hey @BBCWorld, as of this morning your modern blood libel about the hospital attack is still up’[/caption]

“I’ve seen the booklet that each of those terrorists received. Each one is instructed to go into an innocent village and kibbutz or city and immediately torture whoever is abducted, immediately.”

PM Mr Sunak later insisted: “We should call it what it is — an act of terrorism perpetrated by an evil terrorist organisation.”

The BBC says it quotes the word terrorists when it is used by others, but that to use it itself would be “taking sides”.

Meanwhile, Britain’s security minister Tom Tugendhat warned the BBC’s rush to blame Israel for the hospital blast has had “real costs” for both the conflict and wider tensions.

The former Army officer said: “Let’s be clear — this was not the BBC’s finest hour.

“On Tuesday night, many people did jump to conclusions. Many people who we thought were more responsible than that named organisations and named events that they were not certain of.

“It’s incredibly important we don’t rush to judgment, and to see a BBC reporter say that the Israeli military are investigating, but it’s hard to see what else this could be other than an Israeli airstrike or several airstrikes, is really serious. It has real costs.”

Former Cabinet Minister Lord Eric Pickles accused the Beeb of “lapping up lies”.

He said: “The BBC has spent the last couple of weeks looking foolish over its inconsistent approach to terror groups by refusing to describe Hamas as terrorists.

“Now it looks slapdash in its approach to news reporting.

“To lap up Hamas’s lies without basic due diligence is letting the licence payer down. There must be a thorough and frank inquiry into this massive failure.”

The BBC said of veteran correspondent Jon Donnison’s report: “We accept that even in this fast-moving situation it was wrong to speculate in this way, though he did not at any point report that it was an Israeli strike.

“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.”

Calls for peace were last night backed by Liverpool’s Muslim ace Mo Salah.

In a video posted on social media, the Egyptian goal king asked world leaders to “prevent further slaughter of innocent souls”.

He said: “There has been too much violence and too much heartbreaking brutality.

“All lives are sacred and must be protected. Families are being torn apart. Humanity must prevail.”

Other football stars to have spoken out include Salah’s national teammate and Arsenal midfielder Mohammed Elneny, Gunners defender Oleksandr Zinchenko and Spurs’ Israeli winger Manor Solomon.

The BBC says it quotes the word terrorists when it is used by others, but that to use it itself would be ‘taking sides’

Simon Walker / No 10 Downing StreetRishi Sunak met the President of Israel Isaac Herzog yesterday[/caption]


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