As we saw earlier in the week some recent BBC content unquestioningly amplified a statement made by Hamas blaming Israel for the death of a fourteen-month-old girl and her pregnant female relative in the Gaza Strip.
“Several Palestinians were killed and injured with a baby among those killed, officials in Gaza said.” BBC News website 5/5/19 (the original video was replaced by another at the same URL on May 6th following communication from BBC Watch)
“This evening the Palestinian health ministry said a 14-month-old girl was killed in an airstrike.” Tom Bateman, BBC Radio 4 5/5/19
Other BBC reports amplified the claim while adding some sort of ‘Israel says’ qualification. [emphasis added]
“…this evening the Palestinian ministry of health said that a 14-month-old girl was killed in an air strike in the east of the Gaza Strip. Now the Israeli military has said that it has no information on that but it says that it only targets…ah…what it describes as militant sites in the Gaza Strip.” Tom Bateman BBC World Service radio 5/5/19
“One Israeli was killed by shrapnel, while Israeli fire killed four Palestinians, including a mother and her baby daughter, Gaza officials say.
However, Israel said the mother and baby were killed by a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.” BBC News website 5/5/19
“It [Hamas] says the dead include a woman and her 14-month-old daughter. But Israel says the mother and baby may have been killed by a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.” BBC News website 5/5/19
“Seven Palestinians were killed according to the Gaza health ministry including a fourteen-month-old baby and her pregnant mother. But the Israeli army said the family may have died as a result of what it called terrorist activities.” Tom Bateman, ‘Broadcasting House’ (from 3:56 here), BBC Radio 4, 5/5/19
“A Palestinian mother and baby in Gaza have also died but Israel insists that they were killed in some misguided fire by militants.” Alan Johnston, ‘The World This Weekend’ (from 02:20 here), BBC Radio 4, 5/5/19
“…Palestinian officials say four people were killed by Israeli strikes. An Israeli army spokesman has disputed the circumstances of the deaths of a Palestinian mother and her baby, suggesting saboteurs were to blame.” Julian Worricker, ‘Weekend’ (from 00:00 here), BBC World Service radio, 5/5/19
“Civilians, including a 12-year-old boy and two pregnant women, were also among those reportedly killed.
Israel has contested the account of the death of one woman and her 14-month-old niece on Saturday. They blamed their deaths on a Palestinian rocket that fell short of its target.” BBC News website 6/5/19
However, as the Jerusalem Post reports, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has since admitted that the woman and child were killed by one of its own rockets.
“The Islamic Jihad, one of the terror organizations responsible for the recent wave of attacks against Israel, admitted that the baby that was killed in Gaza during the latest escalation died as a result of a misfired rocket, TPS reported on Monday.
“A leak from the heroes of the [Islamic Jihad’s] Sarayat al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades) on the circumstances of the death of the baby Saba Abu ‘Arar indicates that a rocket of the resistance exploded inside the family’s home due to a technical failure, and prematurely exploded,” a news item by Hamas’ al-Risala News said. […]
According to TPS, Islamic Jihad representatives met with the victims’ family on Sunday morning to offer them compensation and to qualify the baby as a “martyr” in exchange for their silence on the circumstances of her death.”
The BBC can therefore now clarify to its domestic and international audiences that the Hamas claim it elected to broadly amplify was false and inform them that not only ‘Israel says’ that the woman and child were not killed as a result of Israeli actions.
However with the corporation having already moved on from this story, it is doubtful that BBC audiences will ever be relieved of the inaccurate impressions they were given in numerous news bulletins and reports.