The BBC questioned Israeli allegations of Hamas military activity in the largest hospital in Gaza
Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner asked the BBC and its editor Jeremy Bowen to apologise, after they questioned the Israeli army’s evidence of Hamas’ presence in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital.
Israeli soldiers have been present at Al-Shifa Hospital since early Wednesday, and have been publishing footage from inside the medical complex. Lerner posted CCTV footage from the site on X (formerly Twitter), along with his verbal description of “Weapons, communications equipment, RPG, [and a] Toyota pickup loaded with weapons” Apparently found there. The video also showed men being carried on a stretcher, their faces blurred. “Will BBC World apologise? Will Bowen tell the BBC I was wrong?” he wrote.
His post was directed at Jeremy Bowen, a BBC editor who criticized the Israeli military’s restrictions on reporting from Al-Shifa newspaper in an article on Saturday, saying: “There is no independent audit within the hospital; Journalists cannot move freely inside Gaza, and anyone covering from the site works under the auspices of the Israeli army.”
Al-Shifa Hospital is the largest hospital in Gaza, and has been the focus of media attention over the past six weeks. This was the location where most of the Palestinian Ministry of Health footage of civilians injured by IDF operations was taken. Israel claimed that the hospital is connected to an extensive network of underground tunnels belonging to Hamas, and that it is used as part of the militants’ infrastructure.
On October 7, Hamas launched a coordinated attack on Israel, killing at least 1,200 Israelis and wounding thousands more, as well as taking more than 200 hostage, according to local authorities.
West Jerusalem responded with “Iron swords” The military operation, including the blockade of Gaza, intense air strikes on the Palestinian enclave, and an eventual ground offensive, killed at least 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Bowen went on to write down the evidence the IDF has provided so far, which it has not done “Believes [it] “To be persuasive in terms of the kind of rhetoric that Israelis use.” He concluded that “For Israel, it is important to demonstrate that it had no choice but to use methods that killed thousands of civilians.” To maintain the support of its international allies.
The increasing number of civilian deaths during the campaign appears to have led to a change in the rhetoric of Israel’s most powerful allies. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said so earlier this month Too many Palestinians have been killed. “Too many people have suffered in recent weeks.”