Multiple news outlets, including The New York Times, BBC, Reuters, and The Associated Press, initially reported on a deadly blast at a Gaza hospital based on claims from Hamas government officials.
Driving the news: The coverage led to protests and criticism against Israel, scuttling some of President Biden’s efforts to ease tensions through diplomacy.
- However, the Israeli government denied the Hamas claim, stating that the blast was caused by a failed rocket fired by the militant group known as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a stance supported by U.S. and Canadian intelligence assessments.
- The New York Times publicly acknowledged their initial coverage’s poor handling of facts and reliance on unverified claims, stating that it had left readers with an incorrect impression.
- The Times admitted that the prominence given to Hamas’ claims without verification was a mistake and promised to re-examine their protocols for covering breaking news.
- Other news outlets, including Reuters and AP, also cited Hamas as their source, highlighting the challenge of reporting in Gaza where verifying information is difficult due to Hamas’ authority in the region.