New York Times Admits Hasty And Biased Coverage Over Gaza Hospital Blast

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

The New York Times released an editors’ note Monday admitting their coverage of an explosion at a Gazan hospital was sloppy.

The New York Times editor’s note said their initial coverage “relied too heavily on claims by Hamas, and did not make clear that those claims could not immediately be verified,” which consequently “left readers with an incorrect impression about what was known and how credible the account was.” (RELATED: Mob Torches Historic Tunisian Synagogue)

The outlet noted their editorial staff ought to have exercised greater caution with their first reports about the disputed incident and been more up front with their readers over what information was credible.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claims that an Israeli air strike is at fault for the blast, which occurred around the hospital’s parking lot, the Times of Israel reported. Israel disputes the claim, however, arguing that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is responsible for an errant missile that triggered the blast. PIJ, for its part, denies Israel’s accusation, the outlet noted.

An Associated Press (AP) analysis of videos, photos, and satellite imagery before, during and after the explosion indicates that an errant missile launched from Gaza most likely hit the hospital. Similar forensic studies by CNN and The Wall Street Journal also back the Israeli account of what happened.

Even the death count over the explosion is disputed. While the Gaza Health Ministry claims that around 500 persons died, the U.S. intel community has put the figure at 100-300 persons killed, Times of Israel noted. One European official put the death toll even lower, at or below 50 persons killed, the outlet reported.

Various outlets like CNN, Reuters, and The AP initially reported about the hospital incident using the same Palestinian sources that gave out unconfirmed information and these outlets were later caught stealth-editing their articles. CNN, for instance, edited its headline from “Israel hits hospital and school in Gaza as blockade cripples healthcare system” to “Israel accused of blasting hospital and school in Gaza as blockade cripples healthcare system” as new information disputing Hamas’s narrative emerged.

The AP did the same from its initial headline, reading, “Hundreds killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza City hospital, Health Ministry says,” which eventually morphed into the headline “Blast kills hundreds at Gaza hospital; Hamas and Israel trade blame, as Biden heads to Mideast.”