update deskIsrael at War

‘Too many red lines crossed’: Israeli hospital bans ‘BBC’

The Galillee medical center "refuses to cooperate with media outlets that refuse to see Hamas as a terrorist organization."

The Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. Photo by Noam Falakasa/TPS.
The Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. Photo by Noam Falakasa/TPS.

Citing BBC news “biased coverage” of the war against Hamas, staff at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya banned a film crew from entering the hospital on Saturday, a hospital spokesperson said.

“When there is no clarity—and this is sometimes the nature of this situation—it is good for such a popular media outlet to check, delve and investigate before publishing its reviews to hundreds of millions of people in the world,” hospital director Professor Masad Barhoum told JNS.

“In everything related to the BBC network, too many red lines were crossed, so when they asked to film at our medical center and interview doctors, it was clear that they were looking for manipulations and distortions, so we informed them that we have closed our doors to them until further notice,” he added.

Hospital spokesperson Gal Zeid told JNS: “I issued the announcement to the media in the hope that other bodies and institutions in the health system, including in the country as a whole, will show solidarity, certainly during the war, and refuse, like us, to cooperate with media outlets and parties that cover the reality in a biased way and refuse to see Hamas as a terrorist organization, which harms all citizens of Israel indiscriminately.”

The publicly funded British news service is facing harsh criticism for its coverage of the Gaza war.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and other officials have blasted the BBC for refusing to describe Hamas as “terrorists.”

“We are dealing with one of the worst terrorist organizations in the world,” Herzog told visiting British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday.

“I know that in modern democracies, like ours and yours, you can’t interfere per se, but since the BBC has a certain linkage and is known as British all over the world, there has to be an outcry for it to be corrected, and that Hamas will be defined as a terrorist organization there as well,” Herzog said. “What else do they need to see to understand that this is an atrocious terror organization?”

Meanwhile, the BBC was forced to apologize for its coverage of an explosion that devastated Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday night. Correspondent Jon Donnison reported from the scene that the hospital had been hit by a missile or shell, adding, “But it’s hard to see what else this could be really given the size of the explosion other than an Israeli air strike or several air strikes.”

The Israel Defense Forces released intercepted Hamas communications and security footage confirming that the hospital was devastated by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.

Initial news reports and social-media posts erroneously blaming Israel for the blast sparked Arab riots across the Middle East.

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