published : 2023-10-26

CNN Issues Correction After Pushing Hamas Narrative: We 'Did Not Clearly Attribute Claims' to Terror Group

The network falsely reported an Israeli airstrike targeted a Gaza hospital killing hundreds of civilians

A photo of a news anchor from CNN reporting on the Gaza hospital incident, taken with a Nikon D850 camera.

CNN, a globally recognized news organization, recently issued a glaring correction after inadvertently joining other news outlets in spreading a Hamas narrative about an explosion at a Gaza hospital.

Last week, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry alleged that Israel bombed Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital through an airstrike, resulting in over 500 civilian casualties.

However, subsequent reporting and intelligence revealed that the explosion was actually caused by a misfired rocket fired by Hamas ally Islamic Jihad, resulting in a much lower death toll than initially claimed.

CNN initially ran the headline 'Israel hits hospital and school in Gaza as blockade puts healthcare system in state of ‘collapse.' The strike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza is likely to have killed hundreds, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement, adding that there are still many people under the hospital rubble.'

An aerial shot of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza before the explosion, captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera.

The headline was later changed to 'Hundreds likely dead in Gaza hospital blast, as Israeli blockade cripples medical response.'

However, CNN was forced to publish a correction in its report, acknowledging that the claims about Israel's responsibility were not clearly attributed to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Israel later provided evidence and stated that a 'misfired' rocket by the militant group Islamic Jihad caused the blast. US President Joe Biden further supported the Israeli position, citing US intelligence.

CNN's forensic analysis of images and videos also suggested that a rocket fired from within Gaza caused the blast, contradicting the initial claims of an Israeli airstrike.

A close-up image of a misfired rocket believed to have caused the blast, taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III camera.

This incident highlights the need for caution and responsible reporting, especially in the midst of a conflict. It serves as a reminder that the information provided by conflicting parties should always be verified before being disseminated to the public.

CNN was not the only news organization to uncritically peddle Hamas propaganda. The New York Times, too, admitted to relying 'too heavily' on Hamas' word in its coverage of the incident.

As tensions continue to escalate, it is crucial for media outlets to exercise vigilance, ensuring that they present accurate and verified information to the public. The impact of news coverage on international conflicts and public opinion cannot be underestimated.