The New York Times issued a statement on Monday, admitting that it had placed too much reliance on claims made by Hamas while reporting on an explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip. The publication acknowledged that it should not have leaned so heavily on information provided by government officials affiliated with Hamas, particularly regarding the initial report of an Israeli airstrike on October 17 that targeted the Gaza City hospital and resulted in numerous casualties. The early coverage featured prominently on the newspaper’s website.
The New York Times clarified that its initial accounts attributed the assertion of Israeli responsibility to Palestinian officials and noted that the Israeli military was investigating the incident. However, it conceded that the early versions of the coverage, including headlines, news alerts, and social media posts, placed excessive reliance on claims by Hamas. These claims were not immediately verifiable, which left readers with an incorrect impression about the situation’s clarity and credibility.
Contrary to the Hamas narrative, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) published images depicting the hospital site before and after the explosion, asserting that it was the result of a “failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.” The IDF also released intercepted communications among Hamas terrorists discussing a misfire near the hospital.
Additionally, the U.S. government stated that its initial assessment pointed to Israel not being responsible for the explosion.
The New York Times emphasized that it continued to update its coverage as more information became available, including reporting on the disputed claims of responsibility and suggesting that the death toll might be lower than initially reported. Within two hours, the headline and other content at the top of the website were adjusted to reflect the evolving understanding of the incident and the controversy surrounding the attribution of responsibility.
The New York Times Has Just issued an Apology for their Inaccurate Reporting of the Gaza Hospital Attack.
Read the full apology below:
“On Oct. 17, The New York Times published news of an explosion at a hospital in Gaza City, leading its coverage with claims by Hamas… pic.twitter.com/8Pg6zLT4ov
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) October 23, 2023
This admission by The New York Times follows the recent escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, with attacks by the terrorist group on October 7 resulting in a substantial number of casualties. Israeli forces have been conducting airstrikes in Gaza in anticipation of a potential ground invasion.