Gaza hospital, mea culpa New York Times: no evidence from Hamas

The newspaper: “Americans and other international officials said evidence indicates the rocket came from Palestinian positions.”

The New York Times mea culpa and admits that in its initial coverage of the Gaza hospital explosion last week it “relied too heavily on Hamas allegations, without making it sufficiently clear that these could not immediately be verified.” This is what we read in an editorial with which the American newspaper criticizes itself for the way in which, last October 17, it headlined with Hamas’ accusations against the Israelis for the explosion which caused hundreds of deaths and injuries.

Israel has denied this responsibility, pointing the finger – and presenting evidence – at a rocket launched by Islamic Jihad: the newspaper points out that “Americans and other international officials have said that the evidence indicates that the rocket came from Palestinian positions”.

The Times admits that it should have taken “more care in its initial presentation, and been more explicit about what information could be verified.” Because – he concludes – the news initially reported gave “readers an incorrect impression regarding what was known and how credible” the version given was. The Times’ self-critical note comes on the same day in which the newspaper writes that Hamas has so far received no evidence or reconstructions capable of supporting the accusations made against Israel for the bombing of the hospital.

Hamas admitted, in response to a question from the American newspaper, that they were unable to locate munition components at the bombed site.

A high-ranking representative of the organization in power in the Gaza Strip explained that the missile that hit the hospital “dissolved like salt in water”, vaporized. The local Ministry of Health also did not provide information to support the reported death toll, 471. Israel reported that an Islamic Jihad missile that impacted the hospital was a missile that missed its target.