MPs call for inquiry into BBC Gaza coverage after Mail on Sunday investigation

Doctors quoted in TV reports had previously appeared to support Hamas rocket attacks on Israel


Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis,Gaza - a few days after an Israeli raid in February (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

Conservative politicians are calling for an inquiry after a Mail on Sunday investigation uncovered inflammatory social media posts made by a number of doctors who were quoted as witnesses in a BBC report of an Israeli raid on a hospital in Gaza.

Earlier this month the BBC reported allegations by Palestinian medical staff that they had been abused and mistreated by Israeli troops who had entered the hospital in Khan Younis the previous month.

The Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron described the BBC report and pictures as “very disturbing”.

But the Mail on Sunday said that one of the doctors, whose testimony was cited in the BBC’s coverage, had supported attacks on Israel in posts on social media.

In one, the doctor had declared, “O Lord turn every Palestinian missile into a Zionist casualty, and turn every casualty into a thousand families that leave our homeland,” the paper reported.

In another, the doctor had said, “Lord protect our mujahideen and support them with your angels and kill the Jews”.

The paper said that on the day of the October 7, the doctor had posted a photo of a dead man who had later been accused of taking part in the attack on Israel and described him as “the first martyr of our family”.

The paper said that the doctors’s Facebook account had included up to 20 posts celebrating the death of Israelis or making antisemitic remarks.

Another doctor was reported to have written on Facebook “May Allah guide the missiles of Palestine’s mujahideen” and also to have praised a terrorist who killed 38 Israeli civiilians in an attack on a bus in 1978 as a “legend” and a “martyr”.

Four other named medics were said by the paper to have made provocative remarks. It said none of the six had responded to requests from comment.

MP Andrew Percy told the Mail on Sunday, “The BBC seemingly doesn't seem to care that it keeps casually giving airtime to people who openly support the murder and assault of innocent civilians through terrorism."

There must be “a full independent inquiry undertaken of the BBC's failure to uphold impartiality on this issue,” he said.

The corporation’s coverage was “fuelling the hate on our streets and it is fuelling antisemitism,” he added. “They must be held to account.”

Criticism was reported too from MPs Theresa Villiers and Sir Michael Ellis and the special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles.

In a statement quoted by the Mail on Sunday, the BBC said, “We stand by our journalism. Those who have read our story will know the BBC has been transparent in telling audiences where and how information is corroborated and attributed, and where this has not been possible.

“We have provided multiple first-hand accounts, named independent sources, shared visual evidence and included rights of reply throughout, working to the highest standards of journalism.”

According to the Mail on Sunday, the medics’ social media accounts had been found by researcher David Collier and investigated by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (Camera).

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