Channel 4 News accepts Hamas claims at face value

In a four minute broadcast at Channel 4 News, international editor Lindsey Hilsum twice told viewers, as if it were a fact, that Israeli soldiers fired on Palestinians who swarmed an aid truck in Gaza on Feb. 29, while failing to note IDF denials of those accusations, which were leveled by the Hamas-run health ministry without evidence.

The aid trucks had come from the Keren Shalom and Rafah crossings, and was the fourth day in a row that the military helped facilitate such deliveries.

Hilsim ignored comments by the IDF reported on the very first day the incident, which concluded, based on an initial investigation relying on aerial sattelite footage, that the vast majority of Palestinian casualties were the result of trampling and being struck by the aid trucks.

The IDF further said that a second incident occurred a short time later at another spot at El-Nabusi Square, where armed Palestinians reportedly fired on the trucks and stole supplies.  In the third stage, a large group of Palestinians descended on the trucks, but also came close to surprised Israeli forces stationed nearby to protect the deliveries. According to the IDF, once the large group of Palestinians were a few dozen meters away from forces, they fired in the air and issued warnings to stay away. When the same Palestinians reportedly continued to come closer to forces, they fired at the Palestinians’ legs.

Though the IDF doesn’t discount the possibility that some Palestinians were killed during that last incident, they’ve determined – in advance of a more extensive investigation they’re conducting – that the vast majority of those killed (who they say are dozens, not over 100, as Hamas claims) were killed in the initial stampede.

Further, we know that Hilsum was aware of the IDF’s denials, as she tweeted the following on the day of the incident.

Channel 4 News’s immediate rush to judgement mirrors the gross failure by the networks – and other outlets – following the Al Ahli hospital blast in October.  Our readers no doubt recall that the blast, which was originally blamed on the IDF, based solely on Hamas claims, was later conclusively determined to be the result of an errant PIJ rocket.

We’ve tweeted Hilsum asking for an explanation.

We also recently complained to Ofcom – the UK’s broadcast regulator – about a report by another Channel 4 News presenter who erroneously stated that all the 29,000 Palestinians who Hamas claim have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7 have been civilians.  As we noted in a post about that claim, not even the terror group alleges that all of those killed have been non-combatants.

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