Ex-BBC director calls for review of Israel Hamas war coverage amid outrage

A former BBC boss has called for an independent review into the corporation’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas war and said Britain’s Jewish community is “being harmed through its unbalanced reporting”.

The claims from Danny Cohen, a director of BBC Television from 2013 to 2015, follow a row last month that saw Israeli president Isaac Herzog threatening to block the channel from reporting from Israel over its refusal to describe Hamas as terrorists.

And last week the BBC apologised on air for a newsIsrael.”

He claimed “the BBC’s credibility with the Jewish community is reaching a point of no return, with these incidents piling up on a daily basis there is only one conclusion to draw. Either the BBC’s senior management is complicit in these egregious examples of bias, these regular breaches of its guidelines, or it lacks the ability to control the output of its own organisation.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We take complaints about social media use very seriously, especially on such a sensitive and contested subject, and investigate accordingly.

“Impartiality is crucial for BBC news staff, and our guidelines require them to reflect a wide range of opinion in their social media. We will continue to remind all our journalists of their responsibilities.”

About 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side in the ongoing war, mainly civilians during the October 7 terror attack in which Hamas dragged some 240 captives back into Gaza. The military says 63 Israeli soldiers have been died, including 12 over the past 24 hours.

According to the health authorities in Gaza more than 13,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict.

Follow this LIVE blog for more updates throughout the day…

5 mins ago07:30 IDF releases footage it claims shows hostages being held in al Shifa hospital

The Israel Defence Force (IDF) has released CCTV footage from al Shifa hospital which it says shows hostges being escorted through the medical facility by Hamas terrorists.

The surveillance camera video shows Thai and Nepali citizens who were abducted by Hamas on October 7 when the group attacked Israel.


10 mins ago07:25 Premature babies in ‘extremely critical condition’ transferred from Gaza to Egypt

Health officials said 31 premature babies in “extremely critical condition” were transferred safely from Gaza’s main hospital and will go to Egypt, while over 250 patients with severely infected wounds and other urgent conditions remained stranded days after Israeli forces entered the compound to look for Hamas operations.

The plight of the babies, along with the Israeli claims against Shifa Hospital, have become potent symbols in the devastating war between Israel and Hamas. An Israeli offensive has taken a heavy toll on Palestinian civilians, while Israel has accused Hamas of using Shifa and other hospitals as headquarters for military operations.

The newborns from the hospital, where power was cut and supplies ran out while Israeli forces battled Palestinian militants outside, were receiving urgent care in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. They had dehydration, hypothermia and sepsis in some cases, said Mohamed Zaqout, director of Gaza hospitals. Four other babies died in the two days before the evacuation, he said.

A World Health Organisation team that visited Shifa said most of the remaining patients had amputations, burns or other trauma. Plans were being made to evacuate them in the coming days.


46 mins ago06:49 Good morning and welcome to this LIVE blog

Follow this LIVE blog for updates on the Israel-Hamas war thoughout the day.

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