Corporate TV Skeptical of Israeli Hospital Bombing Story

It’s highly unusual to see this degree of skepticism in the western press right off the bat when it goes against the information interests of Israel specifically or the U.S. power alliance more generally, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

(MSNBC screenshot)

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

By Caitlin Johnstone

A huge blast in Gaza has destroyed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, killing hundreds of people. The exact death toll is still unknown.

Details of who is responsible for the explosion are being hotly debated by all parties, and this is still a developing story with a lot of details yet to be revealed. But what I’d like to quickly document as things unfold is the highly unusual number of mass media reporters I’ve been seeing who haven’t hesitated to point to Israel as the probable culprit.

After noting that Israel is blaming the blast on a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), MSNBC foreign correspondent Raf Sanchez quickly pointed outthat PIJ rockets don’t tend to do that kind of damage, but Israeli missiles do. He also noted that Israel has an extensive history of lying about this sort of thing.

“The Israeli military at this point is not providing any evidence to back up its claims that this was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket; they are citing intelligence that they have not yet made public,” Sanchez said.

“We should also say that this kind of death toll is not what you normally associate with Palestinian rockets. These rockets are dangerous, they are deadly, they do not tend to kill hundreds of people in a single strike in the way that Israeli high explosives?—?especially these bunker buster bombs that are used to target these Hamas tunnels under Gaza City?—?do have the potential to kill hundreds of people.”

“And we should say finally that there are instances in the past where the Israeli military has said things in the immediate aftermath of an incident that have turned out not to be true in the long run,” Sanchez added. “And the one example I’ll give you is that when the Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was killed in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military initially said that she was killed by Palestinian gunmen, and it was only months and months later that they admitted that it was likely an Israeli soldier who fired the fatal shot.”

CNN’s Clarissa Ward said essentially the same thing:

“I will say, just based on seeing these rocket attacks many times over the years, that they don’t usually have an impact like that in terms of the size of the blast, in terms of the scale of the death toll and the scale of the damage. It’s also not the first time, it’s important to add, that we have seen the IDF categorically deny something before being forced to kind of do an about-face after an extensive investigation.”

BBC foreign correspondent Jon Donnison gave basically the same opinion.

“It’s hard to see what else this could be, really, given the size of the explosion, other than an Israeli air strike, or several air strikes,” Donnison said from Jerusalem. “Because, you know, when we’ve seen rockets being fired out of Gaza, we never see explosions of that scale. We might see half a dozen, maybe a few more people being killed in such rocket attacks, but we’ve never seen anything on the scale of the sort of explosion on the video I was watching earlier.”

That’s three mass media reporters that I’ve seen just in my random information-gathering meanderings?—?not on their personal social media accounts, but live on air. 

It’s highly unusual to see this degree of skepticism in the western press right off the bat when it goes against the information interests of Israel specifically or the U.S. power alliance more generally. Typically we’ve been seeing the media uncritically report unverified claims about Palestinian militants while expressing rigorous skepticism solely toward any information which might benefit the Palestinian resistance, so there’s clearly something about this particular story which makes mass media reporters remarkably reluctant to push the Israeli narrative.

Maybe they’re getting information in their group chats which has caused them to keep Israel’s claims about the hospital bombing at arm’s length, or maybe they’re just looking at the facts and deciding this narrative is too flimsy to get behind. If it looks like Israel’s version of events will fall apart after investigation, they’re not going to want to stake their reputation and their pride on pushing it with their usual gusto during an Israeli military operation that is facing unusually intense scrutiny from the entire world.

Israel does after all have an extensive history of attacking hospitals and healthcare facilities, including in this current operation in Gaza, including apparently bombing this exact same hospital just a few days ago. ReliefWeb, which is run by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, recently published a report on the numerous Israeli strikes that have hit hospitals, ambulances and healthcare workers between Oct. 12 and Oct. 15, and listed among the hospitals hit is the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City?—?the same hospital that was just destroyed a few days later.

Citing “Al Jazeera V and Personal Communication,” ReliefWeb reports the following:

“14 October 2023: In Gaza city city and governorate, Ahli Arab Hospital was hit by Israeli airstrikes, partially damaging two floors and damaging the ultrasound and mammography room. Four people were injured.”

It’s also probably worth noting that according to the World Health Organization this hospital was one of the twenty hospitals which the IDF had ordered to evacuatebecause of the aggressions it was planning to inflict on that part of Gaza. 

Again, information is still coming in and this developing story could possibly wind up looking very different from what it looks like right now. But if I was an Israel apologist, I don’t think I’d find the current winds in the mass media very encouraging.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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21 comments for “Corporate TV Skeptical of Israeli Hospital Bombing Story

  1. Kev
    October 20, 2023 at 10:14

    Gods chosen people are allowed to lie and commit war crimes, because.

  2. mr bog
    October 19, 2023 at 16:51

    It’s curiously difficult to obtain any good pictures of the bombing damage.

    Try googling it, there’s almost nothing that shows you what really happened.

    Pretty much every mainstream media story has a picture but if you read the caption it’s just an example of damage somewhere else, not of the hospital or even the same region.

    We need some arial (drone) shots of exactly what the damage is. If drones are not possible people could certainly take enough from the ground to show exactly what the damage is. So where are they?

    We need to see pictures because one side says the entire hospital was leveled. The other side says it just hit a parking lot and there’s not even a crater.

    The IDF has released some visuals, but they’re fuzzy and we can’t obviously just believe the IDF.

    Why haven’t the Palestinians fully documented this yet with pictures and made them widely available? I don’t mean of people, I mean of structural damage.

    I’m not saying I don’t believe them, I’m just saying the whole thing is a bit unusual. Israel is the most obvious culprit, but I don’t know what to believe, certainly not without a clear picture of the damage.

  3. Slobobba
    October 18, 2023 at 14:57

    Are there any verified historical accounts of Hamas committing false flag events on Palestinians?
    I did a brief unfruitful search. Thanks

    • bardamu
      October 18, 2023 at 17:16

      If one is fighting against a chronic occupation, a false flag is pointless because enemy abuse already exists to respond to.

    • mr bog
      October 19, 2023 at 17:06

      I don’t think anybody is claiming Hamas did it on purpose. If they did do it by accident, as claimed, it would be natural to blame it on Israel. Basically we need more info…

    October 18, 2023 at 14:50

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said,…ultimately the Palestinians must have independence or citizenship otherwise they’re left with an untenable apartheid state.

    What Olmert failed to state or understand was that future Israeli politicians would not choose Palestinian independence, citizenship or apartheid. Israel would choose, as clearly stated by its first leaders in 1947, that the original theft of a portion of ancestral Palestinian land in 1947 was only a mere foothold and more land would be taken thereafter. The expansion has never stopped, village by village, inch by inch, through terrorism, violence and killing. Israel is now experiencing violent blowback. It is not a surprise. It had to come. Remember the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    The Europeans established a similar foothold along the Atlantic coast of North America and never stopped the theft of indigenous land, village by village, inch by inch, terrorism, violence killing. That theft was acknowledged by the invaders when George Washington, the then slaveholder, surveyor and land speculator, acquired the popular nickname of, “Destroyer of Villages.” The final solution to secure the remaining land all the way to the Pacific Ocean was to kill all the buffalo, to starve and defeat the indigenous peoples who were fighting for their ancestral homeland. Israel is currently now engaged in ‘killing the buffalo’*. A genocidal policy.

    *Israel has stopped food from entered Gaza, The world’s largest concentration camp is portends becoming the largest death camp.

  5. Geoff A
    October 18, 2023 at 14:02

    When Russia was bombing Aleppo they must hundreds of hospitals, as well as doctors surgeries, infant schools, children’s homes, even pet shops. A new atrocity every day it seemed. Meanwhile Aleppo was liberated by brave American troops and thousand’s celebrated like it was Paris in 1944 again.
    Well that’s what the media told us, and most believed it.

  6. Andrew Nichols
    October 18, 2023 at 13:47

    The Empire has struck back. The “news” media is spinning the Israeli line now hammer and tongs.

  7. JonnyJames
    October 18, 2023 at 12:26

    Yes, very interesting about the warning to evacuate, then they were bombed. Nothing to see here folks…
    Cheers Caitlin Johnstone for being on the cutting-edge of the information war /psyops

    It seems that the MassMedia Cartel has since backtracked now I see it was just “an explosion” a “deadly blast” while Al Jazeera calls is an Israeli bombing.

    It’s not like Israel has a track record of targeting UN buildings, ambulances, hospitals, journalists or anything right?

    The IDFare serial liars: despite video evidence, they lied about the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh.

    The cognitively-challenged Puppet Emperor says that it wasn’t Israel’s fault. Let’s give them (and the Ukraine regime) billions more in free weapons. The ever obedient vassal-sycophants fall in line as usual.

  8. Caliman
    October 18, 2023 at 11:27

    “President” Biden has asserted, based supposedly on “evidence” he was given, that it was the “other team” that did it … so the Prez is less willing to look at facts than reporters whose main job typically has been to spin fantasies of Israeli innocence for the western public.

  9. Richard Burrill
    October 18, 2023 at 11:03

    I think the evidence of such huge destruction on the hospital proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was done by IDF. Come on President Biden, wake up and tell Netanyahu to call for a cease-fire on Gaza, and also tell him the U.S. will no longer support the genocide Israel is doing to the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

    • David Marshall
      October 18, 2023 at 11:20

      Joe Biden is close to senile and a puppet of the Jewish Neo-Cons, as is the more alert Trump.

      The USA is not going to win this one. It will be another Afghanistan

      • JonnyJames
        October 18, 2023 at 14:28

        JB and DT are Zionist puppets yes but: “Jewish Neocons’? What about the Anglo-Zionist imperialist warmongers? Despite the cheap rhetoric, the vast majority of foreign policy establishment, and their “tbink-tank” propaganda mills are imperialist, militarist, warmongering chickenhawks, many of whom are NOT Jewish.

        While the original PNAC neoconservatives were/are disproportionately Jewish, both parties and just about every member of Congress supports Israel ‘unconditionally” most of whom are NOT Jewish. Then we have all the Zionist pro-Israel Christians…

  10. Drew Hunkins
    October 18, 2023 at 11:03

    The fact that certain sectors of the mainstream media are questioning Israeli lawlessness and sadism, tells me there’s a fissure in our ruling class right now between soft Zionists and the lunatic hardcore Zionists.

    • David Marshall
      October 18, 2023 at 11:23

      The fissure is way worse than just over Israel. The elites know that their lives are under threat by conditions that they foist on the entire world. BRICS is the biggest threat to their world.

      • Drew Hunkins
        October 18, 2023 at 17:11


        BRICS coupled with the New Silk Roads are the greatest hope in the world. They’re the first real authentic attack on the City of London, Wall St, parasitic Western finance in a long, long time.

  11. Sick and tired
    October 18, 2023 at 09:36

    Perhaps they remember that we “accidentally” bombed a clearly marked hospital if Afghanistan, killing a number of patients and volunteer doctors. The Israelis and indeed, the Russians, usually just follow our examble.

  12. jamie
    October 18, 2023 at 08:53

    If we focus on this specific accident, and we are waiting for who is culpable, we are missing the point; we have to move to a more holistic approach and system thinking approach to understand this tragedy.
    It won’t matter if it is Israel rocket that hit that hospital, if guilty (as many other times) they would probably say,
    “we are sorry… but nothing compares to the tragedy that Israeli people had witnessed, which compares to more than 20 9/11… we the civilized nations will defeat barbarian nations at all costs (from Netanyahu’s brain)”
    How did we get to the rocket flying in the direction of the hospital in the first place, how the hospital was filled with civilians seeking refuge, how it was possible that their houses were indiscriminately bombed by IDF, a military force from a “civilized country”, how IDF launched this brutal inhumane attack with the support of western “civilized” countries which many sat or sitting at the human right council tables, how the HRC, this useless hypocritical institution along with countless others international institutions failed to be better than the CHR, why and who created these useless institutions and why they are useless…
    Mostly because of us, the western culture its interests and its folly idea of superiority, which allows us to decide who is good or bad; a sick narcissistic idea which might the result of an obsessive fear of the unknown, of a repressed sense of hopelessness, despair and guilt, of a repressed human failure, all of which can be further repressed with more materialistic things, wealth, adrenaline and hyper-stimulation of the “novelty center” of our brain… true or not, we are a dysfunctional culture and we are incapable to lead.

    Journalists from mainstream media are in the “front-line” in this war and Ukrainian war, by hiding facts and truth, one day they might be considered accomplice in those human tragedies; if the west loses the grip, new international institutions will be created or current one restructured according to non-western standards, and perhaps those who fomented wars, use mainstream media for propaganda might be prosecuted… it is a crime against humanity to hide the truth to the public even worse with the goal to foment wars
    But for now, if mainstream media journalists are becoming “more professional and responsible” it is because their newspapers are becoming less appealing and they are losing readers… thanks also to the work of journalists at Consortiumnews

  13. Valerie
    October 18, 2023 at 08:26

    If anyone has the inclination/time/interest, i suggest watching and listening to Sky News’ two items on this:

    First, being a supposed audio recording of a conversation between two Hamas operatives (which Sky News said they could not authenticate) and second, IDF spokesperson giving a news conference and his rendition of the conversation in english. (Together with “TED Talks” like charts.)

    We are not told when or where or how this conversation took place (but sounds like shortly after the attack).

    One “operative” in the audio is blaming the PIJ and the other, seemingly non-plussed about this revelation, then proceeds to inform him from where this missile was launched. They also comment on the type of shrapnel which was found; apparently “local” shrapnel and not “Israeli” shrapnel.

    All this is discussed with the barest emotions/questions/surprise; in comparison to the IDF’s spokesperson’s rendition of the conversation, who gives a stellar performance in amateur dramatics.

    I am not a weapons or military expert but i wonder in all this chaos at the hospital and in a short time, how this analysis of the shrapnel and by whom (in the audio it is only “they”) it came about.

    Compelling evidence it does not make.

  14. Michael Kritschgau
    October 18, 2023 at 06:11

    Utter madness on both sides. That is why I have never taken a side in this not will I ever will.
    I remember when I was a kid during communism in my country, I was watching the communist news and even then there were news about Palestine and Cisiordania (West Bank) and their conflicts with Israel.
    Both sides are mad and one should never get in-between two mad people.

    • J Anthony
      October 19, 2023 at 07:21

      Perhaps, but it’s clear that one side has an extreme advantage over the other, and has created and maintained the conditions that give rise to terrorism against it. That cannot be denied.

Comments are closed.