Amid conflicting claims on Gaza hospital parking lot bombing, many news outlets fall short of standards

It will be a lot better if some them quit the business altogether

Shankar Narayan
5 min readOct 18, 2023
Just say whatever (Licensed Image)

In the midst of the chaos surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict, a tragic event unfolded: a blast on a Gaza City hospital parking lot resulted in the deaths of civilians. Initial finger-pointing cast blame on Israel, while others pointed to Hamas.

In the immediate aftermath of the hospital parking lot explosion, some of the world’s most renowned news organizations unquestioningly relayed the claims of Hamas controlled Gaza Strip officials, attributing responsibility to Israel.

Some channels made definitive statements to this effect in their initial reports.

However, as time passed, a more complex narrative emerged.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vehemently denied their involvement in the hospital parking lot strike and the resulting civilian casualties. The IDF placed the blame squarely on Palestinian Islamic Jihad, asserting that the hospital parking lot had been hit by an errant rocket from this group. The Israel Defense Forces released intelligence materials, including satellite images, intercepted phone calls, and other details to debunk the case made by first out of the gate reporters.

News organizations were forced to adjust their coverage, as the data presented by the IDF became too much to ignore.

I followed extensive media coverage during the events, particularly paying attention to a non-U.S. news outlet. At the outset, this outlet appeared to strongly align with Hamas, almost functioning as its mouthpiece, but eventually, they modified their stance.

While they still appear to advocate a particular agenda, it’s somewhat more balanced than their earlier approach. Their initial stance influenced the reporting style of many other outlets, leading to a rather sensational and unconventional reporting standard.

However, these camera-first, facts-later organizations had already caused enormous harm by that point.

Their coverage led to huge ramifications, disrupting high-level meetings connected to President Biden’s planned visit to Israel and neighboring Jordan on Wednesday. Jordan canceled a summit with President Biden, the leaders of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

This is the image of the blast site.

Can you see the two buildings standing right next to the car park with a solar roof on top of them? That must be one of the world’s strongest solar roof. The lack of damage to buildings next to the blast site is way too hard to ignore.

Senior Research Fellow for Airpower and Military Technology at RUSI, London, Professor at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, and a Pilot, Justin Bronk, says “No crater or obvious shrapnel pattern consistent with standard IAF JDAM/Mk80 series bombs visible in this image. Still not conclusive, but IF this is the extent of the damage then I’d say an airstrike looks less likely than a rocket failure causing an explosion and fuel fire”.

This is the furthest point to which anyone can reasonably go. It’s not necessary to unquestionably accept either Israel’s or Hamas’s accounts. It’s entirely possible that both sides made errors and, rather than acknowledging them, they may seek to shift blame onto the other.

Any media company worthy of a pinch of salt, would have waited before declaring anything conclusive. As soon as the blast occurred, they went overboard, accusing Israel of murdering innocent patients. That too in the hundreds. That was the first shocker I had.

How did you know how many people died and so fast??????? Is that even possible?

No reason to wait.

No time to investigate.

That is called spinning a narrative.

Not reporting.

And this was not even the kind of news where you can write an opinion on. The reason is, you still don’t have enough data to base it on. Shame on you media. It is because of people like you that we get gifted with politicians like Donald Trump.

Seeing the images of the explosion as they began circulating in the media was truly startling. However, the details were far from clear, and a particular media channel, which I prefer not to mention, prematurely jumped to the conclusion that Israel was responsible.

Having worked as a reporter in the past, I found this stance utterly perplexing.

I frequently cover topics related to the Russian military, and in many cases, there’s a delay of a day or two before my stories are published. The reason for this is that I source my information from both Russian and Western military bloggers. I use their analyses to gather data and then await secondary confirmation from sources like ISW (Institute for the Study of War) and trustworthy individuals whom I trust. It’s only when I have corroborating information from two disconnected and reliable sources that I form a definitive conclusion.

If I still find it necessary to write about it, I’ll simply present the possibility of this event unfolding in a different manner and conclude at that point. However, the international media did not handle this explosion case in a similar manner. They are now fervently retracting their initial evaluations, and it’s disheartening to see. Some individuals in this field should consider leaving it.

I currently lack sufficient information to definitively assign blame in either direction. However, in my view, it would be highly unwise for Israel to target a hospital parking lot shortly before President Biden’s arrival in their country, given their critical need for his support.

If they had indeed taken such an action, they should be prepared for the consequences that may arise from this explosion.

I have a single question for the primary news outlet: How long would it have taken to provide an accurate portrayal of the damage inflicted on the hospital structure? Based on the photographic evidence available to me, the hospital structure appears to be largely intact, which raises numerous unsettling questions. I have requested the IDF to provide the before and after images of the hospital building.

Additionally, the reporters claiming to be on the ground have not shown us any visible external or internal damage to surrounding buildings. Until we get those details, this must remain a story that was inflamed by the media for its selfish reasons.

I have one prediction on this one: The hospital was not hit. It was the parking lot. The truth will come out after the media dust settles down.

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Shankar Narayan

Lov stats and hate status-quo. Forecasted all the states Biden won in 2020. Correctly forecasted the twin Georgia elections in 2021, House and Senate in 2022.