On Tuesday night, the U.S. intelligence community doubled down on its initial findings that an errant rocket from an Islamic group inside Gaza was what landed in the vicinity of a Gazan hospital on October 17 as well as the fact that the death toll was far lower than what Hamas claimed.
Unsurprisingly, it received scant attention on the network evening newscasts as the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News kept their viewers away from this key finding about a narrative the liberal media helped perpetuate that Israel attacked a hospital. ABC wasn’t any better with only 16 seconds.
On World News Tonight, ABC correspondent Matt Gutman tacked on a brief summation of the finding at the end of his lead-off segment on the day’s events in the Middle East:
And about that explosion at the Gaza hospital, the U.S. intelligence community — and there's the moment it happened — now believing it was an errant Palestinian missile that hit that hospital, not an Israeli bomb. They also now believe the death toll was likely far lower than initially reported.
The Wall Street Journal’s Warren P. Strobel said in a story that “U.S spy agencies have high confidence that a malfunctioning Palestinian rocket, and not an Israeli munition, struck a hospital,” citing an “analysis of imagery, video, open source reports and the impact crater”.
Stroebel added that “[t]he Hamas-led Health Ministry has said 471 people died in the explosion,” but “U.S. officials said the death toll is between 100 and 300, and likely at the low end of that range.”
The findings, he explained, followed those from “the United Kingdom, Canada and others--appeared in part to be an effort to influence public opinion in the Muslim world, where Israel is widely blamed for the tragedy.”
As for which group inside Gaza fired the rocket meant for Israel, U.S. intelligence has “low confidence” it “was fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group” on the basis of “an intercepted communication...in which two Hamas-affiliated militants speculate on the PIJ’s responsibility.”
In The Times, reporters Julian Barnes and David Sanger wrote in part that “American intelligence officials...had ‘high confidence’ that the blast at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza last week was the result of a Palestinian rocket...and that no Israeli weapon was involved” and “no evidence” Israel “could have been responsible.”
Barnes and Sanger refused to cite in their piece how their own paper played concoct the false narrative that Israel was to blame.
They also left out their own paper’s editor’s note Monday admitting it “relied too heavily on claims by Hamas, and did not make clear that those claims could not immediately be verified” and “should have taken more care with the initial presentation, and been more explicit about what information could be verified.”
Of course, ABC, CBS, and NBC have yet to make such an on-air mea culpa.