CNN reporter apologises for repeatedly claiming Hamas beheading babiestext_fields
CNN reporter Sara Sidner issued a public apology after airing unconfirmed claims by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office that Hamas had beheaded babies during the weekend's attacks. Sidner acknowledged the lack of verification and expressed regret for not being more cautious with her words.
The controversy unfolded when the Israeli government contradicted its earlier statement, stating that it could not confirm the reported beheadings. Sidner defended her reporting by emphasizing that she was relaying information from heads of governments, highlighting the complexities of navigating rapidly evolving situations.
“Yesterday the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said that it had confirmed Hamas beheaded babies & children while we were live on the air. The Israeli government now says today it CANNOT confirm babies were beheaded. I needed to be more careful with my words and I am sorry,” she said.
Online criticism followed Sidner's apology, prompting a plea for civility in online discussions. Sidner responded, noting the challenges of reporting on statements from government officials and the subsequent retractions.
The context of the incident lies in the backdrop of Israeli forces launching a robust military campaign against the Gaza Strip in response to alleged provocations by the Palestinian group Hamas.
Hamas, in turn, claimed its actions were retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and increasing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.