Washington Post admits it 'mischaracterized' story on separation of Gaza mothers and babies

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A correction posted Dec. 28 clarified that it was actually hospital officials who had relayed this incorrect information to two Palestinian mothers.

The Washington Post added a lengthy correction to a month-old news story on Thursday, admitting it had "mischaracterized" some aspects of its story about Palestinian mothers being separated from their babies in the Israel-Hamas war.

 

Washington Post admits it 'mischaracterized' story on separation of Gaza mothers and babies

The Nov. 17 article, "Israel’s war with Hamas separates Palestinian babies from their mothers," described how Israel gave mothers with high-risk pregnancies from Gaza a special permit to travel to Israel to receive potentially life-saving treatment for themselves and their babies. The previous version of the story stated that Israeli rules forced all mothers to travel back to Gaza to renew their permits if their newborns stayed in the hospital for longer than a few weeks.

 

A correction posted Dec. 28 clarified that it was actually hospital officials who had relayed this incorrect information to two Palestinian mothers.

 

"An earlier version of this article about Palestinian mothers in Gaza who have been separated from their newborns mischaracterized some aspects of Israeli rules for permits that allowed some Palestinian women, before Oct. 7, to travel from Gaza to give birth at hospitals in the West Bank and Israel," The Post editor's note stated.

 

ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 15: Four month old baby named Saaidah from Gaza inside an incubator at a hospital in Israel, Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Doctors at the hospital recently were able to get hold of her family who were displaced to Southern Gaza.  (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

The note continued, "The article incorrectly said that all Palestinian mothers who received authorization to leave Gaza for humanitarian reasons had to return to Gaza to reapply after their permits expired. In fact, it was not always necessary for mothers to return to Gaza. The article has been updated to specify that it was hospital officials who told two Palestinian mothers that they needed to return to Gaza to apply for new permits."

 

The updated article explained, "Israeli and Palestinian authorities do allow for mothers’ permits to be extended without a return to Gaza," but cited patient advocates who said these permit extensions can sometimes be hard to obtain.

 

The Post editor's note also confessed it had failed to ask for comment from Israeli officials for the article, which "fell short" of its "standards for fairness."

 

"In addition, The Post neglected to seek comment from Israeli officials for this article, an omission that fell short of The Post’s standards for fairness," the paper stated.

 

"The article has been updated with a statement from an Israeli agency that implements policies in Gaza and the West Bank that says the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants that killed 1,200 Israelis is the primary reason that mothers and babies remain separated. The article has also been updated to describe the post-Oct. 7 status of travel permits out of Gaza," the statement said.

 

A nurse cares for prematurely born Palestinian babies that were brought from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to the hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.  (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

 

An anonymous Israeli spokesperson informed the paper that Israel may attempt to return these infants to their mothers in Gaza through a different border crossing if their "medical conditions permit."

 

The editor's note also stated it had misreported the weight of one of the newborns in the story.

 

This isn't the first time that the paper's reporting on the Israel-Hamas war has been scrutinized.

 

In October, the paper came under fire for downplaying comments from Hamas terrorist supporters as "criticisms of Israel."

 

That same month, The Post quietly edited the caption of a photo after it was criticized by conservatives. The photo caption initially described Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas as having been "detained" by the terrorists. The caption was quickly changed to say they were "taken hostage."


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CRN News - Breaking News: Washington Post admits it 'mischaracterized' story on separation of Gaza mothers and babies
Washington Post admits it 'mischaracterized' story on separation of Gaza mothers and babies
A correction posted Dec. 28 clarified that it was actually hospital officials who had relayed this incorrect information to two Palestinian mothers.
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