CNN journalist apologises for repeating claim Hamas beheaded babies

CNN journalist apologises for repeating claim Hamas beheaded babies
Sara Snider said that she "needed to be more careful with my words" after claiming Hamas beheaded babies at the Kfar Aza kibbutz.
2 min read
14 October, 2023
The Hamas attack on southern Israel on 7 October killed 1,300 Israelis [Getty]

A CNN journalist who reported live that the office of Benjamin Netanyahu could confirm that babies were beheaded has apologised for reporting the claims, saying she had been mislead.

Sara Sidner issued an apology on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, following a statement by the Israeli government that it could not confirm the incident.

In the apology she stated that "yesterday the Israeli Prime Minister's office said that it had confirmed Hamas beheaded babies and children while we were live on 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 added. 

In addition to Sidner's personal apology, CNN also issued an update on X stating that Israel could not confirm the claims, "contradicting a previous statement."

Claims that children were beheaded at the Kfar Aza kibbutz first circulated following a live broadcast by Israeli news channel i24News.

Its reporter stated that "babies, their heads cut off" were among those found following the Israeli army's recapture of the kibbutz, citing testimonies from Israeli soldiers.

They claim quickly spread through the international press and across social media. US President Joe Biden said that he "never really thought that I would see, have confirmed pictures of terrorists, beheading children."

His remarks were later clarified by the White House, who stated that "President Joe Biden and other US officials have not seen or independently confirmed that Hamas terrorists beheaded Israeli children," citing "Netanyahu's spokesperson and media reports from Israel" for the comments.

Hamas killed 1,300 Israeli's during their attack on southern Israel on 7 October. Israel responded by indiscriminately bombing and besieging the Gaza Strip, flattening entire districts and killing over 2,200 Palestinians, including over 700 children.

In preparation for a ground offensive, Israel has told Gaza's 1.1 million residents in the north of the strip to move southwards, stoking fears of ethnic cleansing.