In the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, most U.S. news outlets roundly condemned the deadly actions of Hamas militants — even if some of them went on to cite dubious Hamas-linked sources regarding casualties and attacks in Palestine.
SMH – @NBCNews uses #Hamas as their “news” source. “Palestinian health officials” are #Hamas. Other media outlets are doing the same. They have completely delegitimized themselves and destroyed the last crumb of integrity they had. https://t.co/bMCW53c9de
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) October 19, 2023
Prior to the attack, however, journalists representing some major media companies were apparently prepared to capture the news because they were already embedded within cells of Hamas terrorists. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling out organizations, including the Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times and Reuters, demanding answers regarding reports that their photographers were comfortable alongside the terrorists and possibly even knew about the attack ahead of time.
The media watchdog group Honest Reporting chronicled much of the damning evidence, including one photographer posing alongside Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar for a social media post.
“The National Public Diplomacy Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office views with the utmost gravity that photojournalists working with international media joined in covering the brutal acts of murder perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, October 7, in the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” wrote a Netanyahu representative in response to the recent accusations.
Israel’s Government Press Office also weighed in, calling for an explanation from the news outlets apparently involved, asserting that the behavior “crosses every red line, professional and moral.”
The photographers who provided coverage used by these outlets were apparently locals who achieved some level of trust within Hamas, but organizations, including the AP have already denied that they had any prior knowledge about the attack.
“The Associated Press had no knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks before they happened,” the agency wrote in a statement. “The role of the AP is to gather information on breaking news events around the world, wherever they happen, even when those events are horrific and cause mass casualties. AP uses images taken by freelancers around the world, including in Gaza.”
Reuters provided a similar statement, explaining that it “acquired photographs from two Gaza-based freelance photographers who were at the border on the morning of Oct. 7, with whom it did not have a prior relationship.”