MSM Accused Of Advanced Knowledge Of Terror Attack

The Israeli government has claimed that freelance photographers for major news outlets like The New York Times are “accomplices” to Hamas’s murder and kidnapping of Israeli troops and civilians.

The government has jumped on a study by the media watchdog Honest Reporting that claims The Times and other news outlets are biased against Israel in their reporting on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Six photographers located in Gaza documented the October 7 Hamas incursion into Israel for the Associated Press and Reuters, and the monitoring group questioned their motivations.

According to the news account, one of the photographers, identified as Hassan Eslaiah, snapped photos of a burning home in Kibbutz Kfar Azza, the site of the tragic incident. The Times called the accusations that it had been warned about the assaults in advance or that its reporters had accompanied Hamas terrorists “untrue and obscene.”

As reported by the Times on October 7, “he was doing what photojournalists normally do during major news events, chronicling the catastrophe as it unfolded,” according to Masoud’s AP work.

As with the real combat, the issue surrounding photographers in Gaza is part of a bigger information war. The public narrative is continuously being swayed in one direction or another by allegations and counterclaims, frequently based on doctored photographs or disinformation, that surface on social media platforms. Israeli and American intelligence services later refuted Hamas’ claims that an Israeli military attack had killed 500 people at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. Israel and Egypt have restricted the ability of Western media to reach the Gaza Strip. Because of Hamas’s stringent regulations on the media, most news organizations have to rely on residents of the enclave to provide coverage there.

Honest Reporting has stuck behind its reporting, arguing that it has a responsibility to scrutinize the role performed by the photographers that day. The Associated Press also indicated that it had no early information of the incident but was no longer employing Eslaiah. The photographer had submitted the first and most thorough documentation of the terrorist attack. Mr. Eslaiah also posted a video on X purportedly showing him riding a motorcycle in Israel brandishing a hand grenade, and he appeared in a photo with Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader who planned the operation. In the photo he is being kissed by the terrorist.

Both CNN and Reuters have severed connections with Mr. Eslaiah and denied any involvement with Hamas or previous knowledge of the incident.