On Thursday, The U.K Daily Mail reported that a CNN journalist was embedded with Hamas on October 7th and had prior knowledge of the attack. CNN has since fired the journalist.
The article reports:
Hassan Eslaiah has been filing photographs of the conflict to CNN and The Associated Press since the Hamas attack on October 7. They include images of a burning Israeli tank from which soldiers were kidnapped.
Now, photos have emerged of him posing with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. He also posted a now-deleted video to Twitter in which he described how Hamas fighters kidnapped Israeli soldiers from the burning tank.
The article concludes:
Honest Reporting notes that photographers Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa and Yasser Qudih ‘happened to be at the border just in time for Hamas’ infiltration.’
In response to the reporters, a Reuters spokesperson said that the agency acquired pictures on October 7 from photographers that it did not previously have a relationship with.
‘The photographs published by Reuters were taken two hours after Hamas fired rockets across southern Israel and more than 45 minutes after Israel said gunmen had crossed the border. Reuters staff journalists were not on the ground at the locations referred to in the HonestReporting article,’ the statement also reads.
‘Did the photojournalists who freelance for other media, like CNN and The New York Times, notify these outlets? Judging from the pictures of lynching, kidnapping and storming of an Israeli kibbutz, it seems like the border has been breached not only physically, but also journalistically,’ the HonestReporting feature read.
In his video front of attack, Eslaiah appears to be wearing his own clothes and is not identifiable as a member of the media.
In 2021, it was widely reported that the Associated Press used the same office space as Hamas in Gaza.
Eslaiah was previously pictured in a loving embrace with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in an undated photo.
Honest Reporting was founded by veteran Israeli journalist Gil Hoffman. Its motto is the ‘audience deserves to know.’
‘When international news agencies decide to pay for material that has been captured under such problematic circumstances, their standards may be questioned and their audience deserves to know about it,’ one section of their report on Eslaiah reads.
‘And if their people on the ground actively or passively collaborated with Hamas to get the shots, they should be called out to redefine the border between journalism and barbarism.’
There should be a more severe penalty for withholding information about a surprise attack on innocent civilians.