Embedded with Hamas: Media Outlets Cut Ties with Gaza Photographers

25th anniversary of Hamas | Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Prominent media organizations are moving to disassociate themselves from photographers based in Gaza, following revelations that these individuals were present with Hamas militants during an attack on Israeli citizens on October 7th. The Associated Press (AP), Reuters and CNN have all denied any prior knowledge of the attack.

Evidence has emerged suggesting photographers were embedded with Hamas as the terrorist organization infiltrated the border out of Gaza, leading to speculation about their foreknowledge of the surprise assault. One photographer in particular, Hassan Eslaiah, whose work has been featured in numerous international and Israeli outlets, was not only present during the October 7th attacks but is also alleged to have close ties with Hamas.

In response to these allegations, CNN has severed its professional relationship with Eslaiah. CNN press officer Train Kumar stated, “While we have not at this time found reason to doubt the journalistic accuracy of the work he has done for us, we have decided to suspend all ties with him.” The AP and Reuters have also distanced themselves from Eslaiah but stopped short of denying any connections their freelance photographers might have with Hamas.

Reuters told The Daily Wire that it “categorically denies” having prior knowledge of the attack or embedding journalists with Hamas on October 7. The outlet explained that it had obtained photographs from two freelancers who were at the border on the morning of the attack, with whom they had no previous association.

The New York Times, which also published images from embedded photographers, has yet to comment on the matter.

This episode has intensified the ongoing debate about anti-Israel bias in the media. In one notable instance, the media erroneously blamed Israel for a hospital explosion caused by terrorists. This inaccurate reportage led to widespread protests against the Jewish state and Jewish people globally.

Eslaiah’s close relationship with terrorist groups in Gaza has been highlighted through posts showing him kissing Hamas leadership in Gaza and carrying a grenade while traveling by motorcycle in the territory controlled by the terrorist organization.

This issue has raised concerns about journalistic integrity and the potential risks of freelance photographers developing close relationships with militant groups.