Reuters rejects allegations of foreknowledge of Hamas attack
Thursday, 09 November, 2023, 20:18
In a recent report, media watchdog HonestReporting accused Reuters of potentially having advance knowledge of a Hamas attack on Israel – a claim the news agency vehemently denies.
The journalists identified are Hasan Eslaiah, Yusef Masoud, Ali Mahmud, and Hatem Ali.
HonestReporting obtained screenshots of deleted tweets from Eslaiah, including a selfie with a burning Israeli tank and a caption in Arabic stating, “Live from inside the Gaza Strip settlements.”
The report also highlights a photo of Eslaiah with a Hamas leader, raising ethical concerns about the role of journalists in conflict zones.
Reuters refutes these allegations, stating they had no prior relationship with the freelance photographers involved.
“Reuters 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. 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,” they stated.
The agency also emphasized that its staff journalists were not present at the locations mentioned in the HonestReporting report.
On Oct. 7, Hamas attacked Israel with rockets, leading to casualties and hostage-taking. In response, the Israel Defense Forces initiated Operation Iron Swords, intensifying strikes on the Gaza Strip.
By the night of Oct. 8, Israel announced control restoration over most infiltrated areas, declaring a state of war for the first time since 1973. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to eliminate Hamas terrorists, and Defense Minister Yoav Galan announced a full-scale offensive in Gaza.
Netanyahu declared the second stage of the war on Oct. 28, with the Israeli government approving the expansion of the ground invasion into Gaza.
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