Were press photographers traveling with Hamas terrorists?

Were press photographers traveling with Hamas terrorists?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu’s office wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter) on Thursday: “These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity, their actions violated professional ethics.”

The media were asked in writing to clarify this and take immediate action.

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The website “HonestReporting” initially expressed suspicion that freelance photographers from the US broadcaster CNN, the “New York Times” and the news agencies AP and Reuters were directly present at the massacres on October 7th. More than 1,400 people were killed and 239 were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip.

The AP news agency wrote about the allegations: “AP uses images from freelancers around the world, including in Gaza. The Associated Press had no knowledge of the October 7 attack before it happened.”

“First images more than an hour after the attacks began”

The AP statement continued: “The first images obtained by AP from a freelancer show that they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began. No AP staffer was at the location at the time of the attacks border, nor has any AP employee crossed the border at any time.”

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The Israeli news site “ynet” told CNN that in light of the report, the broadcaster had ended its collaboration with one of the photographers mentioned.

The Reuters news agency wrote: “We are aware of the HonestReporting report and the allegations against two freelance photographers who contributed to Reuters reporting on October 7th. Reuters categorically denies knowing about the attack in advance or Hamas on October 7th.”

Reuters acquired two photos from photographers at the border

Reuters acquired photos from two Gaza-based freelance photographers who were at the border on the morning of October 7, the news agency said. There had previously been no business relationship with the photographers. “The photos published by Reuters were taken two hours after Hamas fired rockets into southern Israel and more than 45 minutes after Israel said gunmen had crossed the border,” the Reuters statement said. “Reuters journalists were not on site at the locations mentioned in the HonestReporting article.”

The New York Times rejected the accusation of having known about the terrorist attack in advance as “untrue and outrageous.” “Making such allegations is reckless and puts our journalists in Israel and Gaza at risk,” it said in a statement. The newspaper explained to a freelance photographer named by “HonestReporting” that he was not working for the “NYT” on October 7th. “He has done important work for us since then.”

Questions about reporting

Some photos from AP were broadcast on dpa Bildfunk. A dpa spokesman in Hamburg said that dpa had asked its partner agency AP to clarify how these images came about and whether these freelance photographers had been informed in advance about Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel.

HonestReporting wrote on social media platform The organization did not accuse Reuters of collusion. “We rightly raised some serious ethical questions about how news organizations work with these freelancers and asked important and relevant questions that everyone deserves an answer to.”

Israel is demanding clarification from Reuters and the other media outlets named by HonestReporting, said Israeli government spokesman Nitzan Chen. What the report describes crosses every red line, “professionally and morally.” The Israeli prime minister’s office said it viewed with “extreme seriousness” suspicions that journalists working for international media took part in reporting on the Hamas attack.

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