Netanyahu Demands Answers from CNN, NYT, AP, Reuters, on Embedded Hamas Photographers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration is demanding answers from several prominent news agencies after criticism emerged of their photographers appearing to have been embedded with Hamas terrorists during the October 7 attack.

As Breitbart News reported Wednesday, the Associated Press said that it had no foreknowledge of the attack, even though its photographers appeared alongside Hamas terrorists from the first moments that they broke through the Gaza border fence.

Palestinians transport a captured Israeli civilian, center, from Kibbutz Kfar Azza into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday. (AP Photo)

The pro-Israel media watchdog organization brought up ethical concerns Wednesday, noting that media photographers seemed to have known about the attack and were quite at ease among the terrorists, who were shooting every other civilian they found.

Later, photographs emerged of one of the photographers posing for selfies with the local Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

In a statement, the National Public Diplomacy Directorate of the Prime Ministers’s Office demanded action by news agencies:

The National Public Diplomacy Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office views with utmost gravity that photojournalists working with international media joined in covering the brutal acts of murder perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on Saturday October 7th in the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity; their actions were contrary to professional ethics.
Overnight the Government Press Office issued an urgent letter to the bureau chiefs of the media organizations that employed these photographers and sought clarifications on the matter.
The National Public Diplomacy Directorate demands that immediate action be taken.

Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), which regulates press access in Israel, also issued a statement demanding explanations:

GPO Director Nitzan Chen demands explanations from the bureau chiefs of AP, Reuters, CNN and The New York Times regarding the disturbing findings in the Honest Reporting report on the involvement of their photographers in the events of October 7th, which crosses every red line, professional and moral.
Four photographers who work for these networks documented the horrors perpetrated by the Hamas terrorists after they broke through border fence with Israel. They filmed the murder of civilians, the abuse of bodies and the abduction of men and women.

News agencies have faced criticism in recent years for using photographers or local “stringers” who have sympathy for anti-Israel terrorist groups. Often, these are the only photographers that groups like Hamas and Hezbollah will permit to work in the area.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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