Written by Jack Elbaum
What’s happening: Media watchdog HonestReporting revealed Gaza-based freelance photojournalists contracted by outlets such as the Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, and Reuters produced photos at the Gaza border — and inside Israeli territory — during the early hours of the October 7th Hamas jihadist attack.
The details: Pictures showed an Israeli tank on fire, a house ablaze in Kfar Aza Kibbutz, Palestinians breaching the Israeli border fence, the kidnapping of elderly people, a lynching of an Israeli soldier, and the limp, naked body of who we now know to be Shany Louk.
- Can’t miss it: It appears that these Gaza-based photojournalists joined in illegally breaching the Israeli security fence during the attack.
There's more: CNN and AP-affiliated photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah, who photographed an Israeli tank from within Israeli territory, took a selfie and video with the tank in which he is not wearing a press vest or helmet. A photo of him getting kissed on the cheek by Yahya Sinwar, a top Hamas leader and mastermind behind the October 7 attack, later resurfaced. He has since been fired by CNN.
- More: He also posted a video of himself on a motorbike with a grenade in Israel during the attack.
- Context: It was recently revealed that in 2021 the Associated Press shared a building with Hamas operatives who would regularly harass and threaten the journalists, disrupting objective reporting.
Still unclear: Some suggest these photojournalists were coordinated in advance with Hamas. The AP’s website indicates the pictures were taken a few hours after the initial Israeli border breach, and the AP and Reuters have denied any claim of coordination.