CNN fires freelance photojournalist who was embedded with Hamas

CNN fires freelance Gaza photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah after claims he and three others were embedded with Hamas terrorists when they invaded Israel on Oct 7 and had prior knowledge of the attack

  •  Photographers mainstream media outlets including CNN, the Associated Press and Reuters appear to have been embedded with Hamas on October 7

CNN has ‘suspended all ties’ with a photojournalist who appears to have been embedded with Hamas on October 7 at the time of the terror group’s barbaric assault on Israel. 

Hassan Eslaiah, who has also worked for the Associated Press, posted several images and videos on X in the midst of the attack including a clip showing Hamas fighters ransacking a burning Israeli attack. ‘All the Israeli soldiers who were in the tank were kidnapped,’ he told his followers. 

HIs firing comes in the wake of a shocking report from media watchdog Honest Reporting who named Eslaia, along with Yousef Masoud, Ali Mahmud, and Hatem Ali, as the four photojournalists whose work was used on October 7. 

Honest Reporting noted that Eslaiah deleted several posts from X page from October 7 in which he wrote about being ‘Live from inside the Gaza Strip settlements.’ 

In response, a CNN spokesperson said the network did not ‘doubt the journalistic accuracy of the work he has done for us, we have decided to suspend all ties with him.’

Hassan Eslaiah, an AP/CNN photographer, with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in an undated photo

Eslaiah posted this video on October 7 showing the ransacking of an Israeli tank

While in a statement to The Washington Times, an Associated Press spokesperson said: ‘The Associated Press had no knowledge of the October 7 attacks before they happened. The role of The Associated Press is to gather information on breaking news events around the world, wherever they happen, even when those events are horrific and cause mass casualties.’

Two photos published by Reuters on October 7 were taken close to the Gaza border as the Hamas invasion began. Honest Reporting notes that photographers Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa and Yasser Qudih ‘happened to be at the border just in time for Hamas’ infiltration.

‘Did the photojournalists who freelance for other media, like CNN and The New York Times, notify these outlets? Judging from the pictures of lynching, kidnapping and storming of an Israeli kibbutz, it seems like the border has been breached not only physically, but also journalistically,’ the Honest Reporting feature read. 

In his video front of attack, Eslaiah is not wearing an  

In 2021, it was widely reported that the Associated Press used the same office space as Hamas in Gaza. 

Eslaiah was previously pictured in a loving embrace with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in an undated photo. 

Honest Reporting was founded by veteran Israeli journalist Gil Hoffman. Its motto is the ‘audience deserves to know.’ 

‘When international news agencies decide to pay for material that has been captured under such problematic circumstances, their standards may be questioned and their audience deserves to know about it,’ one section of their report on Eslaiah reads.

‘And if their people on the ground actively or passively collaborated with Hamas to get the shots, they should be called out to redefine the border between journalism and barbarism.’ 

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