WorldIsrael at War


Major media orgs deny knowing about Hamas terrorist attack beforehand

The media watchdog group HonestReporting suggested freelance photographers may have been tipped off to the attacks.
Candles are placed on an Israeli flag at a vigil for the victims of the Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas.
Posted at 2:14 PM, Nov 10, 2023

Several of the world's largest news media organizations are speaking out after an Israeli watchdog group suggested they may have had advanced knowledge about the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack that killed an estimated 1,400 Israeli civilians.

HonestReporting, which describes itself as being devoted to fighting media disinformation about Israel and Zionism, published a report Wednesday that suggested freelance photographers working with outlets like CNN, The New York Times, Reuters and The Associated Press may have been tipped off prior to the attack. While the report did not make the accusations against any news outlets specifically, it did suggest the photographers — whose work was used by the organizations — may have known.

“Is it conceivable to assume that ‘journalists’ just happened to appear early in the morning at the border without prior coordination with the terrorists?” HonestReporting wrote on its website. “Or were they part of the plan?”

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CNN, The New York Times, Reuters and The Associated Press have since issued statements denying having any prior knowledge of the attacks. 

"The accusation that anyone at The New York Times had advance knowledge of the Hamas attacks or accompanied Hamas terrorists during the attacks is untrue and outrageous," the Times said in a statement. "It is reckless to make such allegations, putting our journalists on the ground in Israel and Gaza at risk."

While HonestReporting has since said it was merely asking questions and not stating facts, the report did cause two Israeli politicians to call for the deaths of the photographers. And despite the name "HonestReporting," the group does not claim to be a news organization.