Congress probes news outlets accused of knowing about planned Oct. 7 invasion

Associated Press, Reuters face questioning from Congress amid allegations their reporters had foreknowledge of Hamas invasion.

By Susan Tawil, World Israel News

Members of Congress are asking the Associated Press (AP) and UK’s Reuters news services what their front-line journalists knew about the October 7 Gaza terror attack on Israel, prior to the invasion, amid allegations photojournalists working for both outlets were aware of the planned attacks ahead of time.

News reporters and photojournalists on-site at the early morning raid seem to indicate advance knowledge of the event, an investigative report found earlier this month.

The news outlets deny any involvement.

A bi-partisan group of 13 congressmen, led by New York’s Michael Lawler (R), along with Michael T. McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent letters to the news services, asking pointed questions inquiring about the “facts on the ground,” including how reporters “just happened to be” at the very place of the surprise attack, at the very unlikely early morning hour (5 to 6 am) of its occurrence.

While being “first on scene” provides journalists and photographers with a lucrative, sensationalistic news “scoop,” it also calls into question ethical issues which must be addressed.

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The October 7 Hamas attack resulted in the murder, rape, torture, burning, and mutilation of over 1,200 Israelis, the wounding of thousands more, and the abduction of some 240 men, women, and children, from ages 9 months to 90.

“That these journalists would knowingly not share this information, and in the process save thousands of Israeli and Gazan lives, is simply beyond the pale,” said Representative Lawler.

On November 9, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office posted on X:

“These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity; their actions were contrary to professional ethics…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 news outlets are distancing themselves from the accusations. Reuters responded, saying that it “categorically denies that it had prior knowledge of the attack, or that we embedded journalists with Hamas on Oct. 7.”

Lauren Easton, Director of Media Relations for the AP, said in a statement: “The Associated Press had no knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks before they happened.”

The AP and CNN both ran photos taken by freelance photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah, who seemed to be at the attack sites from the start, enjoying his time with the Palestinian murderers.

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Early that morning, Eslaiah posted gory images from the massacre, accompanied by a verse from the Koran: “And on that day, the believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah.” He included the hashtag “#AqsaFlood.” (“Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” is the name given by the Hamas Palestinians for the current conflict.)

The news outlets say they have severed ties with Eslaiah, after he was identified together with Hamas terrorists during the surprise attack on unsuspecting Israelis.