Lawmakers Press Reuters Over Knowledge Of Hamas Attack

Representative Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) and a bipartisan group of legislators have asked Reuters to clarify if the photographer who recorded the October 7th Hamas raid was aware of the terrorist acts in advance.

Lawler, along with thirteen other lawmakers, wrote a letter to Paul Bascobert, president of Reuters, in which they noted that a Reuters journalist had been able to report on an attack that started early in the morning and asked how the journalist could have covered the unfolding horrors without information being known in advance.

The formal investigation follows a report published approximately two weeks ago by the pro-Israel media watchdog HonestReporting, which questioned the presence of numerous photojournalists on the scene immediately following the start of the early-morning raid on Israel.

HonestReporting clarified that it asked ethical questions “about news outlets’ affiliation with these freelancers, ” not that any publications had intentionally conspired with Hamas.

Associated Press and CNN severed relations with photographer Hassan Eslaiah after the news report ran. Eslaiah had documented the Hamas incursion. A picture shows Eslaiah being kissed on the cheek by Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas and the perpetrator of the massacre that murdered 1,200 Israelis. Earlier this month, the office of Israeli Prime Leader Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the findings, stating that the journalists who have violated their ethics should be held accountable for their role in crimes against humanity.

Lawler and several legislators from all parties are writing letters to the news organizations, asking them to reveal whether or whether they had any information about the Hamas assault beforehand, something that the media had previously denied. As Lawler put it, “It is absolutely over the pale” that these journalists would withhold this knowledge when hundreds of lives were being saved in Gaza and Israel.

Suppose the claims are accurate and the journalists “had previous information of this horrific assault, but said nothing,” as Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul put it. In that case, it is “morally abhorrent” and requires a “thorough examination.”