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On January 7, media outlets widely reported that Israel had killed two Palestinian “journalists” in Gaza.
The two “journalists” were freelancers, both working for Al Jazeera: Hamza Al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya. The former was the son of Wael Al-Dahdouh, chief among the Arab journalists reporting from Gaza for Al Jazeera, and the stories about his death made sure to emphasize that he had followed in his father’s footsteps as a journalist.
More on the media’s coverage of the deaths of these “journalists” who, it turned out, were also terrorists, with Al-Dahdouh belonging to Hamas and Thuraya belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, can be found here: “Media Ignore Evidence Showing Slain Gaza “Journalists” Were Terrorists,” by
The stories about the deaths of Al-Jazeera’s freelancers Hamza Al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya, who had also been an AFP contributor, were almost identical: All highlighted the fact that the former was the son of Wael Al-Dahdouh, the Qatar-based TV station’s renowned chief correspondent in Gaza.
The stories focused on the personal tragedy of the father, who had lost his immediate family in the war but continued reporting from the field under dangerous conditions.
Media also quoted Al-Jazeera’s condemnation of the deliberate Israeli “targeting” of journalists and mentioned the number of journalists killed so far in the war according to the flawed data of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Israel does not deliberately target journalists. Let’s remember what happened when the IDF was initially accused of the deliberate killing of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who had been hit while standing near to where a firefight between the IDF and Hamas terrorists was taking place. The IDF investigated, and concluded that an Israeli soldier had shot Abu Akleh, but not intentionally. The American government did its own investigation, and concluded that the Israelis were telling the truth. The Arabs, of course, continue to insist that her death was a deliberate murder.
No media outlet, however, bothered to update or correct their report when on January 10, the Israeli army released evidence proving Al-Dahdouh and Thuraya had been terror operatives.
After the international media had published their sorrow and pity for the two “journalists” killed by the mad-dog Israelis, the IDF provided proof that both men had belonged to terrorist groups. After all, it is possible to be both a journalist and a terrorist; they are not mutually exclusive. But then something strange happened. The media for the most part simply ignored the evidence presented by the IDF, and did not correct their original story about two “journalists” being deliberately murdered….
On X, Emanuel Fabian of the Times of Israel posted the following:
The IDF says two Al Jazeera journalists targeted in an airstrike on Sunday in southern Gaza’s Rafah, were members of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip. The strike was carried out after the IDF said it spotted a terror operative piloting a drone, and subsequently hit a car they were in. Hamza Wael Dahdouh, the son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza correspondent Wael Dahdouh, and Mustafa Thuria, a video stringer for AFP who was also working for Qatar-based television, both died in the strike. The IDF says its intelligence confirms both are members of Gaza-based terror groups and were “actively involved in attacks against IDF forces.” It says Thuria was identified by a document found by troops in Gaza as a member of Hamas’s Gaza City Brigade, serving as a deputy squad commander in one of the battalions. Dahdouh, according to the IDF, is a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It says documents recovered by troops in Gaza reveal he served in Islamic Jihad’s electronic engineering unit, and previously was a deputy commander in the Zeitoun Battalion’s rocket firing force. The IDF attaches a copy of the document showing Dahdouh was a member of Islamic Jihad’s electronic engineering unit.
The IDF had documents showing that Dahdouh was not just a low-level operative in Palestinian Jihad, but a very important one: he was in the PIJ’s electronic engineering unit; before that, he had been the PIJ’s deputy commander in the Zeitoun Battalion’s rocket-firing force. How did the IDF know this? It had found documents identifying Dahdouh in both roles in documents it discovered in one of the PIJ hideouts it raided.
AP’s report also included an emotional-collegial touch:
Palestinian journalists have played an essential role in reporting on the conflict for local and international media outlets, even as many have lost loved ones and been forced to flee their own homes because of the fighting….
Even though AP knew, by the time it published the paragraph above, that Israel had presented irrefutable evidence that Dahdouh and Thuraya had both belonged to terrorist groups, it continued to discuss them as innocent “Palestinian journalists.”
Both stories still say that the Israeli army did not immediately respond to requests for comment….
But once the IDF provided its documentary evidence of the terrorist roles of Hamza Al-Hamdouh and Mustaf Thuraya, both the Times and the Post ought to have corrected their previous stories in light of this new information. Instead of doing so, they chose to blame the IDF for not “immediately responding” to requests for comment, as if that somehow meant that the IDF had lost its right to be heard later, after it had conducted its usual thorough investigation, based on the documents that the soldiers found, of the terror links of both “journalists.” This is, of course, unconscionable nonsense.
Indeed, after the IDF announced that the son had been an Islamic Jihad terrorist, the writers could have discovered that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, albeit in a different sense: Before he became a journalist, the father had been imprisoned in Israel for terrorist activity. According to an Israeli security source, he was affiliated with Islamic Jihad.
But the Washington Post story, and that of The New York Times, were not updated.
The same applies to CNN, ABC News, BBC, and many others. They echoed the tragic human angle or Al-Jazeera’s claims but failed to update their stories or publish new ones when the new information came to light….
In other words, all of those major sources of news — the giants of journalism — stuck with their original misleading story about innocent “journalists” being killed, and refused to publish a correction, based on documents made public by the IDF, that identified Thuraya as a member of Hamas and Dahdouh as a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The two main news agencies AP and Reuters, the major broadcasters BBC, CNN, and ABC News, and the two most important American newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, all failed to correct their initial accounts about the deaths of the “journalists” Thuraya and Hamdouh. None of them reported on the documentary evidence provided by the IDF about these two terrorists who, incidentally, were also working as freelance journalists.
The question is why? Alas, we all know the answer to that.