Not Ink but Blood: Meet the Hamas Press Corps

In yesterday’s Part 1, I wrote in general terms on the Committee for Protecting Journalists’ tally of Palestine journalists killed by Israeli forces since October 7. I now get into the specifics of many names on the CPJ list and on a Hamas list from which it originated. This illustrates listees’ tight associations and support for the Hamas terror campaign. The prevalence of self-portraits with assault rifles suggests some might even have died with guns in their hands.

Many listees had deep ties to Hamas leaders, according to London investigative journalist David Collier, who has exposed the CPJ flaws in a 150-page report, The “Journalists” of Gaza: a modern-day antisemitic conspiracy theory promoted by mainstream media. He studied all names in a listing of 107 alleged journalists compiled by Hamas and affiliated Palestine Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) at January 4, from which CPJ used 70 for its own list. Collier located social media from 100 of them.

Read Part 1 here

At the funeral of the grandfather of one purported journalist Hazifa Al-Najjar (PJS) in 2017, a pallbearer was Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza’s Hamas commander now being hunted by the IDF. Similarly listed by PJS is slain Gamal Haniya, eldest grandson of Ismail Haniyeh.

Mohammad Khair al-Din (CPJ) posed armed and in full Hamas uniform while with his small kids at a park festival. He posted pics of the kids in Hamas headbands and holding assault rifles. Two of his brothers were slain terrorists. His nephew, Ahmed Khaireddine, also makes the CPJ list as a Hamas journalist. CPJ adds a tribute about Ahmed working for 82 days straight and then being persuaded by a fellow reporting brother to do another assignment in the course of which he was killed. CPJ says the brother mourned, “He wanted to rest, but apparently his rest was forever.”

The CPJ list includes half a dozen Palestinian female media workers. Such women are perhaps the most likely of listees to be authentic journalists. Here’s a check.

Duaa Sharaf: CPJ lists her as a host for Hamas-affiliated Radio Al-Aqsa, covering the “gender” beat. She was killed in Gaza on October 26 “on dangerous assignment”, according to CPJ. Strangely, the same CPJ page also says she was at home with her child in Yarmouk, Gaza, and both died in an air strike. In other words, not on a “dangerous assignment”.

On April 7, 2022, at 9pm, terrorist Raad Khazem from Jenin opened fire on people in Dizengoff Street and its Ilka Bar, Tel Aviv, killing three and injuring six. One of the dead was a 2008 and 2012 Olympic kayaker. A manhunt by 1000 officers found the gunman hiding in a mosque where he had also prayed before his rampage. They killed him in a shootout. Duaa Sharaf posted in celebration of Khazem,

Kill them, may Allah punish them with your hands, and humiliate them and help you against them, and heal the hearts of a believing nation.

Last June 22, she likewise celebrated a terror attack on June 20 that killed four Israelis. She posted a snap of the two laughing Hamas terrorists, labelling them “Paradise people. May God accept your efforts and martyrdom.” On October 7 last year as the catastrophic Hamas attack on Israel unfolded, she got 86 likes and hearts for this:

The scenes from the inside [of Israel] gladdens the heart and makes us thank God a million times for the blessing of resistance. My Lord has really made it, oh the power of God. Oh God your victory that you promised.”[1] She got 86 likes and hearts.

Alaa Taher Al-Hassanat, female TV journalist and presenter, celebrated the murder of seven synagogue worshippers last January 27. She wrote, and got 79 likes, “Blood to blood and head to head and the horror is growing, Jerusalem didn’t sleep on its revenge.” Then she added, “Our street literally lit up with joy. The imam has torn the throat out of Takbeerat” — a Muslim prayer including, ‘granted his soldiers a manifest victory and inflicted decisive defeat on the allied enemies.’

Al-Hassanat also celebrated the Bnei Brak murders of March 29, when a Gazan terrorist infiltrated across a farmers’ access point through the barrier and killed several pedestrians and motorists. He then shot dead a rabbi who was taking his 2yo baby for a walk in a stroller. In a shootout the police killed him, suffering one fatality themselves. Al-Hassanat posted, “What’s all this God, what’s all this God?… Giving from the zaki [pure at heart].” One of her fans added there, “It’s the first time to sacrifice pigs, hahaha.” On October 7, the massacre day, she wrote,

Their blood is above each other in the vaulted rooms. Power and control. The soldiers drawn to the streets of Gaza. Gaza atmosphere and our youth are cheering on it. I swear to God it is scenes and not imagination. The mind can’t comprehend it. O Allah, the supporter of the weak, thank Allah that you have written us to witness this very moment. Keep them [Hamas fighters] firm Oh Lord, we entrust them to you so keep them safe.

A commenter adds to it, “Just like a dream I swear. Oh God bless.”[2]

Haneen Kashtan worked for Fatah-affiliated TV and other outlets and was killed in an air strike on Nuseirat camp in northern Gaza. One of her brothers proudly posted his images as an armed Hamas fighter. Like al-Hassanat, she honoured the Brei Brak terrorist as “the bravest of men” and a “hero”. In another post she honoured a slain young commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Ibrahim Nabulsi, with an image of him holding an assault rifle. Her tribute was, “Your age is not a day and date; you are a revolution and a homeland.”

Iman Al-Aqili, on the PJS list but not the CPJ list, was killed on 24 October. Her image includes a radio mike labelled “News”. Collier checked her Facebook and finds she celebrated the murder of four Israelis in Ber Sheva on March 22, 2022. She exulted: “And they became four”. What had happened? A terrorist, al-Kiyan, drove into a petrol station and murdered a woman worker with a knife. He next drove to a shopping centre, running over and killing a Chabad rabbi on a bike. After that, he drove to another mall and stabbed a 47-year-old woman to death in the clothing section. Then he killed a 67-year-old man at a roundabout. A bus driver approached, thinking there had been an accident, and al-Kiyan lunged at him with his knife. The driver shot him dead. This rampage by al-Kiyan lasted only eight minutes but was the second-deadliest in Israel since 2017. The “journalist” Al-Aqili’s celebration got 38 “Likes” and “Loves”.[3]

Some months later she did another post honouring terrorist Uday Al-Tamimi. who murdered a soldier and a guard. She wrote, “Despite all the bullets he got, he kept on fighting until the last breath. It’s a scene for history…” She uploaded a grainy video of the murders and gets 20 sets of applause.

On October 7’s massacre day at 8am she celebrated the on-going slaughter, rape, torture and kidnapping of 1400 Israeli civilians by joking about the arrival of the hostages in Gaza:  “The Jews are now bringing delivery. May God protect you [terrorist] guys.” An Israeli strike killed her a fortnight later.

Discussing now male listees, Hassuna Salim (CPJ) is described as a “freelancer”. On the morning of the October 7 massacre, he had hundreds of posts on his Telegram channel. One video he posted showed terrorists entering a room with a slaughtered family on the floor. Beneath that gruesome image he posted a flood of laughing emojis. In his commentary, Collier writes:

More importantly, at 6:36am he posted a directive from Islamic Jihad that called upon everyone with a weapon to pick up their gun and fight. Messages such as these sent hundreds of armed ‘civilians’ across into Israel to help Hamas rape, torture and murder. This is not a journalist. It is a terrorist operative – and it is indicative of exactly what the CPJ are protecting. Astonishing to believe but the CPJ are batting for this man and those like him.

Collier discovers that CPJ named one source for its list as a media worker in Gaza called Ziad Almokayyed. This “media worker” posted a triumphant pic of two Hamas gunmen arriving by gyrocopter for the slaughter at the Israeli’s Nova Music Festival on October 7, with a caption, “Kick them in the door”.

The anti-Israel media love Hamas-approved video and stills of Gaza journalists’ funerals, such as one  captioned

People in Gaza City, mostly journalists, gather around the bodies of two reporters—Mohammed Sobh, a photographer from Khabar news agency, and Saeed al-Taweel, the editor-in-chief of Al-Khamsa News—who were killed by an Israeli air strike on October 10th.

Al-Taweel also surfaces on the CPJ list, but Collier found social media postings in which he celebrates the slaughter of seven Israelis at a Jerusalem synagogue last January 27. Al-Taweel posted next day, earning 45 likes: “Poison them, sharpen them and drag them, teach them, hit them like ducks, squeeze them, whip them, crush them…”

That same day a 13-year-old schoolboy in Jerusalem added a handgun to his lunchbag and shot and wounded an Israeli father and son. Al-Taweel begged the principal to endorse the boy’s study record despite his arrest and injury: “His national presence is stronger than any need to describe.”

On March 9, Taweel was celebrating a Hamas fighter from the armed wing shooting and wounding three in central Tel Aviv, two critically, before being shot dead. Taweel boasted on Facebook that the shooter had coffee and juice with him just before the Hamas mission. “How does it feel when he is treated comfortably minutes before he goes on his operation?” Taweel asked rhetorically.

If the late Taweel was, as CPJ claims, “editor-in-chief of the Al-Khamsa News website” — just an innocent journalist, don’t you know — I’ll eat my hat.

 Muhammad Al-Salehi (CPJ): He posted a pic of marching uniformed Hamas troops and wrote, “And our soldiers were the majority of them.” For a funeral of a Hamas commander, he posted, “The living hero in everyone’s hearts.”

Mustafa Al-Sawaf (CPJ) is described in Gaza as a “veteran Palestinian editor and analyst”, slain in an airstrike on his Gaza home along with family and two sons, also described as journalists. Al Sawaf’s “journalism” includes excerpts such as

This will not be an easy battle, but rather a difficult war, in which the occupation will use all its power….I believe this will be the first decisive battle in which we, with the help of Allah, will emerge victorious.

With curious naivete, the Palestinian report says Al Sawaf was a correspondent writing hundreds of articles published by “many international news organisations” and starring as talent on many Western TV channels. It continues its biography,

He was also affiliated with the Gaza-based resistance group Hamas. Al Sawaf contributed to establishing the media wing and Center for Research Studies of the al Qassem brigades, the military wing of Hamas … Apart from his journalistic work, Al Sawaf also served in senior positions in the [Hamas-run] Ministry of Culture and Social Development in Gaza.

His books include Martyrs of the Days of Rage (2005) and Hamas from Memory (2017). I wonder which gullible Western news agencies were taking his so-called journalism without disclosing he was part of the Al-Qassem Brigade’s infrastructure? The sleuth Collier picked up that, over the past year, Al Sawaf celebrated three deadly terror attacks on Israelis. In what reads like military strategy the “journalist” posted last August,

It is nice for the Zionist entity to live in a state of fear, terror and confusion for more days as it constitutes a state of exhaustion of its capabilities, its army and its budget. The resistance must give him the opportunity he seeks and the resistance must wait a little as the coming days will be enough to achieve what [it] wants.

Ahmed Al-Qara (CPJ) is described on the list as a “also a freelancer” but he was actually a university public relations worker. CPJ cites two sources for the “freelancer” claim, neither of which call him a freelancer, Collier says it’s either artistic licence or a dishonest entry.

Al-Qara celebrated on social media last February 10 an East Jerusalem driver ramming a crowd at a bus stop, killing a 6-year-old boy and a newly wed yeshiva student before being shot dead. He also celebrated with fun emojis the synagogue slauther of the seven Israeli worshippers. Last April he posted a pic of his slain brother, Abdullah, posing with a rifle aimed the camera and Hamas symbols for a backdrop. Al-Qara’s young son shortly before October 7 posted a fan-pic of an armed Hamas fighter in full uniform.

For slain Abdallah Alwan, CPJ cites his Facebook page where he deplores Israel’s destruction of his home, where two nieces were killed. If CPJ had continued perusing Alwan’s pages, they’d have found him celebrating and joking about the November 2022 terror blasts against bus-stop crowds in Israel, calling it “dudes hitting goals of a different kind”, and gaining 333 sets of applause. On the day of the October 7 massacre he posted, “Whoever did not live this moment missed everything. The glory moments we live are priceless.”

And this is a “journalist”?

Ahmed Shehab (CPJ) worked for “Voice of the Prisoners” radio, another Islamic Jihad outfit. His terrorist father spent 23 years in an Israeli jail. Islamic Jihad itself called the father an Islamic State (IS) Commander who had set up a military think-tank. Father and son died together in an Israeli strike.

To conclude, Israel is engaged in an existential military campaign to wipe out Hamas in Gaza — or in IDF-speak, “neutralise” its entire terrorist membership and infrastructure. Any day now, the warfare could erupt on half a dozen new fronts, putting Israel’s existence at risk.

One of the best strategic weapons of Israel’s attackers is their influence in the gullible or anti-Semitic Western media, and this influence stems from the insurgents’ propaganda operatives. Israeli killings of any authentic Palestinian journalists is a tragic by-product of the war. But killings of Hamas operatives in Gaza masquerading or doubling as journalists is a different issue.

Tony Thomas’s new book from Connor Court is Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. $34.95 from Connor Court here

[1] Some awkwardness in their quotes in English derives from google-translated Arabic.

[2] CPJ has taken her off its list of killed journalists after suggestions she survived the Israeli attack.

[3] Among foreigners condemning the attack was even Russian President Putin.

[4] A search for her name on today’s CPJ website failed and I have asked David Collier for clarification.

One thought on “Not Ink but Blood: Meet the Hamas Press Corps

  • STD says:

    A couple of thoughts. These Islamic journalistic jihad warriors don’t think the Western left are idiots; they know they are useful idiots.
    As a kind little Iranian lady who knew the Shah personally, told me-Muslim’s are bad!
    At least be on your guard without exception!
    Can some one please tell me the Western imperative for Islamic immigration?
    Tony, I wonder if all those so called Albanese refugees – some 900 from Gaza are now living on the Australian taxpayer teat!

    Maybe just maybe Albanese got something sort of right on this left wing Islamic immigration front – in only taking their women; in the main it is the men who are the foot soldiers of Allah – their women in general seem to lack the hot blooded attitudes of Allah’s testosterone murderous nourishment and mindset.

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