Two people who worked for the Palestinian terror group Hamas will be honored in Washington Monday as “journalists” after they were killed in Gaza last year.
The Newseum — a journalism museum — on Monday will honor 84 people who lost their lives in 2012 while covering the news.
All 84 names will be added to the permanent Journalists Memorial inside the museum.
(Photo via Flickr user jsmjr)
Additionally, they will be featured in an outdoor exhibit for three days next week in front of the building.
Finally, this Saturday night, the names and photos of all 84 people will be projected on the 74-foot-high “First Amendment tablet” on the front of the museum.
Among those being honored are two terrorists — Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama — who worked for Al-Aqsa Television, a Hamas-funded network.
The United States government considers Al-Aqsa to be a terrorist organization.
“Also designated today is Al-Aqsa Television,” the U.S. Treasury Department announced in 2010, “a television station financed and controlled by Hamas.”
According to the Treasury Department, “Al-Aqsa is a primary Hamas media outlet and airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”
“Treasury will not distinguish between a business financed and controlled by a terrorist group, such as Al-Aqsa Television, and the terrorist group itself,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said in the announcement.
Back in 2010, even the French government banned Al-Aqsa Television across Europe “on the grounds it incites hatred,” according to one news report.
Al-Aqsa has been known to stir up international controversy with programs depicting lovable-looking Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse-esque characters being killed off by Israeli soldiers and bombs.
“Tell the children Assoud has died, as a hero, a martyr,” the Bugs Bunny-looking character says with its dying breath.
(Screengrab of Al-Aqsa Television via abc.net.au)
Under scrutiny for the decision to honor the dead terrorists, the Newseum announced Monday that they would still be included as scheduled.
“Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi were cameramen in a car clearly marked ‘TV.’ The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line duty,” Newseum spokesman Jonathan Thompson told BuzzFeed in a statement.
That statement follows news that the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a pro-Israel think tank, may cease to hold their annual summit at the venue over the decision to honor the terrorists.
Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, is set to deliver the keynote speech at Monday morning’s ceremony at the Newseum.
Engel and his crew were kidnapped and held hostage for five days in Syria last year.
Neither he nor an NBC spokesperson responded to emailed requests for comment over whether Engel will still participate in the event.