Oct. 7 Survivors File Lawsuit Claiming AP ‘Materially Supported Terrorism’ Via Hamas-Linked Journalists

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

The National Jewish Advocacy Center (NJAC) filed a lawsuit Thursday against The Associated Press (AP) on behalf of survivors of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, Ynet reported.

The lawsuit names four freelance photojournalists with purported Hamas ties whose work was purchased and published by the AP as evidence that the news outlet “materially supported terrorism through payments that they made to known agents of Hamas,” the outlet noted. (RELATED: Gaza Freelance Journalists Working For AP And Reuters Allegedly Joined Oct 7 Attack: REPORT)

“There is no doubt that AP’s photographers participated in the October 7 massacre, and that AP knew, or at the very least should have known, through simple due diligence, that the people they were paying were longstanding Hamas affiliates and full participants in the terrorist attack that they were also documenting,” the lawsuit read in part, according to Ynet.

The lawsuit seeks to award Oct. 7 survivors damages under the Antiterrorism Act, Jewish News reported. The lawsuit alleged that one of the freelancers, Hassan Eslaiah, even took a photograph of Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, kissing and embracing him in 2020, the outlet noted. Eslaiah went in to Israel with Hamas forces on Oct. 7 and did not wear his press jacket  or helmet on that day, Ynet reported, citing screenshots from his now-removed Twitter account. AP cut ties with Eslaiah following allegations against the freelancer after the Oct. 7 attack, Jewish News noted.

The lawsuit also claims that “AP wilfully chose to turn a blind eye to these facts, and instead profited from its terrorist photographer’s participation in the massacre through its publication of the ‘exclusive’ images, for which it certainly paid a premium, effectively funding a terrorist organisation,” the outlet reported.

“The first pictures AP received from any freelancer show they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began. No AP staff were at the border at the time of the attacks, nor did any AP staffer cross the border at any time,” an AP press statement issued in response to the lawsuit read, according to Jewish News.

“Media organizations do not have any special right to act with impunity and pretend that they don’t know whom they are paying,” National Jewish Advocacy Center director Mark Goldfeder said, according to the New York Post. “And as other cases have made clear, it does not matter that the people AP was paying, with whom they had longstanding relationships, were freelancers and not employees; the issue is that AP was furnishing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, not in what capacity the terrorists were cashing the checks.”