The Hamas terror group praised Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based network known for its biased anti-Israel reporting.
The Hamas terror group in Gaza loves the Arabic Al Jazeera network so much that they presented their Gaza bureau chief an award this week to honor their “affiliation” with the Palestinians.
Hamas deputy chairman Khalil al-Hayya presented Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh, with an award of appreciation, saying that the Qatar-based network was supporting the Palestinian cause.
“The Qatari channel Al-Jazeera worked with high professionalism during its coverage of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ battle and demonstrated its affiliation with the cause of the oppressed Palestinian people,” al-Hayya said in a statement released on the Hamas website.
“We are proud of Al-Jazeera’s active crews, who proved to be the knights of word and sacrifice while covering the events,” al-Hayya said. “What distinguishes the Palestinian journalist is that he has a national message. We were seeing a high level of nationalism and a national tone during Al Jazeera coverage.”
“Holy crap: Al Jazeera has accepted an award from Hamas for its coverage of the recent hostilities between the terrorist group and Israel,” tweeted American Jewish Committee managing director Avi Mayer.
In an interview with Fox News, Mayer said the Hamas comments should be a wakeup call to the West.
“That a major media outlet has accepted an award for its news coverage from a designated terrorist group should raise alarm bells among all who are concerned about freedom of the press,” Mayer said. “This revelation raises serious questions about the relationship between Al Jazeera and Hamas and how it might affect media coverage of one of the most contentious conflicts in the world. Viewers deserve to know.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) that monitors Arabic media and translates it into English found a video clip circulating on social media that showed al-Dahdouh in the middle of a celebration of the Hamas “victory” against Israel being cheered by crowds in Gaza.
During the conflict last month sparked by Hamas firing rockets at Jerusalem, the Israel Air Force took down the office building housing Al Jazeera after discovering that Hamas had a weapons development office in the same building that was working on ways to bypass Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
Israeli security officials made sure to warn reporters and residents of the building beforehand, and although the building was entirely destroyed there were no deaths or injuries reported.
“Hamas deliberately embeds itself among the press to shield its terrorism against Israel,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee tweeted. “Defeating terrorism is necessary for peace.”
“How can Al Jazeera claim to operate ‘without bias and partiality,’ while also accepting awards from terrorist groups for ‘highly professional’ coverage? (It’s because they aren’t a news source, they’re a propaganda outfit) Shame on Al Jazeera for accepting this,” tweeted Israel’s Ambassador to the UN and U.S., Gilad Erdan.
Hamas said that other media outlets will also be honored by the Iran-backed terror group.
“It is noteworthy that the visit comes within a series of continuous visits carried out by the media relations of Hamas to honor the media for their role in covering the battle of ‘Sword of Jerusalem,’” the Hamas statement said.