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Hamas terror attack exposes Al Jazeera for what it really is

OpinionHamas terror attack exposes Al Jazeera for what it really is

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In the wake of the attacks on Israel October 7, the role that the media network Al Jazeera has played cannot be understated. It is an arm of the regime in Qatar, which serves as a safe haven and benefactor for Hamas, which perpetrated the largest massacre of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust. 

In a new report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Yigal Carmon outlines how the Qatari-owned media empire promotes Islamist terror worldwide. That cooperation between Hamas and Al Jazeera is no more clearly evident than how it covered the attacks of October 7.  

The network aired “exclusive” clips of the attacks, and Carmon explains, “This footage could only have been obtained from Hamas itself. The Al Jazeera reporter abandoned any pretense of neutrality, proclaiming gleefully that “the settler walls… collapsed… along with the iron image of the arrogant occupation army.”  

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Within the rules and regulations to obtain press credentials at the United States House of Representatives, it is said, “they will not act as an agent for, or be employed by the Federal, or any State, local or foreign government or representatives thereof.” These are generally the rules for any press credentials across government, in the U.S. Senate, White House, etc.  

Hamas terrorists inside Israel during attack

This image made from undated bodycam video footage taken on October 7, 2023, by a downed Hamas terrorist and released by Israel Defense Forces shows a Hamas terrorist walking around a residential neighborhood at an undisclosed location in southern Israel. (Israel Defense Forces via AP)

And yet, Al Jazeera retains this access, and in 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice required that the media network register as a foreign agent in accordance with Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) laws.  

Former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen outlined why in a report prepared for Congress, explaining that the network “repeatedly undermines U.S. interests in the region by supporting extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and [the] Al-Nusrah [Front]. […] Moreover, Qatar uses its state-owned, state-funded, state-directed and state-controlled Al Jazeera Media Network to project this vision to the U.S. public.” 

Since October 7, and the ensuing conflict, Al Jazeera has plainly been operating as an official mouthpiece for Hamas. In his report for MEMRI, Carmon explains, “Since October 7, Al-Jazeera has been airing official military announcements and threats by Hamas spokesmen – as well as by other terror organizations – on an almost daily basis, serving as a semi-official amplifier of Hamas messaging, often featuring outlandish claims of military successes by the group.” 

Al Jazeera takes its operations past the Middle East and endangers Americans and Jews worldwide. In a November op-ed for the Hill, Michigan Republican Rep. Jack Bergman explained, “Al Jazeera itself has already been used by the state of Qatar to conduct surveillance operations to damage members of the Jewish community who actively support a strong relationship between the U.S. and Israel — a worldview broadly shared by an overwhelming majority of Congress. The conclusion is unavoidable: Al Jazeera is clearly an intelligence operation run by Qatar.” 

Bergman went on, “But while our Arab allies have no trouble identifying Al Jazeera as a terrorism-promoting propaganda organ of the Qatari government (the primary funders of Hamas), the network still enjoys a strange and unwarranted reputation as an objective and independent Arab voice among many in the West…” 

Members of the media network aren’t just lending their support for Hamas in the sphere of public relations, but in concrete assistance as well. Their support isn’t just ideological, but material as well.  

In 2021, the Israel Defense Forces bombed a Hamas-controlled building which was home to AJ’s offices in Gaza at the time. But it’s since the outbreak of the war in Gaza after the brutal attacks of October 7, that even more damning information has come to light.  

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According to the IDF, Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Washah was a member of Hamas, linked by a laptop the IDF found. Information on the laptop showed that Washah, 37, from central Gaza’s Bureij neighborhood, is a “prominent commander” in Hamas’s anti-tank missile unit. In late 2022, he began working on research and development in the terror group’s air force. Two years ago, he posted a photo of himself shaking hands with October 7 mastermind Yahya Sinwar. 

Since October 7, and the ensuing conflict, Al Jazeera has plainly been operating as an official mouthpiece for Hamas. In his report for MEMRI, Carmon explains, “Since October 7, Al-Jazeera has been airing official military announcements and threats by Hamas spokesmen – as well as by other terror organizations – on an almost daily basis, serving as a semi-official amplifier of Hamas messaging, often featuring outlandish claims of military successes by the group.” 

In January, the IDF presented evidence that two Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza in an Israeli airstrike were terrorist operatives and said that they were operating drones that put soldiers at risk. 

On February 13, another Al Jazeera journalist was injured. On the day of the attack, he reportedly posted that he hoped Palestinian children would “play with their heads,” referring to Israeli victims. Israel described him as “a deputy company commander in Hamas’s Eastern Battalion of Khan Yunis.” 

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Bergman is one of many members of Congress who remain deeply concerned about Al Jazeera’s role, telling me, “It is abundantly clear to me, and to my colleagues, that Al Jazeera is a component of the Hamas/Qatari intelligence operation against the United States – and their operation is designed to promote and protect Hamas, as well as spread virulent antisemitism. Congress should take action immediately.” 

The Hamas attacks of October 7 were historic: Not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been killed in a single day. The terror group went on a rampage at a music festival and through small villages in border communities; murdering, kidnapping, raping and brutalizing thousands of not just Israelis, but individuals holding dozens of nationalities. Six American citizens, and the bodies of two more, are still held in the Gaza Strip by terrorists, and dozens of American citizens were killed in the attacks. It’s time to recognize the role that Al Jazeera played and continues to play in these atrocities. 

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