October 7 Attack Survivors Sue AP For Hiring Photographers ‘Embedded With Hamas’

Photographer posing with Hamas leader
Photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah, right, poses with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, left.

Several survivors of the October 7 attacks on Israel have sued the Associated Press (AP) for hiring freelance photojournalists who are allegedly “embedded with Hamas.”

In a new lawsuit filed on Wednesday, the plaintiffs — which include Israeli-Americans and Americans who attended the Nova music festival raided by Hamas as well as the loved ones of victims — have claimed that AP has aided and abetted the terrorist organization by using these freelance photographers.

According to a report by The New York Post, the plaintiffs accuse AP of “materially supporting terrorism” by paying alleged Hamas-associated photojournalists for images captured during and immediately after the October 7 invasion.

“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 complaint alleges.

According to The New York Post, the lawsuit mentions the names of four freelance photographers whose work was purchased and published by AP and claims that the four are “known Hamas associates who were gleefully embedded with the Hamas terrorists during the October 7 attacks.”

But the publication reports that the majority of the lawsuit focuses on one photojournalist, Hassan Eslaiah — who has been repeatedly accused of having links to Hamas .

Israeli citizen kidnapped
Honest Reporting questioned how the photojournalists were on the scene to capture images of the October 7 attacks such as this one.

Eslaiah had contributed some of the earliest photos of the October 7 attacks to news outlets. Later, investigative report by the website Honest Reporting turned up a 2020 photo of Eslaiah posing with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

The New York Post reports that the plaintiffs claim that AP was made aware of Eslaiah’s alleged links to Hamas but continued to pay for his freelance images.

“AP willfully 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 organization,” the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs are suing for damages from the AP under the Antiterrorism Act, according to the federal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Last year, when allegations first surfaced about photographers knowing about the Hamas-led invasion, an AP spokesperson stressed that the news wire had “no knowledge of the October 7 attacks before they happened.” They said that the news wire uses freelancers from around the world, including in Gaza.

“Hassan Eslaiah has been an occasional freelancer for AP and other news organizations,” the AP said in a statement to The Washington Times.

“The role of The Associated Press is to gather information on breaking news events around the world wherever they happen, even when those events are horrific and cause mass casualties.”