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Reuters Distances Itself From Photographer for “Unacceptable” Behavior Caught on Oct. 7 Video

Thomson Reuters building. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Reuters wire service is distancing itself from a freelance photographer after a pro-Israel journalism watchdog organization found an Instagram video of the photographer on October 7 appearing to urge Gazans to cross over into Israel.

The media monitoring group HonestReporting published what it said was a video of the photographer, Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa, saying in Arabic, “Advice, whoever can go – go. It is a one-time event that will not happen again.”

Asked about the video, a Reuters spokesperson said, “We consider unacceptable the behavior in the video of Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa.” The news organization clarified, “Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa is not a Reuters journalist. He is a photographer from whom we occasionally acquired images in October and November 2023 and we have not used his photos since.”

Reuters said it was “committed to delivering unbiased and reliable news.”

On social media and on its own website, HonestReporting has been critical of Reuters. “Does Reuters have no shame?” the group asked in a February 7 post on X, highlighting the agency’s use of an image by Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa in a photo gallery marking four months since the war began.

The New York Times published an image credited to Reuters and Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa as part of its 2023 “year in pictures” supplement. The image, apparently taken from the Israeli side of the Gaza border, was captioned, “Gazan border, Oct. 7. Palestinians used earth-moving equipment to breach the border fence between Gaza and Israel. Hamas gunmen surged into Israel by land, sea and air in a surprise attack that prompted a full-blown war.”

Media executives have been pushing back hard against any claims that any of their journalists on October 7 were participating in the Hamas attack rather than documenting it.

A New York Times Company senior vice President and deputy general counsel, David McCraw, wrote to the Israeli foreign ministry on November 12 to say that “the accusation that anyone associated with The Times had advance knowledge of the attack or was embedded with Hamas terrorists at any time is simply false.” McCraw’s letter said, “by adopting and perpetuating unsupported accusations of criminal behavior against journalists, you not only endanger them but undermine the journalistic work that the world depends on to understand the realities of the war.”

Reuters also said it was “deeply concerned” about “baseless speculation” and “damaging accusations,” “incendiary insinuations” and “inflammatory claims” with “no evidence” that it said “posed grave risks to journalists in the region, including those working for Reuters.”

“It is the job of journalists to document important news as it unfolds and to provide a first-hand account of events on the ground. This is the essential role of a free press in war zones, and we remain fully committed to providing this coverage both from Israel and Gaza as the conflict continues,” the Reuters statement said.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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