update deskOctober 7

Photographer’s award praised by ‘Times’ same day he’s named in lawsuit

Legal action against Polk Award-winner Yousef Masoud was undertaken on behalf of the families of Oct. 7 victims.

Yayha Sinwar Kisses Palestinian Photographer Hassan Eslayeh
Hamas senior leader Yahya Sinwar kisses freelance photojournalist Hassan Eslayeh following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel. Source: X/Hassan Eslayeh.

Meaghan Looram, director of photography at The New York Times, praised on Feb. 21 the “fearless and compassionate work” of Yousef Masoud, who just won a George Polk Award in Journalism for his photography related to the Israel-Hamas war. The same day, a lawsuit was filed as a direct result of his and other freelancers’ terrorist ties.

One of the leading international wire news agencies will now face more than criticism and pointed questions for its contributors’ connections to Hamas. On Feb. 22, the National Jewish Advocacy Center filed suit against the Associated Press due to payments to freelance photographers who have been revealed as Hamas operatives.

Those named in the lawsuit who sold their work to the AP include Hassan Eslayeh, Masoud, Ali Mahmud and Hatem Ali. A photo has widely circulated showing Hamas senior leader Yahya Sinwar kissing Eslayeh following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel.

Plaintiffs in the suit include those who survived the terrorist onslaught at the Nova music festival in southern Israel on Oct. 7, in addition to family members of victims. To date, 364 people were recorded as having been slaughtered at the festival that Saturday morning.

The suit states: “There is no doubt that AP’s photographers participated in the October 7th 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.”

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