CNN said it has “severed all ties” with photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah after he was exposed for having ties to Hamas. Footage circulated of Eslaiah basking in a kiss from a Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, who is known as the “Butcher of Khan Younis.”Eslaiah and three other journalists, Yousef Masoud, Ali Mahmud and Hatem Ali, all representing legacy media networks, were photographed with Hamas on October 7, the day of the Islamic extremist group’s terrorist attack on Israel. Honest Reporting broke the original story in a report analyzing “ethical questions” surrounding the four journalists and their close proximity to the Hamas attack on Israel, pointing out several of the “atrocities were captured by Gaza-based photojournalists working for the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies whose early morning presence at the breached border area raises serious ethical questions.”“Judging from the pictures of lynching, kidnapping and storming of an Israeli kibbutz, it seems like the border has been breached not only physically, but also journalistically,” the reports states. “Eslaiah crossed into Israel, took photos of a burning Israeli tank and then captured infiltrators entering Kibbutz Kfar Azza.”Now CNN, The New York Times, Associated Press, and Reuters are facing backlash and the accusation the four journalists in question had prior knowledge of the October 7 massacre. CNN, specifying Eslaiah was a “freelance photojournalist” who also worked for “a number of international and Israeli outlets,” told the National Review the company has “not at this time found reason to doubt the journalistic accuracy of the work he has done” for them. However, they have “decided to sever all ties with him.”.CNN CEO Mark Thompson reportedly addressed the issue at a staff meeting Thursday, according to Mediaite.He acknowledged the news the freelancer was contracted by the network and was present during the October 7 attack, but CNN had no prior knowledge of the attack. “Unfortunate news,” Thompson said. “We’ve discovered that a stringer may have been there during the attack with Hamas on October 7. CNN had no prior knowledge of the attack.”.The New York Post said it was “outrageous” to think the New York Times knew about the attacks in advance. “The accusation that anyone at the New York Times had advance knowledge of the Hamas attacks or accompanied Hamas terrorists during the attacks is untrue and outrageous,” a spokesperson said. “It is reckless to make such allegations, putting our journalists on the ground in Israel and Gaza at risk.”“The Times has extensively covered the October 7 attacks and the war with fairness, impartiality and an abiding understanding of the complexities of the conflict,” it continued. “The advocacy group Honest Reporting has made vague allegations about several freelance photojournalists working in Gaza, including Yousef Masoud.”“Though Yousef was not working for The Times on the day of the attack, he has since done important work for us. There is no evidence for Honest Reporting’s insinuations. Our review of his work shows that he was doing what photojournalists always do during major news events, documenting the tragedy as it unfolded.”AP denied knowledge of the attacks as well in a statement issued Thursday, as per New York Post. “The first pictures AP received from any freelancer show they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began,” the statement reads. “No AP staff were at the border at the time of the attacks, nor did any AP staffer cross the border at any time.”We are no longer working with Hassan Eslaiah, who had been an occasional freelancer for AP and other international news organizations in Gaza,” AP said. “AP uses images taken by freelancers around the world. When we accept freelance photos, we take great steps to verify the authenticity of the images and that they show what is purported.”Reuters also denied knowledge of the October 7 attack. “We are aware of a report by HonestReporting and accusations made against two freelance photographers who contributed to Reuters coverage of the October 7 attack,” the Reuters statement reads. “Reuters categorically denies that it had prior knowledge of the attack or that we embedded journalists with Hamas on October 7.”“Reuters acquired photographs from two Gaza-based freelance photographers who were at the border on the morning of October 7, with whom it did not have a prior relationship,” it continued. “Reuters staff journalists were not on the ground at the locations referred to in the HonestReporting article.”In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Western legacy media outlets with journalists in bed with Hamas “accomplices in crimes against humanity.”The prime minister’s office tweeted Thursday it “views with utmost gravity that photojournalists working with international media joined in covering the brutal acts of murder perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on October 7th.”“These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity; their actions were contrary to professional ethics,” the statement reads, demanding “immediate action be taken.”.Israel Minister of Communications Dr. Shlomo Karhi issued a statement addressing the four outlets in question as well.“The gravity of the situation demands a swift and thorough response,” he wrote on Twitter (”X”). “It is now a time for individuals, journalists, institutions, unions and organizations around the world to make a clear choice.” “We must decide whether we stand on the side of life and good or the side of depraved terrorism, inhumanity, and evil.”.Jonathan Conricus, who served in Israel's Defence Forces (IDF), said in all his years of service "as IDF spox dealing with [international] media in Gaza, [he] felt that Gazan stringers for major western outlets are at best controlled by Hamas or more likely totally part of Hamas propaganda.""So much of what the world knows about Gaza is based on these charlatans," he wrote.