Gaza journalist who captured October 7 horrors makes Time's 2024 most influential

Journalist and UNRWA employee Motaz Azaiza, who shared videos of Israelis being abducted during Hamas attack and compared Netanyahu and IDF to Nazis, named to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

A journalist residing in Gaza, who was an employee of UNRWA and celebrated the October 7 Hamas massacre, was selected among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024.
Motaz Azaiza, 25, shared videos of Israelis being abducted by the terrorists during the October 7 attack and compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler.
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מועתז עזאיזה מקבל את הפרס מרשידה טליב
מועתז עזאיזה מקבל את הפרס מרשידה טליב
Motaz Azaiza and US Representative Rashida Tlaib
"For 108 days, Motaz Azaiza acted as the world's eyes and ears in his native Gaza. Armed with a camera and a flak jacket marked 'press', the 25-year-old Palestinian photographer spent nearly four months documenting life under Israeli bombardment," the magazine wrote.
"The fate of journalists like Azaiza matters—not only for Gaza’s Palestinians, many of whom have come to rely on their local press to report what is happening to a world that increasingly feels out of reach, but for the wider international press, which has no means of independently reporting what is happening on the ground in Gaza themselves. For both, they have become a vital source of first-hand information amid what is the worst war to befall the Strip in living memory. Raw and unfiltered, their coverage offers a rare glimpse into life in Gaza that numbers alone—17,000 dead, 100,000 buildings destroyed, 1.9 million displaced—simply can’t capture."
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שיתופיו של מועתז עזאיזה ברשתות החברתיות
שיתופיו של מועתז עזאיזה ברשתות החברתיות
Motaz Azaiza post showing abduction of Israelis during Hamas attack
(Photo: Screenshot)
“I go out in the day to cover and take pictures, but I hate mentioning what I have been through. I take pictures and record some videos on my phone, I post it and don’t look back to it. It’s not something human. It's 2024 and people are still killing each other by murder and war weapons,” Azaiza told Time.
The magazine did not mention his involvement in the massacre or his involvement with UNRWA.
Soon after the October 7 attack began, Azaiza posted to social media clips showing Israelis being abducted by terrorists from the Nova music festival into Gaza. He has since deleted the videos. He also shared a video depicting Hamas terrorists on the streets of Sderot with the Arabic caption "Gazans entered settlements!"
Azaiza also shared on his Instagram Story a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Israeli soldiers juxtaposed against a similar photo of Adolf Hitler with Nazi troops, accompanied by the caption "Worst (sic) than the Nazis."
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שיתופיו של מועתז עזאיזה ברשתות החברתיות
שיתופיו של מועתז עזאיזה ברשתות החברתיות
The photographer, known for his cooperation with pro-Hamas social media activists, has been blocked multiple times by Meta for inappropriate content. Despite this, U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib awarded him a certificate of appreciation for his coverage of the Palestinian people and his commitment to storytelling, praising his "fearless" journalism.
Before the October 7 massacre, Azaiza had 25,000 followers but faced criticism in Gaza for suspected cooperation with Israel after interviewing a refugee camp resident who opposed the destruction of Israel. Since October 7, his following has surged to 20 million.
Time Magazine's inclusion of the journalist on its 2024 list of most influential people drew criticism from pro-Israel groups, who argued that international media should not act as a platform for Hamas supporters or legitimize those who glorify terror.
Meanwhile, the IDF disclosed over the course of the war that UNRWA facilities, including clinics and schools, were used by Hamas. Several UNRWA staff were revealed to have taken part in the massacre of Israelis, leading some countries to suspend funding for UNRWA.
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