WASHINGTON - The Newseum, a museum in Washington, DC that chronicles the news industry, plans to add the names and photographs of two Hamas news photographers to its memorial wall for journalists who died while reporting news.
The two, Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, worked for Hamas' TV channel al-Aqsa and were killed in an aerial bombing of their vehicle during Operation Pillar of Defense.
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While its several attacks on journalists raised international criticism, Israel insisted its targets were terror operatives.
Al-Kumi (L) and Salama (R) (Photo: alresalah.ps)
The media building attack (Photo: AP)
Media building attack (Photo: Reuters)
Two days later, world media reported three Palestinian journalists were killed in two attacks of vehicles driving in different areas of the Gaza Strip.
Salama and al-Kumi were killed in the vicinity of Gaza's Shifa hospital. The third victim, the director of the al-Quds channel's educational programming, was killed in the strip's center.
In response, Hamas' spokesman accused Israel of targeting journalists in attempt to "silence the voice of Gaza's bravest individuals."
Conversely, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the three were Hamas members related to terrorist activities.
Regarding the bombing of the media offices, the Spokesperson's Unit said they were used by Hamas as command and control centers.
The IDF website wrote that though al-Kumi and Salama were indeed photographers, they are unworthy of the title "journalists" since they received their pay from a terror group whose broadcasts encourage and promote attacks on Israeli citizens.
Describing the memorial wall, the American museum's website writes: "The Journalists Memorial, a soaring, two-story glass structure bears the names of reporters, photographers, editors and broadcasters who have died in the line of duty."
Al-Kumi's in the museum's website
Salama's identical description
The website shows the photographs of the two cameramen, alongside many other journalists, with a short description.
Al-Kumi's bio reads: "Al-Kumi was one of two Al-Aqsa cameramen who were killed in an Israeli air strike. They were covering fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, when a missile hit their vehicle. Al-Aqsa said the journalists’ car was clearly marked “TV.”
Salama's description bears a similar testimony.
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