Top Republican demands national security investigation into whether ... trends now
'These individuals almost certainly knew about the attack in advance, and even participated by accompanying Hamas terrorists during the attack and filming the heinous acts,' Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
'Providing material support or assistance, including funding, to a terrorist organization such as Hamas is a federal crime. The Department of Justice must immediately open an investigation into these four media outlets.'
The Israeli government made the accusation after watchdog group Honest Reporting raised concerns over four freelance photographers from Gaza whose works have been published by CNN, The New York Times, The Associated Press and Reuters.
Among them is Hassan Eslaiah, a photographer who has now been seen in an image being kissed on the cheek by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.
All four outlets deny having any prior knowledge of the Hamas attack and some insist they have cut ties with the reporters. The New York Times earlier this week hit out at Honest Reporting for its 'vague insinuations', defending the photographer it had hired.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other cabinet ministers are demanding more information.
Hassan Eslaiah, an AP/CNN photographer, with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in an undated photo
The new suggestion prompted two Israeli politicians to suggests the journalists be killed.
HonestReporting, which says it devotes itself to fighting media disinformation about Israel and Zionism, did not specifically accuse the companies of working with Hamas but suggested the freelance photographers whose work was used by them could have known about the attacks.
'Is it conceivable to assume that ‘journalists’ just happened to appear early in the morning at the border without prior coordination with the terrorists?' HonestReporting wrote on its website Wednesday. 'Or were they part of the plan?'
Yousef Masoud, whose work was used by the New York Times and the AP, filed photographs of an Israeli tank being captured by Hamas 90 minutes after the attack began.
Israel's government has demanded an explanation from the media outlets, all of which have denied having prior knowledge of the attack.
In response to the criticism, a CNN spokesperson told DailyMail.com: 'We had no prior knowledge of the October 7th attacks.
'Hassan Eslaiah, who was a freelance journalist working for us and many other outlets, was not working for the network on October 7th.
'As of today, we have severed all ties with him.'
In a previous statement, the network said it had not found 'reason to doubt the journalistic accuracy' of his work.
The New York Times issued a full-throated denial of the allegations.
It had hired photographer Yousef Masoud, whose photographs portray the violence in Gaza.
'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.