CNN Freelance Journalist Worked With, Supported Hamas

In yet another blow to CNN’s credibility, a new report from the Jerusalem Post has exposed a disturbing connection between a CNN freelance journalist and Hamas.

Abdel Qader Sabbah, the journalist in question, allegedly shared selfies with senior Hamas officials and disseminated Hamas terrorist propaganda.

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A report published by anti-Israel media bias watchdog HonestReporting alleges that a Gaza-based CNN freelance journalist was associated with a Hamas-run entity. Abdel Qader Sabbah appeared in photographs with senior Hamas leaders online and actively praised terrorists while also carrying out unnamed tasks for the terror organization, the report claims.

The report cites CNN’s platforming of Sabbah’s work. He has also worked for the Associated Press, and his platforming casts doubt on the journalistic integrity of the network and the Hamas terror group’s ties to it. The report also raises concerns about journalistic standards and vetting practices of reporters for the media network, in addition to the story content published by the outlet.

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The media watchdog identified evidence of Abdel Qader Sabbah’s Hamas affiliation on his personal Facebook page, where he identified himself as a freelance journalist, director, and photographer.

Throughout his profile, Sabbah’s links himself to senior Hamas leaders, such as Mahmoud A-Zahar, in a 2018 post. A-Zahar called for “world domination with no Zionists,” the report said.

Sabbah’s selfie with A-Zahar included a caption referring to him as a teacher of literature. In 2023, he boasted about a promotional project he completed for the Directorate’s academy, which MEMRI noted trains Hamas security systems. The video was later shared publicly on the Hamas-run interior ministry’s official page.

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The report also highlighted Sabbah’s Facebook posts praising Hamas terrorists who carried out deadly terror attacks, such as Izz A-Din Al-Masri, who executed a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem restaurant in 2001, killing 16 people, including children. Sabbah consistently reshared Hamas armed wing propaganda videos and anti-Israel sentiments. His profile also featured content censoring media coverage of Hamas activities and fighters, revealing deep affiliations with members of the terrorist organization and their antisemitic propaganda.

After this troubling relationship came to light, CNN cut ties with Sabbah.

“This freelance journalist has provided material used in stories for us and other outlets over the past nine months, during which time our own journalists have been barred from entering Gaza independently,” a CNN spokesman said in a statement to HonestReporting. “We have reviewed this material carefully and are comfortable that it meets our standards. However, we were not aware of this individual’s historical social posts and recognize that they are highly offensive. In light of this, we will no longer be using his material going forward.”

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While CNN claims that Sabbah’s reports met their standards, a quick search on CNN finds several stories relating to the Israel-Hamas war that Sabbah contributed to that are heavily slanted against Israel, including a report from June 26, 2024, alleging that Palestinian children are “dying of starvation in their parents’ arms as famine spreads through Gaza,” that mostly reads like Hamas propaganda.

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