The New York Times on Friday terminated its relationship with a Palestinian freelancer and fixer in the Gaza Strip after a media watchdog noted his repeated antisemitism and calls for violence against Jews on social media.
Fixers are hired by news outlets in foreign countries to coordinate logistics or assist with other journalistic tasks, such as working as a translator or a guide.
On Thursday, Honest Reporting, a pro-Israel media watchdog, published a list of social media posts by Fady Hanona, who was a contributor to at least six articles published by the Times during the latest flareup of violence in Gaza.
The pieces in the Times detailed the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, and a ceasefire reached after three days. It was not clear whether Hanona contributed through writing or other tasks.
Hanona’s since-deleted social media posts included support for terror groups and members and support for killing Jews.
Along with sharing a video of armed Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin, Hanona said that Palestinians should return to “the culture of fighting and killing Israelis.”
“I don’t accept a Jew, Israeli or Zionist, or anyone else who speaks Hebrew. I’m with killing them wherever they are: children, elderly people, and soldiers,” Hanona said in the post, according to Honest Reporting.
“The Jews are sons of the dogs… I am in favor of killing them and burning them like Hitler did. I will be so happy,” he said. The date of the post was unclear.
"the Jews are sons of dogs and I am with killing them, and burning them like Hitler did to them (smiley face)" – Fady Hossam Hanona
This Hitler praising antisemite covers the Israel/Palestinian conflict for the NY Times, Guardian, and VICE News. pic.twitter.com/dWYmCdv1y3
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) August 11, 2022
In 2014, amid a brutal war between Israel and the Hamas terror group in Gaza, Hanona threatened to murder Ghassan Alian, an Israeli Druze officer who at the time commanded the military’s Golani Brigade, and called for Hamas to reject a ceasefire and continue its rocket attacks on Tel Aviv.
In another post during that war, Hanona published a questionable quote attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to the report. “As Hitler said, give me a Palestinian soldier and a German weapon, and I will make Europe crawl on its fingertips,” the post read.
A spokeswoman for the Times told The Algemeiner news site on Friday that, “The New York Times had worked with this freelance reporter only in recent weeks. We are no longer doing so.”
Hanona has also been hired in the past by the BBC, The Guardian, and VICE News, according to Honest Reporting.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers issued sweeping new restrictions on journalists and fixers in the Palestinian enclave following the latest conflict there, and then rescinded them after protests by The Foreign Press Association, which represents international media.
Palestinians who work with foreign journalists were first informed of the new rules in messages sent by the Hamas-run Gaza interior ministry. They were ordered not to report on Gazans killed by misfired Palestinian rockets or the military capabilities of Palestinian terror groups, and were told to blame Israel for the recent escalation.
The FPA said in a statement that “such a move would have constituted a severe, unacceptable and unjustifiable restriction on the freedom of the press, as well as the safety of our colleagues in Gaza.” The rules would have gone much further than existing Hamas restrictions. They appeared aimed at imposing the Islamic group’s narrative on media coverage of the conflict by implicitly threatening Palestinian reporters and translators who live under its heavy-handed rule.
Even if the rules are officially withdrawn, Hamas has still signaled its expectations, which could have a chilling effect on critical coverage, the Associated Press noted.