NBC News is sending reporter Ayman Mohyeldin back into the Gaza Strip to cover the conflict there after he was pulled out last week due to “security concerns,” the network announced Friday.
“Thank you to everyone’s support over the past few days,” Mohyeldin wrote on his Facebook page. “I’m returning to Gaza to report. Proud of NBC’s continued commitment to cover the Palestinian side of this story.”
Although Israel’s preparation of a ground invasion was given as the reason for his departure, Glenn Greenwald — who broke the story of his removal at The Intercept — insinuated the move was due to Mohyeldin’s witnessing of four Palestinian boys being killed on a Gaza beach by Israeli artillery fire, and his “powerful” coverage of the conflict had angered the pro-Israeli side.
As NBC executives publicly expressed concern over the reporters safety, critics pointed out that the network sent its chief foreign correspondent Richard Engle into Gaza at the same time Mohyeldin was being pulled out, according to Huffington Post.
Before he was removed from Gaza, Mohyeldin posted a now-deleted comment to social media sites, relating that a U.S. State Department spokesperson said Hamas was ultimately responsible for the Israeli shells that killed the four boys because it did not accept the cease fire. “Discuss among yourselves,” he wrote on Facebook.
Here’s NBC’s statement:
“Ayman Mohyeldin has done extraordinary reporting throughout the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, filing 25+ reports over the past 17 days, including his invaluable and well-documented contribution to the story on the deaths of the four Palestinian children on Wednesday. As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We’ve carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza over the weekend. We look forward to his contributions in the coming days.”
“My read of NBC’s statement: an about-face that comes close to saying ‘we made a mistake,'” tweeted Brian Stelter, a media correspondent and host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
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