Channel 4 has been hit with criticism after it gave a platform to a smirking Hamas official who said reports of beheadings and the burning of children were Israeli lies and denied it had taken any hostages.
Critics accused the broadcaster of ‘irresponsible journalism’ by letting a spokesman for the terrorist group ‘peddle lies’ and deny the massacre of civilians on October 7.
Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan was seen smirking as Channel 4 News presenter quizzed him about the ‘appalling slaughter’ of Israelis including reports of ‘beheading’ and ‘the burning of children’ by the group’s fighters.
The terror group spokesman replied, saying ‘I believe they are lying’ adding ‘this is a big lie created by them’. He added: ‘They built this country on the blood of the Palestinians.’
Later in the interview he completely denied there was any hostages, despite the huge weight of evidence to the contrary.
Channel 4 has been hit with criticism after it gave a platform to a smirking Hamas official who said reports of beheadings and the burning of children were Israeli lies and denied it had taken any hostages
The Hamas spokesman said: ‘There is no hostages. There is war prisoners and there is foreigners.’
Channel 4 News’ interview sparked anger for giving a platform to the man.
In response to broadcaster’s social posting of the interview, there was fierce criticism, with one saying ‘Channel 4 shouldn’t platform this guy’.
One said: ‘Irresponsible journalism from Channel 4 as well as the BBC.’
Another said: ‘You allowed this guy on your platform to peddle lies.’
A viewer responded: ‘Do you give ISIS as much airtime? Why treat Hamas differently?’
While another added: ‘Why are you giving publicity to these maniacs? Can you not see the tensions you are inflaming.’
Channel 4 News has been approached for comment.,
It comes following a row over the BBC’s refusal to call Hamas gunmen ‘terrorists’ in its coverage.
The corporation has consistently described the organisation as a ‘militant’ group and described the slaughter of Israeli civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.
A baby’s seat and child’s dress is seen covered in blood in the aftermath of a Hamas attack
Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan was seen smirking as Channel 4 News presenter quizzed him about the ‘appalling slaughter’ of Israelis including reports of ‘beheading’ and ‘the burning of children’ by the group’s fighters
The decision triggered a huge backlash from politicians and religious leaders.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of trying to ‘wilfully mislead’ by not using the word terrorist, saying last week: ‘The murder of babies where they sleep is not the act of a ‘freedom fighter’.’
The broadcaster justified its language use in the name of impartiality, adding its job is to explain ‘precisely what is happening on the ground so audiences can make their own judgement’.
A number of BBC stars backed the corporation’s position, including veteran world affairs editor John Simpson.
He insisted that ‘calling someone a terrorist means you’re takings sides’.
The decision has seen a number of BBC stars rally around their employer, including the corporation’s veteran foreign correspondent John Simpson defended the coverage claiming ‘calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides’.
One appalling photograph released by Israel shows the blackened and charred bodies of a baby killed by Hamas terrorists
Nick Robinson, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said on social media: ‘I understand entirely why some want the word ‘terrorism’ used.
‘It is, though, the long-standing practice of BBC, ITV and Sky to report others using that language rather than using it ourselves.’
BBC director of editorial policy David Jordan said not using the word terrorist was a ‘very long-standing policy’ which had ‘stood the test of time’.
He added: ‘We’ve called them massacres, we’ve called [them] murders, we’ve called them out for what things are and that doesn’t in any way devalue the awfulness of what is going on.’