January 6th, 2009
11:58 PM ET

Covering the Gaza crisis

Program Note: Watch Anderson's full report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Anderson Cooper explains the challenges reporters face in trying to cover the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Crisis in Gaza
soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. Laura

    Honestly, I'm glad you guys can't get in. Due to the "instant" receipt of information to viewers today, you guys can give away strategies and soldier locations. wouldn't be good.....

    btw...I LOVE Anderson Cooper's reporting on the war. Thanks Anderson! Although Christiane is a very good reporter, she can use some lessons from you on how to not be biased towards Christians and Jews. It's a shame...I could really like her otherwise.

    Stay safe!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  2. Jesse

    Gee, didn't we call this genocide at one time. Aren't these tactic learned real well from the Warsaw thing in the '40's? Why do the countries of the world turn a blind eye to the same hideous tactics used by Israel, the same tactics used by every other tyrant wanting to eliminate opposition? Of course rockets from either side are wrong and needs to be stopped. But the genocide now going on in Gaza is raw unadulterated murder by a military power who professes something about a holocaust that happened 60 years ago as a reason for such blatant murder. What a sad joke on humanity.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  3. John

    Anderson I wish you well over there, but there is no need for reporters in a war zone, and I know you may be asking why. The answer is in the question, why go to a war zone? We know what is there, death, destruction, 2 groups which have the single intent to destroy the other, that pretty much covers it. As far as covering the humanitarian (crisis ?????) issue. If the people of Gaza really wanted international help, they should have asked for help in getting rid of Hamas, most of the aid that will go into that area will go to the people shooting the rockets. If you get in there to report good luck, but I would wait for the dust to settle and then report on the changes made.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  4. Jeannie

    Israel must let in international reporters. How can we accept one sided reporting??
    Now we have illegal bombings of UN schools and many ambulances and everytime all Israel has to say it that Hamas was involved?
    It seems to me that ambulances are actually being targeted.
    One wonders why Israel will not allow journalists in
    I can only come to a conclusion that they want only their side to be known and not the whole truth.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  5. Michelle - San Francisco

    I am very sorry for the Gaza population (excluding HAMAS members) but I can fully understand Israel's reason for not letting reporters inside Gaza. Israel has been misrepresented enough times by the media and I am glad it finally got the message.
    It says it ALL about Hamas – to use schools and hospitals and get their own people killed for their own satisfaction...what decent humans would do that?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Harrison

    Why do journalists have to go in? Where were they for the last 5 years as rockets were fired by Hamas? Why didn't they report about 5,000 rockets? As to inhumane conditions, what has Hamas done with the milions of dollars given to it by Arab countries? Built hospitals? Built schools? Roads? They've built rockets and bombs. They wanted Israel to leave, and Israel left Gaza – the result – a standard Arab stance – " I am oppressed but let me send my 8-year old girl as a suicide bomber to an Israeli restaurant."
    Israel is within its rights as a soveriegn nation to protect its citizens any way it wishes. Sit on it, Anderson – we'll let you in when we want.
    Go be a hero somewhere else.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Amanda Walton

    Stay Safe Mr. Anderson Cooper and crew,

    I was amazed watching you last night as you were reporting, you didn't even flinch hearing those bombs behind you. I hope you still have some fear in you, enough anyway to keep you from getting yourself to close to danger and into deadly trouble. You and your crew be careful out there, reports of extremists taking international reporters hostage keeps your viewers very nervous. A day without you Mr. Cooper is like a day without air for so many of your admirers.

    Praying for the safety of all reporters, crew and the innocent living the life of war.

    Prayers for Peace

    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  8. Larry B

    Anderson Since we cannot trust much of what Israel or Hamas says, the only way the world will know the truth is through your efforts. Israel is blocking the view of the horrendous slaughter that is going on, and as we saw with their fabrications about the relief boat ramming incident, Israel cannot be trusted. Hamas is not much better as they tend to stretch the truth. I fear that Israel is stepping over the line of international law and military protocol as regards civilians. As an old Vietnam Vet, keep your head down and keep moving.


    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  9. Concerned

    The war zone is no place for reporters or any non-combatants. Period.
    They are the ones who give a biased opinion on what is happening. The public gets a wrong perception and that is how things get blown out of proportion. If you want an up-close of the conflict, enlist, and see up close. Get a real feel of a bullet cracking past your head! Not from the safety zone miles from the front, in a green zone or the security of an operating base. Hey I have an idea! Why don't you report on something like how many schools are opening for the first time? Or water treatment facilities or neighborhoods who have power for the first time? No! that wouldn't be sensationalism! The American public would never go for that !

    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  10. Tom

    Israel does not want evidence of the genocide taking place... wait since it is only muslims it is not bad... well that is what it feels like when in all the reports and stories.. you would think Israel of all nations would not want to do genocide

    January 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Bill

    As a follow-up to your previous report, could you tell us what happended to Sam, the business man in Gaza? Does he and his family have a safe exit?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  12. Lara

    It's very well and noble that the media is battling to get into Gaza to report "what's happening" so that they can show it on CNN on a loop over and over again.
    Yes, there are casualties and civilian deaths, as with any war. However, I do not remember our suddenly self-righteous members of the press getting on the ground in Iraq during the US' initialincursion and covering the truths there, and showing Iraqi civillians dead due to US' attacks. Iraq did not attack the US, Hamas attacks Israel every day.
    Meanwhile, the war in Iraq gets less and less coverage each day and that is the war the US is fighting. If reporting from war zones is so crucial for the media to spread their truths, let the US reporters stampede all over each other to cover it.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  13. Edward Djoboulian

    This is madness....where is the logic...

    January 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  14. Mir Kahn

    We always sugar coat for the Israelis.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  15. lj

    Of course Israel dosen't want reporters in Gaza, Israeli soldiers killing unarmed men, women and children they don't want the whole world seeing that.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  16. san4

    Does Hamas ordinarily provide international reporters with access to Gaza?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  17. The Truth

    Isn't our definition of terrorist "people that kill innocent civilians"? Then what do we consider Israel? Legal terrorists? To target a sub-par "organization" with no army is one thing, to use it as an excuse to execute innocent women and children is another. Dont be blinded by lies people!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  18. MH

    North american media should put this on HEAD LINE news that Israel isn't let foreign press to get into Gaza even though court approved them to get in. Specially FI(O)X News channel. Israel is doing whatever they want but no one is there to press them to follow international law. I bet if it was Iraq or Iran it would be HEAD LINE news in all north american media.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Bill

    Stay safe

    January 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  20. Sam

    The reason they don't let reporters in, is because it is a war zone. Hamas uses any alternative (schools, reporters, mosques etc.) available to them to cover up the firing of their rockets. Letting reporters in only increases the possibility of civilian death, as it is one more thing to distract Israel from the operation.
    What confuses me is how many people seem to miss the point. Israel's stance is clear, stop firing rockets, and the airstrikes will stop. Yet all of the international pressure is on Israel to stop the "invasion" when the rocket fire is clearly continuing. That is a double standard if I have ever seen one. Realize the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are at risk from Hamas' rockets, they are just far less accurate than Israel's rockets.
    So ask yourself: If I shoot at you, and miss, are you in the wrong to fire back and hit me? The answer should be simple.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  21. Mel

    Sadly Israel doesn't want the rest of the world to know what's really going on in Gaza, nor do they want take accept any blame. This conflict needs to end immediately, people are outraged including many non-Muslims around the world. Israel has for too long been allowed to oppress these people, and quite frankly no one seems to care.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  22. Bill

    You are the eyes of the whole world. Your integrity always showes in your reporting, regardless of our blind support for Isreal's actions.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  23. Christian Rueda

    First, I have all respect for AC and his crew, cudos!

    This operation reminds me alot of Al Fallujah in Nov 2004..Wow, the memories...
    Could these access points be used to aid the militants in Gaza? This would be the only reason why they will not allow access. But the non-combatants in the city of Gaza need to evacuate as soon as possible! Like right now!

    I believe militants in Gaza are luring the IGFs deeper into Gaza'a urban areas. Its where the house to house fighting will take many lives on both sides,,,,,,and hopefully not the innocent.

    Stay safe AC!!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  24. Joe

    Why won't Egypt allow Palestinian refugees in? Why won't Jordan accept the refugees? or Lebanon? or Syria? or Saudi Arabia?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Shondell Baker

    Bring back the truth of whats going in Gaza. I think overkill is inplace

    January 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  26. Mark

    I hope the guilty people using Gaza citizens as shields give themselves up to stop the slayings of innocent civilians. Even though most living in that region are already well-aware of the dangers.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  27. conscientious objector

    Israel has closed off Gaza intentionally. They don't want reporters in there, reporting to the world what they are doing. It's a media blackout to hide Israel's human rights violations. Anyone in the world with any sense of compassion or humanity should stand up and condemn what is happening there.

    The persecuted have become the persecutors.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  28. Fred54 in Boston

    Of course they don't let you in. They don't want witnesses to their crimes.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  29. cuzzin06

    Ahh Too bad the big bad reporters can't get into Gaza. So sorry may sometimes you just need to stay out of it and quit praying on bad events. Hows it feel to be restricted, You wanted change you got it.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  30. Stacy

    You should air this tonight. It helps give context to the coverage that we're getting, especially the shot of all the reporters on the hill. Thanks.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  31. John Thomas

    If Israel is as careful as they say in how they are shooting why don't they let reporters in?
    What are they trying to hide?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  32. Randy from Texas

    Anderson, if the Palistinins are so concerned about Israel's attack and advancement into Gaza, why don't they turn in the folks firing the "rockets"? Seems to me that if they are "against" Hamas, it is time for them to stand up and be counted. If your neighbor was breaking the law, killing innocent people via Rocket fire, wouldn't you turn them in? If the rockets stop, I am sure Israel will halt their response.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  33. Nona

    It's a war zone. Hamas didn't allow you to videotape its guerillas launching rockets into Israel either and you weren't complaining about that, were you? You couldn't get into the front lines of the Iran-Iraq war or the war in Chechnya or enter the World Trade Center rubble on 911. You could only get into the Iraq front lines if you were "embedded" during the invasion. It's a war. I'm all for freedom of the press and the public's right to know, but there is such a thing as military security. I love 99% of your work, and as a truly devoted fan, I must say, quit whining.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  34. Honor

    Israel has also broken cease-fires in the past and has never been penalized for it yet they use Hamas breaking a cease-fire as an excuse to level and exterminate Palestine and the Palestinians.

    Hamas was formed as a result of Israeli oppression and injustice. If the Palestinians had their freedom and human rights and their children weren't being killed in senseless airstrikes and raids the influence of Hamas would be marginalized. Plain and simple.

    May God help the Palestinians because the world sure isn't.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  35. Honor

    They aren't letting reporters in because Israel doesn't want the world to know what's really going on. The full extent of what's really happening in Gaza is just plain evil, hundreds of innocent civilians have died including dozens of children–and there are also children who have severe burns and limbs blown off. No child or innocent person deserves that. How will they grow up? Where's their future? It's easy for Israel to just blame the situation on Hamas and not let reporters in so the whole world turns a blind eye to the suffering, but we all know who's truly being inhumane in this situation.

    Israel has also broken cease-fires in the past and has never been penalized for it either yet they use Hamas breaking a cease-fire as an excuse to level and exterminate Palestine and the Palestinians.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  36. Ana


    I´m a fan, a journalist and a Brazilian.

    UN has to step up. Israel is not going to stop on it´s own. Plus, they´re taking advantage of the political moment America is going through. At this point, neither Bush nor Obama will do anything cause it is a transitional period in the White House.

    And keeping the media out its just unreasonable. This war is running too loose. We´re not on the 40´s anymore. We can´t just hear of it.

    Take care.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  37. Nadine, Madison, WI

    How is it that reporters from Al-Jazeera are covering the story from inside Gaza?

    January 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  38. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Anderson
    I like thank you for telling the truth about Israel did not let international reporters to Gaza,and at least for me that meens there must be some pictures or storrys,that Israel dont whant to watch the wold.So i think the situation there must be verry terrible and dangeros.
    Stay safe,we need you there for telling us whats going on there.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  39. john beccia

    Any place in that region is dangerous. I give AC a lot of credit.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  40. Adeline

    I would be very frustrated too. I am so adventurous and would hate to miss all the action. Whatever happens, happens. Go with the flow

    January 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  41. Maria

    Gazans are desperate for medical care and humanitarian aids, where is the ethics??, why not US press on Egypt to allow medical doctors and aids to pass through??, what they are doing is unjustified….

    January 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  42. Lilibeth

    Anderson, whatever you do and wherever you go, please just know that we need you back safe and sound so you can also cover stories happening in many other countries that are also worth telling. That is all I have to say. Thank you for all you do.

    Edmonds, Washington

    January 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  43. Maria Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    We were waiting for their news, with concern.
    Unfortunately these stories are so hard. But your work is sensational.
    Believe it: his sacrifice of being in a war, is really paying off.

    Take care and Thank you!

    January 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  44. Laura, New York City

    Hi Anderson,
    i believe it's very frustrating for you not to get any closer but you're doing a great job. Keep going and stay safe.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  45. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi there,
    Interesting view of all the media personnel set up there on the hill. I understand that it would be frustrating and very hard to get details on something happening so far away, but you seem to be doing a great job! Thanks for working so hard today – I'm thinking that you might need some sleep soon. We're all watching, be safe, take care.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  46. Maria

    Hi Anderson,

    Stay away from the blind shooting.

    Take care

    January 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  47. Cindy

    I love to see Anderson out in the field but I can't say that I wasn't happy that he was not able to go into Gaza but just stand on a hill overlooking the fray. At least he isn't really in the thick of it. I know he's disappointed but he's a big boy...he'll get over it! LOL


    January 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  48. Adeline

    sorry, I meant to say Israel must grant access to international reporters like Anderson Cooper so we can know what is going on

    January 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  49. Adeline

    ...and Israel must speed access to intl reporters so we can know what is really going on in there

    January 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  50. Adeline

    I hope you guys can get in, Anderson

    What makes it worse is that there is no exit for civilians in Gaza in the midst of this war. Gazans are trapped. they cannot flee to neighboring countries as refugees.
    and they havent got access to clean water for 250,000 people.
    People haven’t got access to humanitarian supplies, like food and medicine, gas for cooking, and fuel for the central power plant;

    Hospitals are relying on erratic generators, jeopardizing care in intensive care and neo-natal units. Some 300 babies are born every day in Gaza, but pregnant women are being forced to deliver outside hospitals as all available beds are reserved for war injuries and other emergency cases.

    Israel must grant freedom of movement to Gazan civilians to access humanitarian distribution points and hospitals safely

    Israel must speed the granting of permission for international medical personnel to access Gaza.

    January 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
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