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. Rick

    Hamas has brought this pain down on its own people and while the suffering of innocents and militants alike is always a consequence of warfare, no country on earth would tolerate rocket attacks most every day for years without resorting to it, and if it were the US, we would DEMAND action from our leaders.

    And then, of course, we would condemn them for it years later.....

    January 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  2. David Farkash

    Even if the Gazans were permitted to move freely into neighboring arab countries, these nations would restrict their entrance. As much as we like to think that arabs stick together the reality is that noone wants to take on the burden of the palestinian conflict. On the other hand, I am pleased reporters are not allowed to enter Gaza. The media is usually extremely bias in these situations and does not portray the true story. Don't stop unitl we weed out all terrorists

    January 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  3. oldtimer

    The only legitimate reason one country will not allow the press into a war zone, is that they don't want any confirmation of committing crimes against the Geneva convention, and crimes against humanity. It would look really bad for "Israel " to see photos of mutilated children lying about in the streets. Indiscriminate bombings of schools, hospitals, and churches. Most people would be outraged over photos like these.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  4. Dan Sichel

    The people of Gaza tolerated and encouraged Hamas. Hamas launched rockets into a neighboring country. What did they expect? If they did not want this, they should have stopped Hamas from attacking their neighbors. If people in Vancouver launched rockets into Seattle, what do you think would happen?

    As long as the people tolerate violent terrorists this will be the inevitable result.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  5. Chris

    Hamas' objective in this conflict is for international reporters to flash hundreds of pictures of war deaths in the streets of Gaza on the western world's evening news channels. Western public out-cry would hopefully force a cease-fire before Israel has a chance to achieve its objectives in Gaza.

    Israel has learned from its 2006 Hezbollah encounter and doesn't want Hamas to win the PR battle in this one. A 21st century information war is just as real to both sides as any shooting war, and so controlling the international press becomes a priority for both sides.


    January 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Jon


    I would like to see you prioritize. Your safety is more important than any news you could report. You are very important to so many people; I hope you realize that. We can get the news a little later, because it's not going away and reporting it swiftly doesn't change anything.

    We are tired of this centuries old conflict and the U.S. is not [yet] involved. Please pack it up and come back home. I'd prefer seeing you in the studio in one piece. It's just not worth it Anderson. Get out of there!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  7. Tom Shipley

    Back in 1968 our rallying cry was "The whole world is watching." We should update that today. How about "The whole world is watching Israel not let the whole world watch." And they said "never again." Thanks for continuing to fight for the truth Anderson.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Anderson, are any of the christians in that area expressing beliefs that this was is part of an end time prophecy?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Dirk Virgo

    Be safe!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  10. Alan

    Yo Anderseon! Why is it that in all the CNN interviews with diplomats or government officials from Israel, NONE of the CNN reporters have asked
    "Why won't you let us in to cover the story". I know what the official line is,
    but these people should be challenged for their censorship of the truth.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  11. adeeb

    Any way Anderson we love you and wish you the best.come back safe.


    January 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  12. adeeb

    CNN always says we can reach anywhre in the world except this war,because you do not want to report the truth,can you explain to me how aljazeera news able to get every single details from there and they have too many reporters in every single area in GAZA .

    January 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  13. David

    What about the Egyption border? Israel is at war, why don't their brothers in Egypt open up their border?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Michaela

    Keeping journalists out for now is very reasonable.
    covering everything tahts going on is little silly, considering terrorists will know exaclty whats going on and it will help them to think through their moves

    January 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Thank you Anderson for talking to the Palestinian Sami in Gaza...I hope that CNN unlike other news shows , will really expose the truth about the Israeli massacre of Palestinian civilians – over 120 children. CNN does an excellent job of trying to be fair to both sides but Israel total ruthlessness is not shown because of their refusal to let journalists in Gaza itself . The three year blockade and total choking and smothering of Gaza has caused this situation not Hamas , why does'nt someone say point out that Israel is not the victim here ..people should live on the West Bank and Gaza and then see how the Palestinians live in terror and everyday hunger and humiliation at the hands of the Israeli army. I beleive Anderson you have seen it first hand. Because of Israeli influence in America , politics here is not about who is being slaughtered but to appease a PAC. Israel has forgotten how they were killed in the past and are commiting a very slow but effective genocide on the Palestinians. Thank you and please just keep being fair and putting a human face to the almost 3000 injured and over 270 dead Palestinians. Their lives are not just numbers, they have weight like the Israelies. Thank you.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  16. Joe

    Why doesnt the IDF want reporters and the world to see what they are doing inside of Gaza?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  17. Dan - Illinois

    Based on Israel's previous experiences during the War with Hezbollah and the use of reporter's footage to harm their position, I do not believe that Israel's current position is unreasonable.

    With respect to the prior post, the crossings at Rafah are controlled by Egypt and presumably the Palastinians could utilize it if the Egyptian's were willing to grant access.

    Of course everyone is saddened by deaths of civilians, on both the Israeli and the Palastinian sides, but when the Hamas terrorists shoot rockets from a school and it is subsequently bombed by Israel, the blame for any civilian casualties falls squarely on the Hamas terrorists.

    Israel is protecting its civilian citizens – as would the Unites States, Britain, France, Russia or any other government.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  18. Arlette parker

    Not letting reporters do their job in Gaza is a scandal. But what a clever way to hide the atrocities, "if nobody can see it, it did not happen".

    January 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  19. lhaj

    Anderson, why don't you guys call it as it is? Israel is hiding something or else they should let all of us know what is going on there.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  20. yariv

    Sorry Anderson you have to suffer because of the majority media bias against Israel. If reporters told the truth about Israel then she would allow reporters. The debacles following 2002 and 2006 showed Israel the majority of the news media was more interested in lynching Israel rather than reporting the facts.
    Stay safe over there.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  21. adeeb

    I never seen or read about a war like this where a 1,5 million people locked inside small area,and they do not have at least the right to flee,and no reporter to go inside and have the truth out.then they say we do not target civilian,even in Iraq war USA openned a refugee camps for people to flee,it is your time Anderson to say the truth or you will lose our trust and confidence as a nonbias reporte.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  22. Chad

    Do anyone think that this is a just and equal fight? Israeli's tanks and depleted Uranium bombs verses civilian, no mater what they religion and nationalities.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  23. Rock

    If people are to stand by while their government fires rockets into neighbooring countries, the people will have to pay for the governments decisions, it would be happening the same way here if someone was in our country making war.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  24. Andrew

    No way...this is war, bad stuff happens, we settle it at the end. Reporters DO NOT BELONG THERE SHOWING WHAT WE ALL KNOW is going on, on National TV for everyone to see. That is one of the main problems with today's wars, that the media shows every little thing that is going on, and how many of which vehicle are on which road, and where they're going, etc...you guys (in this blog) have no taste, and no respect for our military. Anderson, I like you, but you need to let the war finish and then go show what happenED not while it's still happenING

    January 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  25. Tom in San Diego

    Welcome to War.

    A real war not a media event. Remember Germany, remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki.
    Who was in Berlin during WWII?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  26. Kate

    as we will know whats going on , terrorist will know too ..
    it already "helped" last time there was conflict in israel...
    thats why they are trying to stop media from covering whats going on

    January 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  27. Christopher J. Rawson

    Do you think it would hurt to use a Middle Eastern journalist for this job? I mean if Anderson Cooper can't get the inside story maybe it's time to give someone involved a chance to tell the story.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  28. Zo

    A free press protects EVERYONE!

    When and wherever, journalists are banned from direct observation,
    for accurate reportage, the risk of war crimes and brutalization of the populace is enormously high.

    The action or re-action/incursion, can be debated, but to prevent observers and humanitarian aid, does create a backlash that all
    will live with internationally. More transparency is always best.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  29. Don

    If you do get in, just make sure you don't become an unwitting shield for the Hamas terrorists like the children at the UN school...they will stop at nothing to generate civilian casualties for the Arab street...

    January 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  30. Jenn

    Israel doesn't want people to know what they are really doing inside Gaza as they continue to kill innocent civilians, destroy hospitals and schools, and refuse humanitarian aid for the people. Its sickening to continue to hear their justification for murder and genocide.....

    January 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Giovanni

    Is this the 21st century? Bombing of a UN School Shelter? Killing innocent children? Enough to Israel and to all of this cruelty and to whoever supports them. It is insane to allow all this so blindly. Someone should stop this massacre! Israel killed 10 times more innocent civilians than Hamas terrorists. This shows its real intentions. Israel is not defending itself, bombing a school, killing innocent people, children is not self defense! An we are all watching this doing nothing! I am ashamed to see all this...
    Good luck Anderson and hope you stay safe out there.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  32. Maria Sanchez

    I am happy to keep the reporters out of Gaza for the time being. They are making the problem worse by playing into the hands of the terrorists. Once things settle down a bit then it will be fine to have them go in and begin their biased reporting.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  33. tinthD

    Hey Anderson, maybe you should stay out of gaza, you know that hamas is hiding among the civilians and may want to hide next to you and your crew. I hope you don't have any children around you while trying to enter gaza also, hamas use's little kids so I wouldn't want you and your crew from cnn to get injured or worst. I hope a safe return for you and all the media crews in the middle east. Just remember, hamas will dress like you in order to escape their justice so be careful and get home soon.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  34. adeeb

    Hi Anderson:
    I always trusted you as a good reporter,I just wanna ask you waht that mean for israeal to prevent media going into Gaza,definitly they are doing some thing iiligal which they do not want world to know about.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  35. Rachel

    Yes, it's crucial to get in there and find any and all pictures of grieving and death (be they fake or otherwise) to plaster all over the internet, newspapers and your "news reports". How come you folks weren't so terribly interested in plastering the pictures of the Tuito brothers, when little 8 year old Oshi lost his leg because of one of these Hamas rocket attacks? Why didn't we see his crying mother, everywhere? Why didn't we read her story nonstop? Why don't we see the pictures of the houses ruined all throughout southern Israel? Why don't we hear the tales of terror from those living under constant fire in Sderot, fearing that they or their children might end up one of the maimed, like Osher, one of the wounded, like his brother, Rami, or one of the dead? I love your "commitment" now...I just find it funny that you weren't so committed when it was "only" Jews bleeding and dying...

    January 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  36. Arod

    Its a sad time in the Middle East, but this fighting in one form or another has been going on for centuries, not really interested in getting involved. If the Gaza People want to, or allow themselves to be run by extremists / terrorists (Hamas) than there is a price to be paid. (right now they are paying it) If they want to finally decide have a legitiment government set up and represent the people there, then maybe the US and other countries (UN) can move in a broker another deal, but again how many deals have there been since the very first one the "Oslo Accoord" might just be better off in the long run to let them play this out and when its over pick up the pieces and move on from there.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  37. Garth

    Anderson, I hope you can't get into Gaza.Too much goes on in a war zone.Your very likely to get zapped & for what ? Just report what you can see.
    Report where Hamas is firing from.School property,mosques,hospital areas.No place save in a combat zone.And your body armor will just slow down the round that gets you Pal.
    Stay away from the combat area.Hamas will aim at you & try to make it look like the fault of the IDF.

    Stay low.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  38. Suzan

    Keeping reporters and the international media out of Gaza makes you wonder what Israel has to hide. Reporters on the front lines have always been the world's lens on conflict. Why the blackout now? Perhaps the question answers itself. America's ally indeed. This is pathetic.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  39. Brian

    Can't you all see that Israel is trying to protect journalists from Hamas terrorists who would kill them rather than live in a democratic country with free media?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  40. Badr

    It's sad that Israel is trying to hide the murder its committing from the rest of the world.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  41. John

    I don't see how Anderson could possibly contribute anything to the situation. Let the IDF do their jobs.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  42. Zo Owen

    A free press protects EVERYONE!

    When and wherever, journalists are banned from direct observation,
    for accurate reportage, the risk of war crimes and brutalization of the populace is enormously high.

    The action or re-action/incursion, can be debated, but to prevent observers and humanitarian aid, does create a backlash that all
    will live with internationally.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  43. Jamal

    Please, try to cover the real story inside Gaza. I read from NY Times that Israeli solders are not permitting International journalist to go inside Gaza to cover up the genocide.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  44. Margaret L.

    Why give Hamas the "gift" of letting ultra Left leaning reporters in, so
    they can foster the anti-Israel sentiment?! When Hamas places rocket launchers on top of schools and hospitals, they rejoice in being able to display pictures of wounded children! Does ANYONE remember what Golda Mier said?! "When the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews, the violence will stop"......
    The Palestinians are the "pawns" of Iran/Syria/Lebanon & don't even know it!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  45. Spencer

    Consequences are a result of your ACTIONS!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  46. Layla

    I hope to see that you get into Gaza safely but it's obvious that not only it is too dangerous but also they don't want everyone to see the truth. I have Al Jazeera and eventhough some ignorant people think its biased news channel, it shows what is really happening. In my opinion American news is more biased. If only Americans really knew what was REALLY happening in Gaza right now. Not just our Presidency needed a change but also they way we conduct our media. Like your buddy's slogan...No Bias No Bull. But actually mean it. Wish you well Anderson.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  47. andrea

    adeline...there is a battle going on...he is lucky he is not allowed in

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  48. Dan

    Eygpt should open the border to allow medical and humanitarian aid

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  49. Palm

    Sorry, this is not a picnic, and allowing the media to enter a war zone may jeopardize the soldiers and the local general population.
    Journalists should never be allowed into a situation such as this.
    Israel is only obligated by its citizens and keeping them safe. No other value should supercede in this terrible situation. As one Gaza citizen stated: "We have brought this on by ourselves"

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  50. Joe

    what would take for the world to show compassion for the Palestinians? Children are hungry, cold, and scared and all what the US media seems to focus on is HAMAS's homemade rockets and not the much developed technology US made weapons that are used by Israel against civilians. If this is how Israel wants to find peace we are all in trouble.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
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