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. Dona, NYC

    There is a reason Anderson is not allowed in. Foreign press has always reported the news in a subjective way and Israel wants to mitigate the damage this does. Israel has nothing to hide- it publishes live videos of the fighting online voluntarily. As to Gazans having nowhere to go- ask their neighbouring Arabs why they won't take them.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  2. David

    Where are those Western governments who demanded open access for the journalists and UN to go into the cyclone stroke area when Burma government closed down the Delta. The first lady Laura Bush should come out and strongly denounce the Israelis. The US and other Western governments have double standards.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  3. dixie ball

    Hey Anderson, how is it that Israel lets you into Israel to see whatever
    you want but won't let you into Gaza? Who did you say is keeping
    you out of Gaza? That's not hard to figure out really. While Israel
    is protecting you, you want to go into Gaza and find out what is
    really happening? How much sense does that make?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  4. Brad

    People continue to claim that Hamas is using schools and mosques for cover, but the only 'evidence' of that is from the Israeli government. Without the media being allowed in Gaza, we will never know the truth.
    Also, people continue to forget how Hamas came to power – because they said they would do something about the horrible prison the people have been living in for decades.
    Let me ask you, if you were at home in your home state and the rest of the country was given over to a Muslim theocracy that kept encroaching on your land while preventing you from leaving your state or getting food, water, or supplies, what would you do? Would you become a freedom-fighter/terrorist?
    I am in no way supporting the rocket fire from Hamas, but I do understand their despair.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Fred

    Israel finally smartened up. There is no need for foreign reporters in Gaza. They only show Palestinian casualties and rarely mention the damage caused by the Hamas rockets that precipitated this conflict. They fail to show the Hamas rocket launchers or terrorists shooting from the rooftops of schools and hospitals. There is no law that demands journalists be permitted to enter Gaza, just an arrogance by the media. Israel's decision is a smart way to keep these journalists objective!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  6. bc

    It's clear that human right violation beyound proportion are going on in GAZA, i belive Egpiantian president has been paid off , what the world is allowing to happan is simply barbaric attacks on the civilians.
    If Palatinians were allowed to live in dignity, with freedom & allowed free trade and travel there would be no Hammas, that is the root of this conflicts, how would you react if you were held hostage in your own home ( for 40+ years) and you had to check with your neighbor if you were allowed to get food, water and wehather or not you were allowed to go to the park or not ?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  7. Max

    It's simple: Israel does not want evidence of the genocide taking place!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  8. lisa

    After reading the comments, most of which are so supportive of the Palestinians, I recognize that unfortunately we as a country and as a society have not learned anything. 9/11 was not big enough of a tragedy to teach us a lesson. Imagine a mini 9/11 all the time–I want to see how many of these comments would change. Do we have to experience a bigger tragedy to understand a country such as Israel?

    And the demands by the so called reporters is quite unreasonable. I think the media is quite biased...towards the Palestinian side.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  9. Michael

    The media shouid not report Israeli propaganda as long as they are being kept from eye witness accounts within Gaza.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  10. MH

    Some of you guys skipping the whole truth. The main reason HAMAS got created because of to end occupation of Israel. If Israel wasn't occuping land they wouldn't even created at the first place. Recently Israel block access to Gazas air,land and water which promt rocket attacks. I do condemn killing innocent Israelis civilian but we need to look at the root cause and solve that which can bring long lasting peace. Also as a US taxpayer I don't want to see Israel is getting our FREE arms to kill innocent civilian. Thats needs to end too.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Kyle

    If the Cuban government decided to launch rockets into Florida daily and kill civilians, would Americans object to a military retalitation? Would our government just sit around and wait for the UN to try and make Cuba stop rather then take military action? I doubt it. Israel has an inherent right as a nation to defend itself, and unfortunately Hamas is hiding behind the Palestianian civilian population. Also I think Israel is justified in not allowing reporters into a war zone, a simple reason could be safety. Another reason is for military purposes, how can they launch strikes on Hamas if there is a chance a well-known international reporter is in an area that is going to attacked?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  12. Joe C from Glen Rock

    Is there such a thing as a palestinian civilian? I mean when you elect a terrorist organization such as Hamas don't you automatically become a palestinian militant? How is Isreal or anyone supposed to tell the difference a civiian and a run of the mill terrorist. I think Isreal is doing the right thing. Don't let them out. Keep up the pressure. They brought it on themselves.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  13. Seif

    Be safe A.C and make sure to let us know what's really going on there?

    We trust your reports!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  14. Larry B.

    Hamas and the Muslim extremists are at war with the ideals of Israel and US. Their terror will not stop with rockets from Gaza into Israel. Until the Middle East, a breeding ground for Muslim extremists becomes educated enough to recognize Israel's right to exist and it's ally the US to live and promote a peaceful democratic society they will continue to fight their Infitada [holy war] against the west's Ideals. The extremists are prepared to fight to the death. It should be understood then that it is better them than us. It's an unfortunate tragedy that they hide within their civilian population causing heavy causalities to their own people.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  15. Carl

    The responsibility for this humanitarian crisis rests squarely on the Palestinian citizens who elected Hamas and support their policies. Israel is defending its people from constant terrorism from Hamas. The press, continuously reporting only the pain suffered by the "innocent civilians" who have done absolutely NOTHING to stop Hamas, is essentially, (surely not unwittingly?) supporting Hamas' propaganda war.

    If the violence is EVER to stop, Palestinians must accept the state of Israel – period. End of discussion. Otherwise, they deserve the pain and suffering they bring upon themselves.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  16. Craig

    The idiocy of Hamas to sacrifice children is incredible. They will never win approval from the outside world as long as they keep looking like a bunch of vicious, mongrel dogs by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Stop shooting at Israel and they will stop shooting at Hamas. Anderson should focus more on that angle than anything else.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  17. daniel

    am totally disappointed at almost all the responses i have read on this blog about anderson not been able to get into gaza, instead of responders showing their outrage at the isrealis for delibreately blocking access into gaza so they can carry out this modern day massacre of innocent palestinians supported by my hard earned TAX DOLLARS. please enough of this blood letting by blood tasty hounds on the loose

    January 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  18. LeRoy Mugumbo

    Stay safe Anderson...

    Obviously, as long as Bush can blame Hamas – the duly democratic elected party in Gaza NOT recognized by the USA because they would NOT do the USA's bidding – Israel will continue to bomb and kill innocent civilians in Gaza. Israel does this with the FULL SUPPORT of the USA; the UN can do NOTHING as long as the USA says NO! [Bush & the USA will NOT ALLOW the UN to stop this senseless slaughter.]

    Still wondering why the Arabs have a growing hatred of AMERICA?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  19. Freefarf

    Anderson, you're a wonderful reporter and you know better. It is clear the Israeli's are protecting the welfare of you and your peers, nothing more, nothing less. They have nothing to hide. They are not covert terrorists lying in wait for the next arab/Palestinian to blow up as their self-made enemies do. Has the world forgotten 9/11? Is terrorism (i.e. Hamas) suddenly in vogue? I cannot believe the responses I'm reading here! Israel, is a tiny, tiny country that everyone seems to want to get their bloody (and I mean that literally) hands on! Why is it there isn't such an uproar about the fighting in Somalia, the crisis is Dafur? And why is the world standing behind terrorists? Have we already forgotten Mumbai? There is something terribly wrong here.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  20. Vjay

    Hi Anderson,

    You're doing a great job out there covering the story, I hope reporters get in to cover the story and show the world whats really going on there. It is really terrible to see what the civilians are going through in Gaza without a way out of the city, food, water or medical supplies and now with shelter's being bombed, to me it seems very inhumane of whats going on in Gaza.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  21. ROB

    Hamas is responsible for what is happening in gaza, they are the ones that said that the cease fire brokered by egypt will not be renew and immediately started to launch more rockets, it's up to the people in gaza to decide what to do with hamas, hamas has kipnapped their own people and put them in harms way, how long they thought Israel was going to sit back and watch the rockets fly by, now everyone wants israel to stop what everyone new it was comming calling it and atrocity, well folks hamas started it and israel will finish it enough is enough

    January 6, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  22. Crystal

    What I wonder is why on earth the civilians didn't leave Gaza when they were warned? I'll tell you why, because they didn't think Israelis had the balls to follow through. Now they are complaining that they are getting shelled. They told you to leave, but you didn't, and therefore you are considered an active militant. I know for darn sure that if flyers were dropping down on my neighborhood warning me to leave or be bombed, I would be out of there.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  23. Tony


    Makes you wonder who the terrorists are. Israel claims that these measures are necessary; I'd imagine that their adversaries share their feelings. We protect Israel because they are our democratic partner in the region...some partnership.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  24. raphael

    Hey anderson,
    I love watching you report from conflicts around the world,but this time i think its best for you to stay out of that chaos in gaza.DONT want you to get hurt.

    I can understand israel because last time in lebanon,news reporters were streaming live updates of the israeli forces. locations and other facters that would assist the enemy was being broadcasted live !
    so all the Hizballa had to do is watch TV and they would know how to act against the israeli army,setting ambushes and traps.

    As a soldier,I know this kind of information can doom any operation.
    who ever has more information has the upper hand !
    people need to understand that.

    I WISH I wouldn't have to know war tactics but this world is full off unuseful violence !!! when will it END ???

    January 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  25. Dave

    I wouldn’t let reporters in either, it’s easy to say how you would like to be in the middle of things in Gaza when there are no buildings exploding around you but you know as well as the IDF knows that at the first sign of trouble some poor solder is going to have to risk his life to save you while your on a mission to get good ratings unless of coarse it’s Geraldo Rivera because we all know he isn’t doesn’t do the things he does for “ratings”

    January 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  26. Mike

    It is time to eradicate all of the Palistinians. After decades of being offered peace settlements that would end the fighting, they always find an excuse not to accept. At least three generations of Palistinians have been brainwashed by the hate mongers that make up the "Freedom Fighters" of Palistinians.
    They can't get out because all of the other countries close their borders to them as well as Israel. How convinient for Egypt to let Israel take the blame while they look over the wall at the Palistianians. No other country in the world wants the Palistinians. They were a nomadic people, like gypsies, before the United Nations gave the land to Israel that it is on. Then, all of a sudden, those nomads decided it was their homeland.
    So tired of the whole mess. The Palestinians are idiots.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  27. Svanbasten

    Hey AC, I like your courage and style of reporting and moreso the courage to report in really tough places like Rwanda, Gaza, under the Ocean, with Gorilla's in Africa etc etc.

    Take care of yourself – those guys don't quite respect international law and don't care if you're CNN or you were with Cathy Grifith on New Years Eve.

    Live to ring in another New Year's.

    Our Prayers are with you, Partner....

    January 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  28. Mary

    The Israelis are murdering civilians left and right - that's why they won't let reporters into Gaza. The Israelis not only have a state based on apartheid, but now they won't let the world see they have turned into the next Third Reich. Israelis = exterminators.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  29. Mike Wolf

    Be very careful out there.


    January 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  30. Jessika

    For all of those people that are condemning Israel, I would like to know what other option you think Israel had. Diplomacy obviously did not work! Why should we expect Israel to be pushed around by terrorists or allow a terrorist organization, whose mission is to destroy Israel, to gain power/weapons? It is an unfortunate situation civilians in Gaza find themselves, but I suggest next election don't vote in a terrorist organization.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  31. DJ

    many of the commentors must be to young to remember the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and it's leader Yasser Arafat. These people prayed on everyone, blew up planes, killed passengers on cruise ships, killed athletes at the olympics and more. And yes, they killed americans. You have been blinded by the news services and their own political agendas that only show what they feel you should know. If you want the truth, turn off the tv and read a history book.

    Where is the sympathy for the millions of innocents that have died since the beginning of recorded history because of conflicts? It is those same people who allowed the aggressors to get into control.

    Germany had Hitler and was supported by the people,
    Japan had the Empiror and Tojo, again supported by the people.
    Ceasers, Atilla, Pharohs, Bush, all had the majority support.

    Hamas was elected by the Palestinians. they themselves are not innocent.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  32. TDC

    It’s interesting that everyone blames Israel. The Egyptians are blocking the people of Gaza. Let the Egyptians take them!

    As always, when 10,000 rockets were fired at Israeli civilians, none of the people now complaining against Israel had very much to say. Now everyone pities all the Palestinians who elected the very government that got them into trouble…

    January 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  33. starzzguitar

    All I know is the general populous should get away from anyone in Hamas as quick as possible, they are going to get you killed. And if they support Hamas, well, I guess they are also targets. Do I think the Israelis are deliberately targeting civilians? Of course not. Hamas started this round by launching their stupid rockets at Israel, now they are complaining about retaliation. Hamas is a culture of death, they love death, how do you fight insane people?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  34. Jesus

    Michael........Israel is occupier. You cannot deprive people of their basic rights and expect them to throw chocolate at you. Palestinians in Gaza are desperate for everything...... People have the right to resist occupation. Get it? End the occupation, violence will end.

    But Israel sees all the land of palestine as their god promised land. By their agression, confiscation of land, settlements...they are hoping palestinians will leave. That will never happen.........get it?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  35. G G

    I love the comment by Jack Cohen. Really... why not use the tunnels? They proved to work so far...

    January 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  36. aaron

    I'm tired of Israel's continued attempts to play the poor victim. They seal off a country, block food, water and aid and then say poor me when those oppressed people fight to be free.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  37. nedwisconsin

    Anderson, get into Gaza by hook or crook. Show the world Israel's butchery which american dollars is paying for! The world needs to know about Israel's war crimes!! The truth is Gaza is so congested (the most cogestion on planet earth) that no matter where the palestinian fighters are, they are among civilians. But unlike a civilized nation, Israel does not care about non-jewish civilians; they do not care if they kill them by the hundreds or thousands. Remember, Israel itself is a nation for its JEWISH citizens according to their own definition. That is the most racist regime on earth now!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  38. TDC

    It's interesting that everyone blames Israel. The Egyptians are blocking the people of Gaza. Let the Egyptians take them!

    As always, when 10,000 rockets were fired at Israeli civilians, all the bleeding heart liberals had nothing to say. Now everyone pities all the Palestinians who elected the very government that got them into trouble...

    Wait.. I forgot – It's OK to kill Jews... right?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  39. John Smith

    Israel is the inocent and victim in any confilict and whoever object to that fact is an antisemite and/or a terrorist! The Israeli Army is built with our Tax Dollars and we the united states and our kids are going to collect all the results and ramifications of our blind support to Israel.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  40. Dvora Mendelzys

    Anderson, thank you for reporting what you can about this war. Please ask why Egypt isn't allowing the injured Palestinians into their country for refuge and medical aid. Israel and Hamas are at war, and people die in wars. Reporters from the West are not going into Gaza, as their safety can't be assured, and Hamas will use every means possible to take them hostage, along with Gilad Shalit, to use as bargaining tools. If that would happen, Israel again would be held to a higher standard of behavior for not preventing another action by Hamas. Anderson, I beg you to remind people that Hamas stated reason for being is to see the destruction of a recognized nation in the world, with every right to exist, and every right to protect and defend their nation. This action started with Hamas, but will end with Israel making their point. Anderson, please ask the question: where was the world crying out when 'homicide' bombers went into markets, schools and synagogues and killed innocent civilians in Israel? Where was the world when rockets fly into Israeli citizen's neighborhoods? Please, please, ask those questions, or make a statement about this? Where are the other Arab nations to help aid the Palestinians who are without access to basic necessities? Also, at some point, can you address where the billions of dollars in aid that were supposed to build infrastructure for the Gazan's has gone? Into arms bought from Iran?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  41. warren Louisiana

    Anderson keep up the good work. I am all for Israel bombing Gaza. Hamas is a terrorist organization that needs to be wiped out. The Palestinian people are missing a great opportunity to overthrow Hamas. Now is the time for the Palestinian people to stick together now that Hamas has been weakend from Isralei forces. If Israel doesn't finish the job this time it will all start over again. I say wipe out the Hamas regime and anyone who may be aiding them and we know who those axis of evil countries are.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  42. Lyndon

    I really hope that you and your team can get into Gaza soon. I am very skeptical about the veracity of information coming from both sides (Palestinian an Israeli) and I believe that CNN will be less biased. I am shocked and saddened by the number of children dying and I am confident that media efforts are likely to mitigate the carnage. Please stay safe.

    Richmond, Virginia

    January 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  43. Susan

    Hi Anderson,

    I love watching your show. I like the way you go right to where the action is instead of sitting in your safe studio. You are one of the best war correspondents around. Keep up the good work and stay safe!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  44. Christine

    If rockets were being fired into t=your backyards every day tyou would want it stopped. HAMAS puts children in the line of fire to protect themselves. That is why they are being hurt. What don't the Isreal needs to protect its people. I find it amazing that you can condemn Isreal for protecting its children put never a word about HAMAS.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  45. Jill

    Safety issues aside (and those are big issues), it is convenient not to allow reporters access when what is going on is potentially embarassing.

    Although the points can be argued back and forth as to who is right, and who is wrong, it highlights, in the most graphic ways, the truth about war: when there is a war and blood is shed, nobody really "wins".

    When you see little children, no matter what side they are on, suffering or dying, then it becomes apparent that somewhere, somehow, sombody let them down.

    I find it ironic that the Holy Land seems incable of peace, forgiveness, and accepting others. Are these not the tenets of the great faiths that reside there? When will faith turn into reality? I am sure that if Moses, or Mohammed, or Jesus were standing on the same hill as you Anderson, they would be weeping.

    Instead of tossing out our faith in the "modern" world, we need to reclaim it again. Where are we going without it?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  46. kristine

    I think reporters being kept out of Gaza can certainly be justified. I've personally visited both Israel and the Gaza Strip and can honestly say that the "rules" as we know them in America DO NOT apply! The Hamas are an extremist group who thrive on doing damage, not preserving life. Who's to say that if reporters were allowed in that they wouldn't be hurt?? We can't be ignorant and assume that there's some kind of "safety zone" where the media can just hang out and do their thing! Not everyone in the world is as obsessed with freedom of speech as America is, and I think this is one situation where we need to sit back, and accept that we won't always get what we want (shocking, I know). Good luck to AC and all other media!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  47. miko

    I think you do very good reporting. I understand how frustrating it must be not to be able to go in, but as a retired soldier, I can tell you that war zones are extremely dangerous for reporters, especially for those with video cameras (which tend to look like RPG's from a distance). I don't believe that you need to photograph dead bodies for people to realize that war is terrible. I also (as a military person) understand Israel's tactical advantage to not having Hamas know their every move on the ground. During the last war with Lebanon, reporters were giving away troop and tank counts and locations. Hezbollah maped out a lot of their targets by what they saw on TV.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  48. Nadav Peretz

    Israel must continue the war against Hamas. Every intelligent guy must understand that this is a war against Radical Islam!! We must all unite together against this danger!! Today it's in Israel and India but it will get everywhere if we don't fight it!! Sending my full support to the Israeli troops!!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  49. Leila Levine

    Israel must be hiding something if they don't allow reporters to go in Gaza.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  50. amira

    Anderson, why not try to go to Gaza from different entrance, am sure the Gaza people will let you in to see what Israel dose not want you or the other world see!!!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
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