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. Josh

    Im glad some people are saying what truely is happening. Hamas, a regime of people hiding behind there civilians at church's, schools, and neighborhoods, are fighting a cowardly war. There are without a doubt going to be civilian casualties, as long has hamas uses such tactics. Where is the uproar that? If the USA was being bombed at times 50x's a day from Mexico or Cuba would we be so quick to judge an invasion or ground attack?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Aneinu

    Couldn't you make a deal with Hamas the same way the deal went with Hussein? Then CNN can make up whatever they want! You people think we don't remember.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  3. Ryan

    In response to Harrison – The reason Hamas has to resort to terrorism is because of the way Israel has oppressed the Palestinians since taking away their land and the fact that the rest of the world turns a blind eye to thier plight. We need reportes to tell the world the truth.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  4. Jonathan

    Maybe if Hamas stopped using the Gaza residents as human shields, we would not have so many civilian casualties. I think Israel needs to step up the pressure as I am sick and tired of suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

    Why is no one upset when an Israeli school is hit by a stray rocket, but everyone is concerned when a mosque is bombed that is being used to store weapons. People should admit they are anti semitic instead of phrasing it any other way.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  5. Sam Tayar

    Let reporters in? Does this exist anywhere else?

    And if granted entry & shot at by either side.........will Israel be blamed?

    Maybe Israel should allow arab & muslim reporters for some unbiased reporting. Besides, what they write does not require first-hand witnessing. Their articles were written long ago.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  6. matt

    I meant once the killing fields are quiet. And there are other ways to deal with Hamas if the Israeli leadership really wants to instead of killing scores of women and children and destroying the country using mass-killing bombs which are forbidden by humankind including decent Israelis and the Geneva Conventions. Anderson, I know you are not biased, but please do not be influenced by news fed to the media by one side which is the Israeli military side.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Gil from Ottawa/Canada

    Someone explain to me how droping bombs intentionaly on schools, university or mosquee can stop the firing of rockets by Hamas. Someone explain to how a total blockade of a territory of more than a million of people, leaving them without food, clean water, electricity and without medication, is a compliance to a ceasefire?
    Israel must stop to be the center and the main reason of the international community instability and conflict. It was first Sadam Hussein with his so-called weapons of mass destruction that threatened Israel, then it became Iran after Saddam was hanged like an animal, then it is Hamas, and so on. Enough is enough. The World needs peace and prosperity, not these unjustified killings of children and vulnerable people. The USA should wake up and let Israel leaders face their criminal actions. No state can be allowed to occupy, to starve, to kill other people in the name of their unjustified fear.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  8. John


    Your reporting is supremely admirable. But don't go into Gaza! We don't want anything to happen to you.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Mario

    Israel, The new Holocaust perpetrators!!!! That's what it is. Don't hide it CNN...

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Sam

    Hamas was founded from people that TRULY understand what Israel has put the Palestinian people through. Al-Jazeera has aired the PM of Turkey and he is calling out Israel and asking them to show proof that these rockets are doing harm. With 50+ rockets a day wouldn't you think more innocent Israelis would be dieing?

    To this minute.....213 Children DEAD....89 women are DEAD.....where is the justice? Where is the world? No reporters allowed..why not? What does Israel have to hide? Why isn't the world waking up and realizing what is going on...

    It's comforting to see Americans that truly understand the situation because the Palestinian people are hurting and this injustice must stop.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Anon

    Michael writes:

    "Hey Anderson, why aren’t you and the other reporters out there focusing more on the fact that Hamas is hiding their rockets and ammunition in schools,, masques, homes, etc. risking the lives of the Palestinian people?!"

    How can they, Israel won't let them in to see for themselves and verify things. In a democracy my friend, reporters don't take the word of the government at face value.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  12. SK, California

    It's time for Palestinian people to start loving their own children then to hate Israel. When they understand this concept, they will get their peace. Until then, they should learn by getting rockets and artillery shells delivered right into their houses.

    Germans learned it, Japanese learned it, why Palesntinians can't learn it?

    I hope that Israel won't stop till the mission of cleaning Hamas out of Gaza is over.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Sam Tayar

    What's this about Gazas wanting to flee their homeland?

    A) they say they will stay & fight to the end

    B) in previous wars when allowed to flee they cried they were being chased out

    C) they hate the neighboring countries

    D)they love their leadership which was elected in a democratic landslide

    Besides, they can raise a white flag & be given entry to Israel if they are refused by their brothers & sisters. They also have access to toll-free confidential telephone lines (all languages) to request an exit permits.

    Try this in any other country!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  14. scott

    i am so sick and tired of who broke what cease fire. enough, this is a war. in wars, sometimes innocent people die and that is unfortunate.

    like golda meir once said, "i dont hate arafat for killing my children, i hate him for making me kill his children."

    so do we continue to allow this war to continue???? r do we go to the root of this problem????? the whole world knows, for a fact, that hamas doesnt manufacture rockets and bombs.....so lets completly isolate the culprits....

    or in another words, stop punishing the pupets(hamas) and lets go after the pupet masters(iran and syria). once these 2 countries are stopped dead in their tracks from supplying any type of aid to hamas or hezbolah, the free peace loving world could get on with their business....

    January 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  15. matt

    Anderson: keep up the good work. You will get a chance to get in there once the killing fields are quite and the dead and mutilated are accounted for. I hope that the decent Israeli people will not let their leaders and military continue this holocaust against the Palestinian people. Its a crime of the worst kind just like the one committed against Jews by the Nazis and Russians by Stalin during the second world war, the Bosnians not so long ago, the recent genocide in Sudan, etc., etc..

    January 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  16. Fred

    There is only one reason Israel does not want reporter into Gaza: the IDF does not want any eye witnesses to the massacre which is taking place there.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  17. Parys

    Hamas was formed in response to Israeli occupation. They don't send rockets just for the sake of it. First don't forget that Jews stole their land murdering thousands of Arabs down the road. Before 1947 Jewish paramilitary organizations threw grenades into civilian buildings and bombed trains. Isn't that what you would call today a "terrorism"? During WW2 Polish resistance fought the same way, killing Germans. They hid their weapons in apartments because they didn't have barracks. The sad fact is that majority of Americans are so ignorant so that their own government can sell them its foreign policy.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Cali

    Well, many have said that there are no reporters being allowed in Gaza, on the other hand there are hundreds of reporters in Gaza reporting to other mainstream media outlets like AL ARABIA and AL Jazeera. Seems like many reputable news agencies have been able to report from Gaza without hindrance from Hamas. It is only CNN and FOX news that seem to be sitting on a hill far away from the atrocities that are being committed. Interesting, when will we have free press again in the US???

    January 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Ryan

    I don't really agree with what Israel is doing right now, but Israel has every reason to block access of foreign film crews to the fighting. Film crews would at best be a distraction to Israeli troops, and at worst broadcast from locations that would alter their military operations or provide free intelligence to any Hamas leader with a satellite tv or video-capable blackberry. And from a political standpoint, most world opinion is already against Israel's current action anyway – so who cares if some journalists get mad, and why let in a bunch of people who generally portray events by competing to see who can find the most shocking, extreme footage?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  20. WhoCares?

    We got some serious Ethnic Cleansing going on in Gaza and Israel wants to simply put a lid on it so no one understands their true intent.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  21. US Citizen

    Anderson – be safe – I wish the same for the million or so innocent people caught in this mess. Israel is hiding their war crimes by not allowing any press in. This is easy, control the news and you can tell the people whatever you want and they will buy it. The israeli will never show the truth – because deep down inside they know that the rest of the humanity would not stand for this holocaust to continue. I have already started boycotting all things israel and will continue to do so. This is no more than a political stunt to win over elections. Timing is perfect, since worthless Bush is only if office for a few more days (Thank God for that). Obama may have a bit more concsience to allow this massacre to happen. I hope that the world understands that just because Bush is behind Israel, I (a US citizen) am absolutely not for Israel – they started this mess and must be dealt with harshly.

    If the people reviewing this blog are not biased, they will go ahead and publish my thoughts.

    Peace Out.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  22. OC

    Yep you are all right, the only reason the media is denied access is because of all of the atrocities being comitted by the big bad Israelis. Isreal has said stop the rockets and they stop the air strikes.

    No blames Hamas for what they do. Typical double standards. I feel for the innocent lives that are lost. Tell me who wouldn't defend themselves. The rocket attacks haven't stopped. They have said they have no intention of stopping. Isreal has had hundreds of rockets fired into it's border towns in the last few months. When will this stop? (I guess when Hamas lays down it's demands, get's a cease fire and re-fortifies itself. Just like it has happened in the past.)

    Why should Isreal stop? Should it not defend it's citizens? Does it not have the right? Is it Isreal's fault that a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION decided to pick a fight with them?

    I guess it is easier to paint Isreal as the bad guy instead of reporting the truth about Hamas. They are the reason civilians are being killed.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. Kalib

    We, nor anyone enjoy killing civilians. But what is the use in having military muscle if you can't flex it to protect your citizens? Would you sleep well at night knowing the Canadians are shooting rockets that kill completely indiscriminately (due to the fact that they lack guidance systems) and contently stand by and wait till it hits close to home, or do you send in your fly boys with precision missiles, take steps to keep the enemy in one place, and destroy them no matter where they try to hide. Just as you have seen in Iraq schools, hospitals, and mosques can all be great places to conceil weapons and soldiers dressed as civilians while using guerilla tactics. Using the media as a weapon for support. Stop the media and there is less political fallout. We just want the missiles to stop, the civilians are just as guilty aiding Hamas to conduct operations. So if you don't have guts, a rifle, and put your life on the line for what you believe in, shut up, we can't hear you, and we don't care.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. Joeseph Barr

    I am very saddened to see the number of comments against Israel. Wake up fellow citizens to the reality we the citizens of the west are going to have to face in this world – a growing Islamic menace that is bend on destroying the world by first removing all Jews from their home-land and then coming after us in America and elsewhere in Europe as we have seen happening in France and other EU countries. Plus, it is time to go back and visit chapters of our modern civilization history – any time an evil force is rising to destroy the Jews, the world ends up paying a price and the evil force is ultimately destroyed (e.g., Hitler). With that in mind, I hope you all will come to sense with the truth and not pretend to be "humanists" at the expanse of the Jewish people. Hamas (and its supporters in Iran) is an evil force that should be defeated.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  25. The Obnoxious American

    It never ceases to amaze this American and Jew just how much hate there is for Israel. No one cares about the real genocide in darfur and various other places, but 500 palestinians die (because Hamas, whom they elected, use them as human sheilds) and the whole world is in a tizzy. Sorry but no.

    Hamas is a terrorist organization who was elected by the Palestinian people. And since they were elected their rocket attacks to Israel have only increased. If Israel wanted to wipe out the palestinians, they could easily do that. That only 500 are dead in a tightly packed city speaks volumes.

    All of those dead palestinian children btw, those deaths are on Hamas. Israel doesn't launch attacks surrounding themselves with Israeli children, hence this doesn't happen on the Israeli side.

    You people really need to take a deep look at yourselves. Pacifism is one thing but your hatred of Israel (notice very little mention that Egypt too has closed its borders, effectively the same action as Israel, even though Egypt isn't at war with the palestinians) leads me to think that perhaps just a bit of anti semitism is involved in these responses.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  26. EB

    I am happy the media is not allowed into Gaza this is Israeli military operation its nobody business how the Israeli deal’s with terrorist.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  27. Tes

    If u get a chance to go in there, try to report israel's terrorism as a terrorism is supposed to be reported. And you should declare Israel as a terrorist state killing children / infants. A newest Israel's venture is air attack on UN school where 35 innocent children have been killed. What else can one expect. I am speechless.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  28. james carey

    Lets be honest here. it wouldn't make the blindest bit of difference whether U.S. reporters get in or not. We only hear one side of anything got to do with Palestine here in the U.S. There isn't one channell that challenges the propaganda that explains away the murder of innocent Palestinians by Israel every day.

    I'll bet this comment doesn't get published.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  29. Michelle

    Hey Anderson,

    During the bombings of Mumbay last month, we watched all the CNN reports from Indian reporters working for CNN.
    Don't you think it's time for CNN to hire reporters from within the occupied territories, just like it does with other parts of the world. The only news agencies reporting what is exactly happening these days are those who have reporters from within Gaza, like Al Jazeera, Al Arabia, LBC, Future TV, Egypt TV, and of course the Palestinian agency Ramattan. Has the time come for CNN also to hire reporters living in Gaza so they will not need permission from Israel to show the truth.
    I hope you can get in soon to show us the size of the massacre.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  30. Marc

    Not letting reporters in makes one wonder if there is indeed more going on then Israel lets on. We embed journalists into Iraq because we really do not have anything to hide. If we did we would not allow access to those areas. Not letting any journalists in there raises considerable questions. Israel is only diminishing its support among the general population here in the US. If their intentions are as noble as they claim or they are truly fighting in response then let the world see. Bush is essentially gone now and Barack is the President we elected and he seems to follow what the vast majority of Americans believe and think and Israel is rapidly losing support, I know of only a small handful that support them. Without US and international protection Israel would be doomed. They need to walk a thin line here and by not allowing journalists in they are clearly sending the wrong message. I would be tired of having to live my life with rockets and bombings daily and would fight back or try for a sustainable peace but you cannot claim to be a democratic nation and deny access. The journalists are not there for any reason other than to report to the world, and more specifically to the US, the truth as to what is going on. Our government is not pushing because more often then not they are serving their own interests and not the people's. Hopefully all will change. Hamas is an evil organization but we need to help the people fight them. They are a terrorist organization and are we not fighting a war on terror? Unless Israel has something to hide they need to let the world view what is going on.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  31. Ben Samuels

    International reporters offer excellent cover for Hamas terrorists, as do Gaza's suicidal civilians, and UN tools. You know, there's already plenty of coverage of the combat all over the liberal (anti-semitic) media.

    BTW, there's lots of violence and dead civilians in the Tamil north of Sri Lanka right now... why don't you go cover that? Or the ongoing Jihad in southern Thailand? Oh right... no Jooooos to demonize.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  32. Bill

    What do you expect this is a war. They don't need reporters in Gaza they need medical personnel and undertakers. I don't blame Israel for this war any more than I would blame India if it attacked Pakistan, or Iraq attacked Iran, or the US attacked Pakistan to enilate the terrorists organizations that are organizing and acting out terrorism against their nations. I think Obama should stick to the agenda set forth by the president in 2001 when he said we are coming after the terrorists and if a country sponsors or protects the terrorists they are not safe from military action either. Maybe the Palestinians will execute the Hamas leaders and their followers and reconcile differences with Israel so they can live as Americans and Canadians do and Americans and Mexicans. The Palistinians obviously support Hamas which is a Terrorist organization determined to enilate the Jews in Israel with help from Iran.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  33. Anon

    How pathetic, how could one country that calls itself a democracy control the media of every other country in the world?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  34. RD

    If you want a fast track to victory, the worst thing you can do is let a bunch of reporters run around undermining your efforts with position reports etc. It's called war and it's not pretty. That said, I can't believe we are now paying for THREE WARS.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  35. Charles

    Wake Up, this is a war, and the object is to win. Not only should Israel not allow the press in, but they should not give them any relevant information which may compromise their peoples. The "Gaza land giveaway" by Israel to Hamas is a failed experiment. Hamas has proven that they have no interest in providing economic opportunities for their population, so it's time for them to be replaced. Peace through victory!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  36. donn

    do you think the us will intervene?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  37. Anon

    Israel's PR campaign is a SHAM. Why not let reporters in so they can cover exactly what is going on?

    I thought Israel was a democracy... how stupid of me.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  38. AlexNYC

    There is enough blame to go around, but the IDF needs to restrict their heavy handed approach. Also, the media seems to be one-sided in their approach. As an American, I'm extremely unhappy with the peace process and I'm ashamed that our military technology and funding is being used to sacrifice women and children.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  39. DM

    Do reporters really show whats going on?

    They also think they are undestructable, does anyone know how many have died in Iraq in recent years? the number is huge.

    They run in thinking their press badge is a bullet proof vest

    January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  40. Gennadiy

    Well. Maybe there is the reason(s) why they do not allow anybody in the area.
    1. reporters could be killed or injured as is ANY war (especially AC) .....
    2. security reasons.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  41. Darren

    Am I wrong, or hasn't Hamas, acting as the elected government for the Gaza Strip area, limited press access for years? As of late 2007, don't you need specific permission from Hamas to photograph the area? I know it's a shame that a war zone with hundreds of civilians being killed can't be filmed from the front lines – but at least Israel may just want to protect the reports from harm, and may not be hoping to just filter information.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  42. Jo

    You guys talk as if Israelis aren't suffering at all. The Hamas leaders are the ones putting their people in this situations. They don't know what "peace" or "negotiation" means. Stop the rockets over Israel and you'll have peace. That simple.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  43. Joe

    Based on the history of both sides (i.e. suicide bombings and plane hijackings), I would lean more towards trusting Israel. I believe they are more willing to live more peacefully than Hamas. Regarding casualties this is still a war, and there WILL be friendly fire and collateral damage in war – – that's unavoidable even if it's unintentional.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  44. marilyn

    If the Israelis will not allow reporting (with pictures) from Gaza, all media should not show damage from Hamas rockets in Israel. I am sure that the damage in Israel is minor compared to what is being done to Palestinian cities. We've been brainwashed into thinking everything Israel does is in our (America's) best interests. It's time we cleared our heads and beheld the truth.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  45. robert in Portland

    Adeline.......That is what the Palestinian people get for electing a terrorist organization as their government. This is brilliant of the Israelis to handle things this way. It is going to force the Palestinian people to realize that their "Government" can not provide for or protect them. In fact they make things WAY worse.

    Hmas and the palestinian people are like that child of someone you know that has been in Juvenile Hall 6 times before the age of 10. Sometimes you gotta just teach them a lesson even though it might hurt them.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  46. Susan

    January 6th, 2009 9:37 am ET

    Don’t you find it curious that in other “wars” the military protect the citizens of their country by providing them with bomb shelters, gas masks, etc. In Gaza, Hamas sends their military leaders into the bunkers and leaves the defenseless citizens above ground with no protection. Why are the leaders in hiding and the children, women and other citizens left unprotected.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  47. Chris

    If rockets were being launched from Baja California it would be completely justified to remove the threat. Israel has been dealing with this for years. Hamas broke the cease fire. Terrorists in Gaza use schools and hospitals as launching pads because they know were stupid enough to be outraged at Israel.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  48. Scott Medley

    I think it is great that the reporters can't get in and report biased information to the public. This undermines war strategies. It seems that the media reports only the bad and taints the public view of the underdog...which is Israel. No one wants to report what Hamas is doing to Israel. They are the ones who are targeting innocent civilians. They are the ones who started this conflict and Israel should not be expected not to respond to these terrorists.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  49. ali

    Who said that the Palestinians are killing innocent Israelis. Palestinian home-made rockets did not kill any Israeli view of the vulnerability. Israel cheat the world, and the movement of a false picture of the situation there. Israel has killed 550 in a week, including more than 100 children and master. Israel is bombing the homes, mosques and schools have no mercy on Gaza, Israel the pretext of a mass grave of Palestinian rockets, which killed one Israeli, before the massacre

    January 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  50. RT

    Let's see... Palestinians voted Hamas into power... Hamas wants nothing less than the destruction of Israel... Meaning that is what the people of PALESTINE (wherever that exists on a map???) want the same thing... Hamas costantly shoots rockets into Israel under a truce but Israel does not respond... Hamas intentionally let the truce not get renewed... Etc..., Etc...

    Meanwhile, the CIVILIZED world has to listen to a bunch of people from a certain ethnicity cry and moan and talk about how innocent all the Palestinians are.... Not to mention REPORTERS trying to validate their own screwed up opinions about wha is going on.. So sorry Coop, no go this time because the Israelis are not stupid. They allow the the Al Jazeera in so that they can show what they are doing to the ones that it MATTERS for... All they can do is show it and it is up to that WHACKED OUT media to twist it and turn it into typical MIDDLE EAST DOUBLE TALK...............


    January 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
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