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. Frank Robinson

    I agree with Michael.
    Hamas, instead of being in the open, and fighting are using people homes and hospitals to fire and hide in.
    Why not cover the Rockets, which have targeted schools,and homes in Israel?
    Reporting is so one sided anymore. There is no Free Press or Truth in Reporting anymore.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  2. tim

    Israel is wrong and I am glad the US media is largely in support of the Palestinians this time.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Daniel

    Gaze can either take it the hard way and let the Israeli soldiers to go in and destroy everything or just point out all the Hamas fighters and let the soldiers go in and finish the job. They wanna make it hard then they deserve whatever they have coming to them.

    Let the reporters in but let them know that if they get bombed cause they are interviewing a Hamas "Freedom Fighter" then that is just to bad for them. I'm tired of hearing everyone complain about Israels actions when they are constantly attacked. About time they step up and say those who do harm to us we will harm them!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  4. Ron Vincent

    Why can't reporters, food, supplies, medical assistance, etc get into Gaza via the water front or throught the border with Egypt?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  5. mike clark

    It seems to me that is israel is trying to hide the truth. If their concern is the safety of the reporters than the least they could do is allow the reporter to be embedded. I feel sorry for the people living in Gaza since they are unable show their suffering to the rest of the world. All we see on the news are how the israelis are suffering from the militants rockets.
    Good luck Anderson in exposing the truth. I have a feeling Israel is not going to allow you to do that. Stay safe.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  6. tommy

    As humans we are oligated to help out in times of need. Everyone is so surprised that the international community is not stepping up to help. only someone like Anderson can do a real stry to show why the international community cant stop this unfortunate event. Everytime UN tries to pass a resolution forcin isreal to stop U.S vetos it and puts a stop to it. this is the time that we have to put politics aside we kep talking about having a better image in the world, lets start here. And i'm by no means blaming Isreal for this whole massacare but come on you guys this is over kill. the media cant get in because the last week all the pictures ae of children dying not good for Isreals image i guess. but like they said they dont care about their image. Anderson stay away bro you dont need to get hurt. we need you to be around and cover the news the way it should be. I can honestly say that you are the only non-biast reporter for cnn. keep up the good work.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  7. Rachel

    Who in their right mind would want to go into Gaza in the first place?
    Story or no story Hamas has fooled around with Israel and got them fired up and now they will pay. I say go Israel and take them all out!
    I do feel sorry for the children etc., but why doesn't the parents get them out of there? They've always had a beef against the Jews and I suppose always will. So not much news there except more violence.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  8. JAG

    A government organization fires missiles into anothers sovereign territory. Outsiders looking in always ask the question as to why the civilians in that country launching the missiles don't stop the killing. The fact that they don't see those civilians attempts is used as justification to go to war.

    If this line of reasoning were sound, and it is justified for Israel to continue bombing the population of Gaza, then why was it not acceptable for the Iraqi's to continue their fight against the Americans?

    Is this not the exact same situation with the only difference being the countries involved?

    It can't be considered acceptable to the US, and then not acceptable to the Palestinians!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  9. Jason

    Amazing that nobody cares about the Israeli citizens who are fired upon daily for 8 years. That's okay in the minds of the anti-semites posting here. Hamas is using its population as human shields. No army on earth "melts in" in the general population. They are just waiting to show the world Israeli "atrocities" when the IDF fires on militants who launch rockets from populated areas, schools, etc.
    The only way to deal with terrorists is to strike back ....hard. Hamas is to blame for ANY civilian casualties. You don't see the IDF hiding in schools in Sderot. Israel did what any nation would do, move its population away from military areas, not hide among the population.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Jim in Fllorida

    Oh great, now Anderson can't get into Gaza so Anderson again is the story, just the way he likes it.

    Perhaps there would be no need for humanitarian aid if Hamas would spend the millions of dollars they get on their people vice rockets and bullets.

    Iran continues to be moddycoddles by the political left in Europe and the US yet they continue to export death and destruction to Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon and other locations where they seek to bolster Iranian influence. Iran's ruling elite only knows violence, they cannot offer anything constructive.

    So, before you blame Israel for defending its homes, businesses and schools from incessant rocket attacks from Hamas, look at the blame that should be assigned to the Iranians.

    There will never be peace in the Middle East unti the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  11. Steve

    The Israelis now conveniently claim that they are worried about any injuries that might be sustained by any journalist and as a result have now decided to deny journalists any access into Gaza.

    The public is not that credulous!!

    The Israelis like to control the murderous pictures taken by journalists that accurately depict the barbaric, unjustified and undemocratic acts of the Israelis.

    Are the honest Palestinian civilian’s lives not as valuable as that of the journalists?
    The US apathy towards providing help to the innocent civilians is unequivocally repulsive in the eyes of the whole planet.
    The Israelis prior occupation of Gaza air space, land, ports and check points and roots of commence is what sparked this conflict.

    Both sides must sit down and work out the mechanics of a sustainable peace agreement.

    We must distinguish the innocent Palestinian children and women from Hamas.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  12. Tuja Labang

    Hi AC,
    God will take care of you,Whatever you want to do,do its......

    January 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  13. Ron

    stay safe AC.

    Israel is intentionally killing civilian children, paramedics, at citizens so there is nothing to stop them from attacking the media. I hope that you can get in there safely and can show a first hand account of the atrocious war crimes that Israel is committing against the people of Gaza.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  14. Heather Prince

    This is nothing but a genocide against the Palestinian people. They are killing innocent men, women and children. This is clearly a crime against the Palestinian people.

    Israel feels the more Palestinians they kill now the less who will confront them later.

    Israel is taking advantage of the situation that President Bush is still in the White House and has given them Carte Blanche. When Barak Obama comes into power they will not do this.

    I am very dissappointed in the USA for allowing this to continue.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  15. Judi

    I hear the complaints that the media isn't being allowed into Gaza by the Israelis. Understandable, given the situation.

    Why not try crossing from the Egypt checkpoint? Maybe the Egyption goverment will even help you if any of the reporters get kidnapped or injured.

    Since the situation in Gaza is so desperate how come the tunnels are'nt used for smuggling in food and medicine? No wonder Gaza has no infrastructure, they use their monies for weapons.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  16. Stuart

    The US has only allowed reporters who were embedded with US troops to be in war zones in Iraq and Afganistan. This is not unusual.

    In addition, Palestinians have on numerous occassions in the past staged "civilian massacres" which the media has taken at face value and fell for. (see honestreporting.com) I am not saying that there are not significant civilian casualties currently in Gaza but Israel has a valid reason for being wary of the media.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  17. steve

    How come you're just now getting there? Why didn't you cover the end of the cease fire and the start of the Hamas rocket raids? Have you tried to enter Gaza from the Egyptian border?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  18. shayla

    I find it amazing that Israel always has to be the bad guy when they go against there enemies. I have been following the Israeli-Palestianian conflict since 2000, when the suicide bombing began. Yes, I feel sorry for the Palestianian people because many have lost jobs and living in harsh conditions. However, they knew about Hamas when they voted them in as their government. Hamas has no plans to stop shooting rockets into Israel because the want to wipe the Jewish state off the map and reclaim the state of Palenstine. Yes, innocent people are dying on both sides but if one party does not want to end their hatred of another than what is Israel to do, sit back and watch their people die? No and no other nation would allow this to happen either but the world has always viewed Israel as the bully when in fact they are trying to protect their civilians.
    As far as Hamas, they are doing the same thing as Hezbolla which is hiding among the civilians causing many deaths. Open your eyes world, the terrorists will not stop the destruction and killings until everyone falls to their knees. Israel is not doing so and neither should the rest of the world. Remember this a fight not against Islam but to those who twist it beliefs and want to kill those who do not believe their faith.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  19. Miller Lessell

    Why aren't you covering the missile attacks in the Israelis cities – where Hamas terrosits are deliberately exclusively targeting civilians? Or are Jewish casualties not as interesting?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  20. greg leckrone volusia county florida

    When HAMAS displays dead children I think "YOU KILLED THEM" –YOU MADE THEM DIE"--be more peaceful–quit sending rockets into Israel....the world is finally tired of HAMAS as are other nations. Israelie children are dying too. Let palestine be run by respectable arabs–not terrorists.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  21. Ilya

    Where are all 20,000 Hamas fighters? They are hiding among civilians! How do you expect Israeli army to distinguish them?!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  22. henry

    Since nobody would help women and children of Gaza, let's pray for Iran to go in and save them.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  23. Yvonne

    I wonder why no one at CNN thought there was a problem when the US invaded Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11. Why is it only when Israel is attempting to protect it's citizens they are suddenly terrorists....come on Anderson, see things for what they really are. If rockets were raining down on you for years on end, don't you really think you would have had enough too. Its wrong of Hamas to hide behind it's civilians, but that what terrorists do, they have no respect for human life, otherwise they wouldn't blow themselves up

    January 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  24. steve

    Even if you get in all you will find is wounded woman and children because Hamas cowards hide in bunkers away from the soldiers. They sneak out only to fire rockets next to schools and hospitals and and then run away knowing the Israeli military will strike the site. The only way Hamas can win is to have lots of civilian casualties shown on tv and get the public opinion against the Israelis. They are willing to sacrifice their people to save themselves from this war they started. Someone needs to start reporting how Hamas is using their people as human shields. Their leaders do not care about their people. Report both sides, not just propaganda of terrorist cowards.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  25. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Israel does not want International reporters to SEE what is going on. Sadly, Israel does not seem to understand that all those victims of this war, especially the children will grow to hate them! And become future terrorists!

    All war does in the Middle-East is help recruit more terrorists!

    @ Michael....... yes they elected Hamas....... BUT,.....with Bush's blessing!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  26. Unconcerned Citizen

    Seriously. This all feels like a "vote for me I'm the perfect one" race every time a photo is published on the front page.

    With the media covering every little bit, it seems like a big giant pity party.

    Both warring parties are spoiled little brats, killing for the sake of killing. Ground both of these toddlers right now because the KILLING MUST STOP NOW! I am sick (at heart) of seeing burnt, holey children at every turn. They're all evil doers imo, no matter who thinks they're right or who thinks who started it first. It's 2009 for god's sake. Grow UP.

    CNN Stop covering the war as if you were the E! Entertainment channel.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  27. Laura

    Reports are coming from Gaza eye-witnesses. Email and communications are very spotty, but that's war for you. There was a cell phone video the other day after a missile hit a crowded marketplace, it was pretty devastating to watch and the screams were loud.

    Let's hope they allow you guys in soon, but be careful!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  28. Gordo

    We don't know the truth because our only source of information is the government and or the press.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  29. Les Porter

    Anderson Copper can't wait to get into Gaza so he can give the CNN pro-Palestinian outlook. CNN wants Israel's destruction so bad they actually sent a reported in with the traitorous Cynthia McKinney so they could give their biased outlook on how Israel stopped them from delivering needed medicine and suppliers to Hamas. Maybe Hamas should have thought about this when they were receiving thousands of rockets from Iran and Hezbollah. Hamas broke the truce and CNN needs to stop making this about how poor Palestinians are suffering at the hands of Israel and make it about how Hamas is destroying it own people. CNN needs to quit making up the news.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  30. Unimpressed

    I'm a moslem (arguably not a very good/practicing one, but I digress), and I'm also an American. I've been getting bits and pieces of information...hard to tell what's fact, what's not. At any rate, I'm going to allow equal level of benefit of the doubt to both sides (Hamas/Palestinians, Israel), which essentially means I believe neither. However, we know neither Hamas nor Israel government is innocent. This is not about doing what's right. This discord had been going on long enough. Neither will seek peace. This conflict is about who can overpower the other. I would much rather have Israel overpower Hamas, than Hamas take over the region. Why? Because I believe you can be powerful without being a terrorist. And there's no place for humanity for terrorism.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  31. Victoria

    **To Sam @ 2:10 pm ET

    You call the Isreali rockets ACCURATE???!! Over 550 deaths and a huge chunk of that is innocent civilian! How is that accurate. Please explain. Hamaz is a creation and a byproduct of Israel's terror and oppression to the people of Palestine. Why should they stop firing rockets? Why should they stop defending themselves? Israel can kill kill kill but the Palestinians can't defend themselves?? THAT'S the doulbe standard you fool! Finally the world has come to learn that what Isreal is really about. They stopped being the victims long ago and have proven to be the real terrorists! Banning the media won't stop the world from knowing this!


    Shame on Bush for not stepping up either. They do not want a ceasefire b/c they want Isreal to find any Iran weapons and that will give them any excuse to declare another war!!


    January 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  32. steve

    What you all dont seem to understand is that Israel is not allowing reporters into Gaza for numerous reasons including the fact that it is a closed military zone. dont you recall when the US army kicked Geraldo Rivera out of Iraq for reporting their exact location.
    Israel also does not want more civilians in the way when bombs are going off and rockets are being fired.
    Besides for the fact that CNN has not showed the footage that the IDF has posted on the internet showing the hamas terrorists firing rockets from the un school, reporters will only twist the truth more, and pretend that the civilians of Israel(who have bombs and rockets falling all day ) are the enemy.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  33. alan

    " john beccia January 6th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

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

    Spent any time in that region, John? Despite public perception, that's just not true. I'd take my chances on the streets of Cairo than pretty much any street in America. We might do ourselves a favor to clear our heads long enough to see that the Middle East is not the Wild Wild West. And the clearer a picture one paints of this situation in Gaza, the more they're lying to you.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  34. Jean

    Everyday IDF reports rockets hitting Israel. Where are the pictures of the rockets fired by hamas into Israel., of the loss of life and, the injured Israeli people.. Where are the pictures of Israelis running out of food, water, electricity, medicine and have their their schools and homes destroyed .It is one thing to target Hamas but to use it as an excuse to kill innocent defensless people is highly inhuman.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  35. Get Real

    When Palestinians stop harboring terrorists and it is deamed safe, then the liberal media will have all the time in the world to defend the citizens who hide these Hamas cowards.. If the people turned them in, there wouldnt be retailation from Israel.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  36. warsame; minneapolis,mn

    it must be hard to be a reporter when reporting from a war zone

    January 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  37. James

    Stop the Rockets....its about the ROCKETS!! Stop the Rockets and the war gets stopped.

    I feel for the innocents – but what else can you do? Will the USA take daily Rocket fire from Mexico and do nothing??

    January 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  38. R M

    If a Saudi,Iranian, Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Libyan and who ever else can get into Gaza. What makes you think the Israels can keep a reporter / journalists out of Gaza? I know Anderson can!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  39. Shawn Humble

    Hamas rockets must stop. Hamas has brought this calamity on it's own people for choosing war instead of peace. The real agressors here are the Hamas militants against their own people and the people of Israel. Do you see Israel in the West Bank? No, you don't. Why? They are not firing rockets and trying to kill Israelis. Hamas's time is up. Good luck, Israel. Hope you can finish what you started this time.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  40. Jess

    Responding to a previous comment. An organization that sends suicide bombers into markets and buses, killing and injuring scores of civilians, is a terrorist organization. When Israel gives notice that it will attack, and Hamaas forces women and children to stand in front of and stay inside of Israeli targets, Israel is the terrorist? Hamaas has fired rockets constantly at Israel from Gaza since they were allowed to occupy it. They aren't fired with any guidance systems or targeting. How then, can anyone compare the two? Did anyone catch the story of two Palestinian girls killed by a Hamaas rocket that misfired?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  41. quigely

    Israel doesn't want anyone to witness or record the genocide and the attacks against the civilians and Gaza. It is really pathetic and shameful that the world is sitting watching doing nothing against Israel clear transgression. Israel lamming Hamas for the violence totally ignoring the fact that Israel started the whole mess by closing Gaza as a punishment for electing hamas on jan 2006. Only then Hamas started launching the missiles to the settlement near Gaza which is part of Gaza according the peace treaty and should have been emptied already. It is not Hamas that moved more than 450,000 Israeli settlers to the west bank violating a clear resolution of UN that clearly forbid Israel to build any settlement over there. Last time I remember killing civilians and kids was identified as terrorism , and world must stop the Zionist terrorism.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  42. ali

    Israel is doing a mass grave in the grounds of Palestinian rockets, which killed one Israeli,

    January 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  43. Rahim

    You are foolish LJroy. only one site has taken weapons out. we attacked israel and have been attacking for many years. they are defending themselves.

    it isnt their fault that the people sending rockets keep thier children next to them and shoot out of schools.

    israel isnt attacking civilians as we have been doing for many years. they are going for military bases, and launching sites. its hamas's fault for placing civilians in them.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  44. Ilya

    You should be able to easily get into Gaza via the Rafah crossing, which is not controlled by Israel.

    Also, the international community should be able to bring as much humanitarian aid via Rafah as it wishes to, to relief the plight of Gazan civilians. Remember, it is not controlled by Israel.

    Why is this not happening if the international community is so concerned about the humanitarian situation?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  45. james carey

    to respond to Michael, the Israelis elected a government that has just massacred 40 people in a school, 600 people in a little over a week. So im not sure what your point is?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  46. engin olufson

    I never was more ashamed of Israel than I am now after seeing what they're doing to these Palestinian people. I can't believe the world saved the Israelites from Hitler and then moved them into this region and now they think have the right to act exactly like the people they had fled. Come on already. Admit it to yourself once and for all. It's basically a true statement isn't it?

    While I'm at it, I am also ashamed of our Jewish New York Mayor Bloomberg. He looks giddy as he supports his Israel because he's trying to become New York's mayor for the umteenth time. At no point does he even show remorse for all of the babies being mutilated on the Palestinian side .

    This war, coming at such a convenient time, as Bush is stepping down, makes me realize why the rest of the planet is pissed at the Israel-US relationship. What a liability this one small country has become for us.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Navy Captain

    Anderson – Israel is restricting the media because their are enough ideologues running amock to cause great harm by distorring their reporting. I quote from today's Haaretz reporting on an example of distortions from France: "Public television France 2 on Tuesday revealed they had aired photographs that allegedly showed destruction caused by the Israel Air Force during Operation Cast Lead, which were in fact footage of the devastation caused after a militant's truck full of explosives blew up in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp in 2005." Palliwood – the staging of death scenes for the press, is standard Hamas and Hezbullah art. Remeber Qana in Lebanon in 2006 or France 2's fabricated death of Mohammed Al Dura in Sept 2000. Sorry. I know you have personally have integrity; alas, the media as a group do not.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  48. Charles

    Give me a break. CNN and Coop think there is some type of international Freedom of the Press. If they dont want them in then good and who cares. How about CNN doing a real story about the crack heads outside their offices in Atlanta beggin for money!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  49. Dave

    Perhaps the UN should impose a "no fly" zone, and the US Navy should enforce it. Let the IDF take on the Fifth Fleet!

    Oh, that's right, Israel attacked the US Navy once before, and nothing was ever done about it.

    Until our politicians wake up and put either our national interests or human rights ahead of the special interests that supposedly support them, nothing will change in the Middle East. It sickens me to hear politicians claim to be "friends" of Israel – their allegiance is supposed to be to US!!!!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  50. Emilio

    We had to wait until WWII was over to find all the horros of the holocaust, because reporters were not allowed there either. It is increidible that Israel the very land that asked the world to never forget the tragedies of war is choosing this path to hide what is going on. If there is nothing to see, there is nothing to forget.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
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