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. Ken

    Israel's recent actions have been disproportionate as is typical for them when toughness is politically expedient. Having acknowledged that, it is difficult to feel sorry for the plight of adult Palestinians whose primary reason for living is the destruction of the Israeli state. I believe Israel would be content to coexist if peace were achieved, but the Palestinian position is not reciprocal.

    Golda Meir was correct in stating that "Palestine will find peace when Palestinians learn to love their children more than they hate Israelis". The current environment is a perfect example. Instead of investing their energy building a nation, lobbying the UN and regional powers for true autonomy, and establishing an economic foothold in the 21st century, they prefer to lob Qassams and encourage retaliation in hopes of drawing other Middle East states into annihilating the Jewish state for them.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  2. Terry Noble

    Excellent....STAY OUT!!! NO REPORTERS....let the military do what they are trained for! Leave the bias reporting on both sides out of the fight area, you can see it later after the cease fire. Tilt then


    January 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  3. Mary

    I have visited Israel – most recently the first part of December.

    This is a war and unfortunately innocent people are killed in wars.

    Hamas has been firing these rockets for months -during a cease fire.
    Hamas is using the civilian population and areas so they can show the devestation to those people. Hamas does not want a cease fire – they want Israel destroyed.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm |

    Anderson we wish you good luck and safe return.
    If they have nothing to hide, at least they should allow their journalists into Gaza... of course they are concerned about their safety!!!!!!!!!
    It is one more time the international community and the FREE world watching the killing of Palestinian while they do nothing... They can find out if really the Palestinians are Terrorists, they do not have just to accuse them. But no one want to say what is the real reason behind all of this. Free world are scared to criticize Israel....WHY?????

    January 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  5. mike

    from inside gaza or outside gaza CNN wont cover it fair. i guess russia can't do to georgia what they did , but israel can do whatever they wish to the palestinians.

    AC keeps forgetting that israel is an occupying nation and he never mentions how many UN resolutionS israel has defied. he is not brave enough to say who actually broke the truce first.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  6. A Jewish woman

    Israel has always wanted peace.
    Stop shooting at them. They will stop shooting at you. Simple.

    Do you know how the mideast map looks like? how tiny Israel is against the HUGE arab countries around it? well,
    It is constantly attacked because most of the countries around it do not recognize its existence!!! So they DEFEND themselves as well they should.

    Since those sneaky terrorists hide in schools etc., that's where they get hit. Israel never wanted to hurt the innocent. NEVER. Again,
    Stop shooting at them. They will stop shooting at you. Simple.
    I know, I know, what is to be done with all that jealousy and hate against Jews in general if peace is achieved? hmmm, I don't know. Take up a hobby?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  7. Reason

    foolish to call this Gaza thing "genocide"
    poor use of language and hyperbole,
    Jordan killed 10,000 people from palistine
    in the 80's on some "Black Friday"
    was that genocide?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  8. Gary

    Anderson Cooper AC360°, Where have you been for 8 years while rockets have been falling. Instead of going into Gaza, How about going to Sederot and reporting from there. You can see the Hamas Qassams up close as they land all around you. Sederot is also in a war zone. lest you forget.

    But we want flash not the truth don't we. Flash looks better on TV. and we all want those High ratings to bring in the $$$$$$

    So instead try reporting from Sederot, Askelon, Ashdod, for a change.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  9. let it be man

    "Why were such problems in the Middle East non-existent prior to WWII?"

    Are you kidding me? Those people over there have been waring and fighting and trying to gain control of "holy land" and what not since biblical times... its just that now they've got their hands on big boy weapons and since 911 with the whole "terrorist" scare what a better way for the media to make money than to report on the violence from the area that "terrorists" come from. LOL *sigh* media hype is the life for me blah blah blah... these people will never stop fighting until one side totally dominates that other like every other war in history has been settled.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  10. Cindy N.

    The amount of ignorance in the comments made here is appalling. People like "Sam" and "Honor" who have never served in any army, let alone any war don't seem to get it. The reporters are not allowed in because Israel cannot guarantee their safety. It's quite basic and has repeatedly happened in Iraq, Afganistan, Somalia, ex-Yugoslavia etc.
    You only seem to have a voice when it comes to criticizing Israel.
    Where have you been the last 8 years as innocent Israeli civilians have been bombarded by rockets and over 400 civilians killed? In fact, not ONE of those deaths was a soldier! If Hamas stopped hiding behind their civilian population and played by Geneva Convention rules, there would be NO civilian casualties in Gaza. Their cowardice withstanding, Israel is still dissecting the areas as much as possible to only reach the actual militants and doing one heck of a job considering the illegal manuvers performed by Hamas. Your responses are quite clear so let's call it what is is: Anti-Semitism pure and simple in all it's ugliness. Shame on you.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  11. iram

    why can't we all peacefully co exist? this will be my only wish if i culd be granted on . i better start looking hard and fast for my genie to grant me this wish

    January 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  12. Rick

    No military allows access to the media in any War. This has been true since Vietnam. Neither Hamas nor Israel want the media there, because they want to control what the viewers see.

    The war would stop as soon as Hamas stopped firing missiles. Why isn't the world screaming at Hamas for using the Citizens of Gaza as hostages?

    There is even a video showing the terrorists launching mortars at the army from a UN school. There's no safe place in Gaza because Hamas hides in those places, schools and mosques and uses them as stageing areas for weapons.

    Israel won't stop until the rockets stop and Hamas isn't able to rearm or dig more tunnels. There can be no peace as long as there are leaders willing to kill their own people!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  13. Ed

    You just lestin to what Israel media said. The UNRWA who are responsible for these schools stated that there are no Hamas people inside these schools. Childern and women who ran away from home seeking for safe place are inside these schools. Israel is doing crime against humanity. I wish one day the Israely leaders will have a trial in Holland.
    Do not look to one side media.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  14. iram

    Can only visuals evoke emotions towards death. No ! who ever dies in this conflict is a life taken away from their loved ones. mother ,father ,children taken away prematurely .
    Anyone who has experienced loss can identify with the horror and helplessness of wars and conflict anywhere in the world.
    Darfur, Rawanda, cambodia, iraq, afghanistan, india,middle east. no problem big or small, each has different flavours.
    time to really reflect why do we need to follow the routine of survival of the fittest / mightest ??? why can we all peacfully co exist.
    this will be my only wish if i could be granted one .

    January 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  15. Mary

    One of the reasons that Egypt has the border closed is that the U.S. is there watching.

    'NBC anchorwoman and chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said Sunday that US military officers from the Corps of Engineers had been stationed on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in order to prevent "arms smuggling from illegal tunnels" by Palestinian fighters.'

    January 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  16. susham

    Hi Anderson,
    It is dissapointing that you guys r are not allowed to enter Gaza. It must be really frustrating for reporters for not being able see whats happening inside Gaza. What is Israel hiding? If they allow foreign media to access the rocket hit Israeli side, they should deffinately allow media to access Gaza as well to see how people are going through there

    January 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  17. Yahya Abukhdeir

    i am disgusted in how the Israeli terrorists aren't letting the reporters in, they just don't want the world to see how much of a monster they are. The Arab world must join the fight in getting rid of the terrorist state of Israel if there is ever to be peace in the middle east

    January 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  18. Carl

    Both sides are at fault here, and innocent civilians on both sides are the victims of the people in power...

    But, as Americans, shame on you for your pure ignorance on the matter, for many of you blogging know nothing of this area (me neither).

    How would we feel if Canada started firing 100 rockets a day into the US and targeted schools and major cities? Yet other nations told us not to react with force to stop it?

    How would you feel if our troops blockaded Canada and killed civilians when they were going after Canadian targets inside schools, because these men and women cower behind children and then fire back?

    We don't know, so we really shouldn't actually form an opinion on this...

    January 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  19. msa

    I am bewildered that some people speak about hamas rockets and denounce hamas for shooting to Isreal.
    "So ask yourself: If I shoot at you, and miss, are you in the wrong to fire back and hit me? The answer should be simple."said sam.
    But now ask yourself :If I occupy your country and destroy your houses and farms ,dont you have any right to defence yourself and fight with me!!? The answer is simple too!
    Isreal has occupied Palestine 60 years ago with aid of England .They have killed many of people and destroyed Palestinians houses and and built their houses and towns on them.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  20. mickey

    Stunning that the world is allowing this blackout of reporting inside GAZA–IS the world allowing a genicude without witness

    January 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  21. David Liston

    The civilian situation in Gaza must be terrible. I would like to know, however, when we hear of civilian casualties or body counts from sources, how do they classify the large and extended family of a hamas fighter/terrorist/extremist (choose your own word)? Is that a civilian? Are they still civilians if they live in a house or apartment or block with a father and brother in Hamas who use the house or apartment or the basement or their neighbors house to store weapons and bombs? It is a tragedy no doubt that many women and especially children are in harms way, but the lines here are very gray and shifting. Hamas must bear much of the responsibliity for choosing to fight using their families to shield themselves.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  22. Michael-TO, CAN

    Don't you get it? It's because of the media that Israel's soldiers were easy targets in Lebanon.

    It's the first and last time that I hope the media interferes with Israel's attempts to defend itself.

    Why not talk more about Hamas and how they are using their own people as human shields? They are killing their own woman and children. Terrorists have no limits!

    Stop blaming the Jewish people for the world's problems. After a few thousand years, don't you think they deserve a break?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  23. harkie

    Keep the reporters out. They do more harm than good. We would all be speaking German now if we had the current set of reporters durning WWII. Let them work it out.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  24. nate

    The American people should be outraged with what is going on in Gaza. There is a massacre been perpetrated on the Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army and the president elect is not saying a word. This indicates that American people are supporting the arrogances of the current US government. The president elect should say something to stop the war. School buildings and public places that civilians run for safety are regularly targeted with arms and missiles by the Israeli troops. This is unacceptable and should be condemned. News reporters are reporting that Israel military is not allowing journalists to enter Gaza because they will report atrocities that are been committed by the Israel military.

    United Nation is trying to pass a resolution asking for cease fire but American government is blocking everything. What kind of change Obama talked about and he is not talking? This war will not serve America or Israel right. Are they trying to kill everyone living in Gaza? There is no escape route for civilians living in Gaza. Why should will sit and see Palestinian people perish in the name of security?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  25. ahmed

    they dont want reporters in cause they want to slaughter the palestinians with no watch.and the problem that cnn and the media in general they believe the claims of the israelis criminals and not the pictures,its a crime ladies and gentlemen,it is a genocide,and if gaza has oil,the american will be so happy to liberate it.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  26. Ron

    I personally think they should put all of the "news media" in there until they learn the meaning of *sensationalism* or get their butt's shot off.

    I for one, am sick of the US media twisting news so it shows their version.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  27. Monte

    I don't cry for Palestinians.

    They want NO Israel. They elect Hamas. Hamas shoots rockets.

    The only way to stop such barbarism is for Israel to smash the living daylights out of Hamas and Gaza.

    That's how wars are won. Unconditional surrender.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  28. JonD

    Observe the borders, stop building settlements and taking land and this will all end. Just who is being driven into the sea here ? Any objective observer can see what has been going on for decades in Israel. Why not support the Palestinians, arm them to the teeth, as we have Israel, and allow them to build a thousand or so settlements on Israeli soil ? THAT would be fair.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  29. renee

    For all you people who are criticizing Isreal, I wonder just what you would do if Hamas was firing missles at your home day after day?

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Chuck

    Israel will allow "civilians" to get out of Gaza as soon as they murderers lobbing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods put on uniforms and fight like men; and stop hiding behind the skirts of the woman and children.

    If the election of Hamas political leaders is to believed, then the citizens of Gaza are getting exactly what they asked for.

    The Catholics and Protestants of Ireland showed you can learn to life in peace despite decades of violence - time Palestinians with the guts to talk peace tried to replace the fanatics in charge.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  31. samsam Hassan

    Anderson this is samsam Hassan from Omaha I have been following the middle-east crisis and what I would like to know is how the Israelian people feel about the 500 civilians that have lost their lives. What’s Israelis plan for peace continue to airstrike Gaza? I don’t know what exactly is going on in Gaza, but retaliation isn’t one of them.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  32. Terry

    Did you not see these so called "innocents" eat "sweets" to celebrate the rumor that an Israeli soldier was captured during the initial phase of the "incursion". What do you think they would have done to that soldier, if it was true that one was captured? Watch the video's sometime, these "innocents" allow their children to play around the Hamas "soldiers" when they are carrying around weapons and firing their rockets. These "innocents" are just as guilty as the actual Hamas "soldiers" for this war. They do nothing to stop the rocket firings themselves. What's wrong with you people? And what's wrong with you, Mr. Cooper? What do you really think you are going to report on? You're going to see the same thing you see in every other war, death and destruction.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  33. Jim D. in Costa Mesa

    If the Israelis have learned anything about genocide, it would be to make sure that you have the complete backing of the world's biggest superpower and DON"T take any photographs or let the press in. Who needs to build death camps! Just surround Caza with concrete walls. They have also waged a brilliant public relations campaign in the United States of demonizing the Palestinians and playing the victim, counting on the intellectual laziness of too many Americans.

    And the U.S. has blood on our hands too! Our leaders know full well of Israeli war crimes and give them unconditional support anyhow. Like Sabra/Shatila, Lebanon and now Gaza, just to name a few. As far as the U.S. is concerned, Israel can do no wrong. And people wonder why we were attacked on 9/11.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  34. iram

    press being pressed to stay out !!!Right there is your answer to this conflict.
    might is right!!!...... This is what this world is all about. when the dust settles God is the only true judge of who was right and who was wrong in this conflict and they will be punished in this world or hereafter.there is no escaping the final word.
    i have yet to listen to you this evening to formulate an opinion about how unbiased you are.
    will pray for your safe return. as you greater things to do in this life

    January 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  35. Beth

    It is unfortunate what is happening to the palestinians but the reality is they elected Hamas. They chose to elect a government that would use their children as human shields. I think we need to remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Hamas has no intentions of peace. They want nothing less than the destruction of Israel.

    If Hamas was in Mexico or Canada and launching rockets into the United States killing Americans, do you honestly think for one moment we would have restraint and do nothing. In reality we would probably use greater force than what Israel is using today.

    I am curious why can't reporters enter through Egypt? Is it because Egypt and the rest of the Arab governments are fed up with Hamas' ?

    Why are we sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians? I ask myself would we be as sympathetic to the Israelis if Hamas was winning and killing thousands of Jews............

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  36. Baze

    Who cares, let them duke it out once and for all. I'm so sick of the Middle East.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  37. Lisa

    Anderson, as much as you love to be in the thick of it all, you are the eyes of this world and we need you. And it's better off if you stay in Isreal where it's abit safer.

    Praying for yours and the crews safe return. And lets not forget the innocent lifes lost in this war.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  38. Concerned US citizen

    What is Israel hiding that they do not want the world to know?
    I cannot believe that the world can sit idly by and watch this horrendous collective punishment inflicted on innocent people.
    I saw on the news where a 6 month old baby had to die from lack of water and food!!
    This violence will not solve the problem, only perpetrate it.
    Until occupation ends and these people can live freely than you will see the breeding of hopelessness, frustration and hate.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  39. Michele

    If you and your team do manage to get in just stay safe & Gods Speed.
    It is dangerous enough just being in that region . Thoughts and prayers go out to all the reporters and the peoples of both regions.

    I just hope that there will be a resolution of some type very soon.
    To many innocent people are being injured and killed.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  40. Hawk

    No moderation

    January 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  41. Lee

    Sorry to hear you guys can not get in to stand in the eye of the storm to boost your ratings. Here is a novel idea. Since you can not get your typical dealth and chaos story, how about reporting on something inspiring and uplifting? Perhaps if more people see more of the goodness in humanity, they will be inspired to mimick that goodness. Seems nowadays the only way to get your 15 minutes of fame is to do something horrible if you want media coverage. Sure you guys report a few feel good stories, but which stories are you going to talk about all night tonight? That was a retorical question.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  42. Mike NY

    If Israel wanted to kill innocent people don't you think that more than 555 people would be dead in the most densely populated area in the world. They are not letting the press in because when they struck Lebanon last time the media made up reports and was caught on it later. False pictures, adding items to a scene ie (teddy bears) and many other things that made Israel seem like they were unjust. Jews were persecuted many times in life and did not use terrorism to get their way, but used their knowledge. If Gazan's are so worried about their future they should help build it through intelligence and not terror. When you see a Jewish man or an Israeli walk into a mosque, a bus, a crowded market or a civilian area and blow himself up in the name of religion (fanaticism) then press some blame. If any other country if they neighbor was constantly sending over rockets, blowing up buses and threatening to annihilate the state there would be some retaliation.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  43. Howard

    The Anti-Israeli comments on this website are extraordinary. The World cries out about Arab deaths – where is the condemnation for deliberating targeting rockets at Israel??? What is the notion of proportionality – how would the World react if Israel fired makeshift rockets at Gaza – without any aim. The simple truth is that many believe that a Jewish state should not exist.

    Hamas and the Arabs that support them reap what the sow – which is hatred and animosity towards them culminating in acts of violence. People in Gaza cheered when the planes attacked the WTC and the Pentagon. They elected a terrorist outfit as their government, and they are too busy smuggling weapons than caring about baby formula. I shed no tears for them – NONE.

    Palestinians – give up violence and you can live side-by-side with Israel.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  44. Rudy

    This is a joke. so Israel is the real democracy in middle east? I can see that. we all know who the real terrorists are here.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  45. Chris

    I doubt this comment will make it up but Al Jazeera- English has reporters inside Gaza, they were inside before the lockdown.

    They are doing their best to report. You can check it out on youtube.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  46. Paul

    Oh my god, you mean if you fire rockets into a neighboring country, they're going to shoot back! NO WAY!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  47. john

    So sad. Keep them out. At least that way there will be accurate reporting and no one sided pro hamas hype being reported especially from the Clinton News Network!!!!! Heh, heh.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  48. carlo

    20% of the Palestinians killed have been WOMEN AND CHILDREN!

    More Israeli's have been killed by friendly fire than by Hamas since this started a week ago.

    "Hamas is using schools to fire rockets and ambulances as troop carriers" says who???? Thats just the excuse Israel is using to legitimize the slaughter of innocent people. They can make any claim they want. When they rammed the boat carrying humanitarian supplies and reporters they said it was suspected of terrorist activity.


    January 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  49. susan

    I think it is terrible when any innocent people are killed especially children but, I find it hard to blame anybody but the Palestinians for this mess. They wanted Gaza, so Isreal handed it over to them. They held a free election and chose a terrorist government. Hamas is using the Palestians to hide behind as they launch their missles at Isreal. Isreal is not the enemy of Gaza, it is Hamas. Isreal has a right to defend herself, and they are not to blame for the civiian casualities, no country has invented bullets just hit the bad guys. I pray that the Palestinians will wise up and over throw Hamas, and learn to live in peace with Isreal. If not, they will see much more destruction.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  50. Hawk

    Hamas is dedicated to the violent overthrow of Isreal. They want all jews dead. The people of "Palestine" knew this when they voted Hamas into power. They got what they asked for. They are now getting what they deserve.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
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