Al Hurra Clarifies About Hamas’ False Claim To Accept Ceasefire

One of the most significant news fails last month was the eagerness of numerous media outlets to take Hamas on its word regarding the terror organization’s alleged acceptance of a ceasefire proposal. Journalists persisted in reporting as fact that Hamas agreed to a ceasefire even following the U.S. State Department’s explicit statement that the terror organization’s May 6 announcement that it did so was unfounded. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller unequivocally stated May 7: “Hamas did not accept a ceasefire proposal.” 

Matthew Miller at the May 7, 2024 U.S. State Department press briefing: “Hamas did not accept a ceasefire proposal” (Screenshot from State Department video)

Contradicting the State Department, the publicly-funded Al Hurra network, which represents the American voice in the Arab world, was among those to report as fact Hamas’ lie that it agreed to the proposed ceasefire plan. In an online article, Al Hurra reported May 7:

Hamas had already agreed on Monday to a ceasefire proposal which would lead to a ceasefire and [releasing] hostages in exchange for Palestinians prisoners. But an Israeli official told AFP that his country “is studying” the proposal, while another told Reuters it is a “hoax.”

Similarly, on May 8, Al Hurra claimed on its website: “Hamas has voiced its agreement with a Gaza ceasefire proposal which Qatar and Egypt had presented.”

As part of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN), which in turn operates under a grant from United States Agency for Global Media, Al Hurra is subject to USAGM’s Standards and Principles. These guidelines stipulate that content should be “consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States.” Disregarding State Department information which belies a Hamas falsehood is at odds with that principle.

On May 9, CAMERA prompted Al Hurra to add the following information to both reports:

Subsequently, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said: “let me just make one thing clear which is that Hamas did not accept a ceasefire proposal. Hamas responded and their response made several suggestions. It’s not the same as accepting.”

He added: “That statement that was issued yesterday (Monday, May 6) – that was widely reported – I don’t blame the reporting – it’s what the statement said – (but) is not an accurate reflection of what happened. They (Hamas) responded as people (usually) do in a negotiation process but it was not an acceptance.”

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