The Newseum, a Washington, D.C. institution that recognizes journalists and publications worldwide, plans to include two accused terrorists among the reporters, photographers, and broadcasters it will honor this year in its tribute to those who died reporting the news.
Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, who are among the honorees, were killed by an Israeli air strike last November while they were working for Hamas-funded Al-Aqsa Television, reports Fox News
The U.S. Treasury Department has designated Al-Aqsa as a terrorist organization, with a 2010 report saying the network "airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”
And while supporters say Al-Kumi and Salama were journalists, the United States sees their occupation and employers differently.
"Treasury will not distinguish between a business financed and controlled by a terrorist group, such as Al-Aqsa Television, and the terrorist group itself," said Stuart Levey, secretary for the Office Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which Treasury oversees.
The names of journalists who died while in service are engraved on glass panels at The Newseum's Journalists memorial. Since it opened in 1997, the facility has recognized 2,000 deceased journalists, including Daniel Pearl, who Al Qaeda murdered in 2002 after he was kidnapped by Pakistani militants.
Al-Kumi and Salama, on the museum's website, are described as being cameramen covering fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas, when a missile hit their vehicle, which was marked "TV."
But an Israeli Defense Force report about the incident calls the two men "Hamas operatives and cameramen" for a network that encourages and praises attacks on Israeli citizens.
Palestinian media also called the cameramen Hamas operatives, said The Weekly Standard
But Newseum said the Journalists Memorial selection committee conducts case-by-case reviews, and says Al-Kumi and Salama are considered journalists by several news organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.
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