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Newseum Reconsiders Honor For 2 Linked To Hamas

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(AP Photo/J.  Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Newseum in Washington says it is re-evaluating plans to include two people who worked for a network connected to Hamas on its Journalists Memorial honoring journalists who died last year while covering the news.

Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International and the American Jewish Committee, have objected to the inclusion of two people who worked for Al-Aqsa Television in the Gaza Strip because it is linked to the Palestinian Islamist group. The U.S., European Union and Israel have labeled Hamas a terror group.

On Monday, the Washington museum rededicated its Journalists Memorial, adding the names of 82 other journalists who died covering the news in 2012 and six killed in previous years.

But the Newseum said it was re-evaluating its decision to include Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi of Al-Aqsa TV. Their names won’t be added to the wall Monday.

“Serious questions have been raised as to whether two of the individuals included on our initial list of journalists who died covering the news this past year were truly journalists or whether they were engaged in terrorist activities,” the Newseum said in a statement. “Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants. Journalism is no exception.”

On Friday, the Newseum defended its decision to include the two cameramen, saying they were killed in a car that was clearly marked “TV.” The Newseum said the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line duty.

The Anti-Defamation League and other groups said the men were working for a propaganda outlet, not a legitimate news organization, and they pressed the Newseum to reverse course.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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