NEW YORK (JTA) – The Newseum, a media museum in Washington D.C., has stood by its decision to include two Palestinian ‘terrorists’ on its list honoring journalists killed in the line of duty.
A spokesperson for the museum said the two, who died in an Israeli airstrike on their vehicle in Gaza last November, would remain on its roll of slain reporters despite protests from Israel’s embassy in Washington.
“Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi were cameramen in a car clearly marked “TV.”’ a spokesperson for the museum 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.”
Earlier on Friday, the embassy asked the museum to remove their names saying they were members of Hamas, which Israel and the U.S. have designated as a terror group.
“Memorializing Al Aqsa TV terrorists hurts the integrity of reporters operating w/journalistic values,” the Israeli embassy wrote on its official Twitter account. ”@Newseum please take a 2nd look.”
Israel says Al Aqsa TV is an organ of Hamas and that one of the two men offered logistical assistance to its military operations.
Palestinians and rights groups like Human Rights Watch maintain they were non-combatants wrongfully killed by Israel.