The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has accused a prominent journalist reporting regularly for Qatar-based Al Jazeera from Gaza, of moonlighting as a senior Hamas commander. The IDF’s Israeli Arabic spokesman, Lieutenant Avichay Adraee, took to social media to claim that a laptop allegedly belonging to Muhammad Washah was recovered by the IDF in the northern Gaza Strip.
According to Adraee, the laptop contained pictures that allegedly prove Washah’s involvement as a senior Hamas military operative. The images depict the 32-year-old journalist handling various weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenade devices and weaponised drones, similar to those used by the Hamas fighters during the October 7 attacks. Additional photos allegedly show Washah engaged in activities related to the development of aerial weapons for the Palestinian group.
“A laptop that belonged to Muhammad Washah, an Al Jazeera journalist, was recovered by IDF in the northern Gaza Strip. It has pics proving he also serves as a senior Hamas military operative in the anti-tank missile array and in late 2022 he moved to work on R&D of aerial weapons for the organisation. Intelligence analysis carried out on the computer includes photos linking subject to his Hamas activity,” Adraee claimed.
A laptop that belonged to Muhammad Washah, an @AlJazeera journalist, was recovered by IDF in the northern Gaza Strip. It has pics proving he also serves as a senior Hamas military operative in the anti-tank missile array and in late 2022 he moved to work on R&D of aerial weapons… https://t.co/U2q1mqOWXz
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) February 11, 2024
The IDF’s intelligence analysis conducted on the seized laptop allegedly establishes a connection between Washah and his alleged Hamas activities.
Taking to social media, the IDF directly addressed Al Jazeera, stating, “Hey Al Jazeera, we thought you journalists were supposed to give unbiased reports on situations, not actively participate in creating them on the front lines as Hamas terrorists.”
Washah, a Gaza native, has appeared as a reporter on multiple Al Jazeera TV broadcasts in recent months, as well as in several online reports. A November 2023 article specifically mentions “Al Jazeera’s Muhammad Washah” reporting from the scene of the IDF’s operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp. This camp housed the Hamas Nuseirat battalion, which the IDF claims was responsible for attacks on Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.
As of now, neither Al Jazeera nor the Qatari government has responded to the serious accusations leveled against Washah. This development comes at a time when Al Jazeera faces pressure from Congressional Republicans in the United States, who are advocating for the network to register as a foreign agent due to its funding and control by the government of Qatar.
This isn’t the first instance of an Al Jazeera journalist being accused by the IDF of having ties to a Palestinian militant group. The IDF has previously highlighted similar allegations against other individuals associated with the media organisation.