The company has now issued this statement:
The Associated Press had no knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks before they happened.
The first pictures AP received from any freelancer show they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began. No AP staff were at the border at the time of the attacks, nor did any AP staffer cross the border at any time.
We are no longer working with Hassan Eslaiah, who had been an occasional freelancer for AP and other international news organizations in Gaza.
AP uses images taken by freelancers around the world. When we accept freelance photos, we take great steps to verify the authenticity of the images and that they show what is purported.
The role of the AP is to gather information on breaking news events around the world, wherever they happen, even when those events are horrific and cause mass casualties.
Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), which regulates press access in Israel, has also issued a statement demanding explanations surrounding media coverage on the day.
GPO Director Nitzan Chen specifically called on the bureau chiefs of AP, Reuters, CNN and the New York Times to explain their links to the contributors as footage emerges of the alleged involvement on the day of Hassan Eslaiah.