CNN Criticized for Calling Israeli Hostage Rescue a ‘Release’ | Video

CNN drew criticism online on Saturday after the cable news network described the Israeli military’s rescue of four hostages Saturday as a hostage “release” rather than a “rescue.” The four hostages had been kidnapped by the terrorist group Hamas from the Nova music festival on Oct. 7.

The term “hostage release” was shown in CNN’s chyron with the network’s anchor Victor Blackwell using it himself, before making a correction since Hamas did not intentionally release the hostages. After discussing a scheduled press conference by Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz, Blackwell said, “That was postponed because of the release today of these hostages — or, the rescue, I should say.”

You can watch footage of the CNN segment below, via conservative media watchdog NewsBusters:

Conservatives and supporters of Israel were quick to express outrage on social media at the description of the rescue operation as a “release.”

More than 100 hostages are still held by Hamas. Hospital officials in Gaza said that more than 200 Palestinians were killed and over 400 wounded as part of the Israel Defense Forces operation, according to CNN. Those numbers include 142 bodies counted at Al-Awda Hospital and 94 at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. Hamas had been keeping captives in multistory civilian buildings, according to Israel’s military.

Israel war cabinet member Benny Gantz postponed a press conference Saturday following the operation. He had been expected to resign over a dispute with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about how the war has been handled, but the prime minister has now called on Gantz to stay. Observers have noted that, without the support of officials including Gantz, Netanyahu would likely be forced out of office and could face prison time as the result of multiple corruption scandals.

The rescue operation utilized both heavy artillery fire and shelling of the area. It’s the third successful hostage operation by the Israeli military. Footage from Al-Aqsa shown by CNN included people carrying wounded children and covered in blood. Israel has regularly disputed casualty numbers released by Gaza officials, with CNN noting that it has no way of verifying casualty numbers coming from Palestinian officials in Gaza due to the lack of access for international media in the area.

A three-part peace ceasefire proposal publicly advocated for by President Joe Biden and others has yet to be accepted by both sides. The ceasefire would include the release by Hamas of all hostages, but the sides appear to have not yet been able to reach an agreement on the specifics. Western government leaders were quick to praise the hostage rescue Saturday, while also continuing calls for a ceasefire and the release of all of the hostages.

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