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Two US channels withdraw reporters from Gaza amid controversy

Ahram Online , Saturday 19 Jul 2014
Diana Magnay
Video snapshot of the CNN reporter Diana Magnay
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CNN withdrew one of its correspondents from Gaza on Friday after she described Israelis celebrating a rocket strike on the besieged enclave as "scum".
 
Diana Magnay appeared on CNN on Thursday to give a report from a hill overlooking the border between Gaza and Israel. Israelis were heard cheering as missiles were fired at the Palestinian territory while she was giving her report.  
 
"Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum", Magnay tweeted after her broadcast.
 
The Huffington Post said the controversial tweet was quickly removed after being retweeted more than 200 times.
 
A CNN spokeswoman told the news site that Magnay reacted angrily on Twitter after "being threatened and harassed before and during a live shot." She has now been transferred from
Israel to the Russian capital Moscow.
 
“She deeply regrets the language used, which was aimed directly at those who had been targeting our crew," the spokeswoman noted.
 
"She certainly meant no offence to anyone beyond that group, and she and CNN apologise for any offence that may have been taken.”
 
One day earlier, NBC News, another US channel, removed their reporter Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, causing an outcry on social media. 
 
Glenn Greenwalk, writing for The Intercept news site, reported that NBC executives had privately said that Mohyeldin’s transfer was motivated by security concerns.
 
Mohyeldin, an experienced Middle Eastern correspondent, had given a moving personal account the day before of a rocket attack he had witnessed that had killed four young Palestinian boys on a beach in Gaza.
 
"According to an NBC source upset at his treatment, the executives claimed the decision was motivated by “security concerns” as Israel prepares a ground invasion, a claim repeated to me by an NBC executive", Greenwald said in his article.
 
On Thursday night, Israel dispatched ground troops to the Gaza Strip for the first time in the onslaught, which began on 7 July.
 
He has been replaced by another NBC correspondent, Richard Engel.  
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