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Reuters Quotes Palestinian Terrorists Alongside Prominent World Leaders in Reaction Piece to Desmond Tutu Death

In a report documenting major reactions to the recent passing of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Reuters international news agency gave a prominent position to a senior Hamas figure as well as an official of the terrorist-designated Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) alongside world leaders and prominent figures including President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama.

In a piece detailing reactions to the death of South Africa’s Desmond Tutu, the news agency quoted both Hamas official Basim Naim as well as PLO official Wasel Abu Yousef expressing thoughts in light of the anti-apartheid icon’s death.

The article described Naim as “a senior official within the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas,” and goes on to quote him telling Reuters, “Our Palestinian people lost a strong supporter of their march towards freedom and independence.”

“Father Desmond Tutu spent his entire life struggling against racism and defending human rights and especially on the Palestinian land,” he added.

Naim is the leader of the International Committee of Hamas — the radical U.S.-designated Islamic terror group, whose charter calls openly for the murder of Jews and who launched over 4,000 terror rockets at Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in May. 

As of Monday afternoon, after an update to the Reuters piece, the Hamas official’s quote was absent.

Breitbart News reached out to Reuters for comment and was told Naim, as well as at least one other figure, was removed because the piece was “simply getting too long” and that “factbox” pieces such as these are generally updated without detailing such updates.

“One comment from a Palestinian organization is probably enough given that Tutu was from South Africa and not directly linked to Palestine,” the Reuters editor explained, assuring that Naim’s removal did not reflect a retraction on the paper’s part but a means to make space for more well-known people and groups.

Despite Naim’s removal, the other Palestinian terrorist — senior PLF official Wasel Abu Yousef — remained. 

Abu Yousef, described as a member of the executive committee of the PLO, is quoted as praising Tutu’s support for Palestinians.

“Father Desmond Tutu was one of the biggest supporters of the Palestinian cause. He had always advocated the rights of the Palestinians to gain their freedom and rejected Israeli occupation and apartheid,” he said.

Abu Yousef is the head of the terrorist-designated Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), infamous for the 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship and murder of an elderly wheelchair-bound American Jew named Leon Klinghoffer. 

A masked Palestinian militant of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), holds up his rifle on September 2, 2014, in Gaza city during a rally to celebrate a week after the Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

The group was also responsible for a thwarted attack on an Israeli beach near Tel Aviv in 1990, which sought to kill dozens of tourists and civilians. 

Abu Yousef also represents the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, itself comprised of several US-designated terrorist groups. 

Among other instances where he has declared direct support for terror against Israelis, Abu Yousef praised terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi who was responsible for the notorious 1978 Coastal Road massacre, which TIME magazine described as “the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history.” Thirty-eight Israelis (including 13 children) died in the attack, and another 76 were left wounded.  

The gruesome attack saw Palestinian terrorists mass-murder the occupants of a chartered bus after hijacking it on Israel’s coastal highway.

Some took to social media to criticize Reuters for giving recognition and prominence to terrorists by one of the largest news agencies in the world by including them among world leaders.

“I actually think is great that @Reuters founded fitting to quote Hamas & PLO on #Tutu’s passing,” quipped international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky. “Just underscores he was an antisemite, in bed with jihadists and terrorists!”

“There’s something seriously messed up that Reuters thinks a Hamas terrorist leader warrants a quote on the death of Archbishop Tutu,” wrote Simon Plosker, managing editor at UNWatch.

Wtf is wrong with @Reuters that they’re quoting Hamas leadership?” asked another user. “They couldn’t get a quote from someone that isn’t a leader of a violent antisemitic genocidal terrorist organization?” 

“It’s fitting because the antisemitism but do better,” the user added.

The Reuters piece lists, among others, the reactions of U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

In addition, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Britain’s Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall are also quoted.

Other leading figures include South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as John Steenhuisen, leader of the South African opposition party The Democratic Alliance, and former Mozambique President Samora Machel. 

It also features messages from the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Tutu’s daughter Mpho Tutu Van Furth.

The piece also conveyed statements from the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, the World Council of Churches, and Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The remaining figures and groups quoted are: the Nelson Mandela Foundation, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UNAIDS, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

Tutu, an Anglican cleric who broke racial barriers and helped lead the anti-apartheid movement, eventually winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994, passed away Sunday in Cape Town at the age of 90.

Tutu’s lasting legacy to South Africa and the world is the principle that oppressed people should equally obey principles of justice and human rights in their struggle. 

However, it was a principle he was to abandon in his later support for the Palestinians against Israel.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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