press problem

House committee chairs ask DOJ to investigate publication linked to Hamas affiliate who held hostages

The lawmakers accused the People Media Project and The Palestine Chronicle, whose Gaza-based reporter held Israeli hostages, of providing support for terrorism and tax law violations


Israeli hostage Andrei Kozlov, 27, disembarks with soldiers from an air force CH-53 Sea Stallion military helicopter which landed in the grounds of the Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Centre, after his rescue by the Israeli army from captivity in the Gaza Strip, in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv on June 8, 2024.

Chairs of three key House committees called on the Department of Justice on Wednesday to launch an investigation into The Palestine Chronicle and the affiliated People Media Project, accusing the entities of violating U.S. terrorism and tax law.

A Gaza-based reporter, Abdallah Aljamal, affiliated with The Palestine Chronicle, a U.S.-registered nonprofit, was found to have held three Israeli hostages in his home and was a former spokesperson for the Hamas-run labor ministry in Gaza. Aljamal was listed as a correspondent on The Palestine Chronicle’s website, but his title was changed to contributor after he was revealed to have held hostages in his home.

Israeli forces rescued three hostages from Aljamal’s home in Nuseirat, in Gaza, last month.

The letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, sent by Reps. Jason Smith (R-MO), James Comer (R-KY) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who chair the Ways and Means, Oversight and Education and the Workforce committees, respectively, accuses The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project of providing material support for terrorism, filing false tax returns, failing to file valid tax returns and underpaying their taxes.

“Based on the facts available, The Palestine Chronicle and People Media Project appear to be at the very least complicit in supporting Hamas, and at worst full-fledged financiers of terrorism,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers also alleged that “in addition to its ties to Hamas and terrorism in the Gaza strip,” the publication may have ties to Iran, noting that its founder and editor-in-chief previously wrote for Kayhan International, an outlet allegedly affiliated with the Iranian supreme leader.

Smith had urged the Internal Revenue Service to strip People Media Project of its tax exemption last month. The new letter claims that the group had filed inconsistent and potentially false information in its state and federal tax returns, another crime punishable by fines and prison time.

“Since People Media Project not only filed inconsistent information with the state and federal government but also failed to file a proper Form 990 for receiving over $50,000 in gross receipts, DOJ would be remiss to not investigate this matter further,” the lawmakers said.

Separately on Wednesday, Almog Meir Jan, who was held in Aljamal’s home, filed a lawsuit against The Palestine Chronicle, accusing the publication and its leadership of providing material support for terrorism, both by publishing articles by Aljamal to “whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause” and by paying Aljamal.

“By providing this platform to Hamas Operative Aljamal and compensating Hamas Operative Aljamal for his propaganda, Defendants aided, abetted, and materially supported both Hamas Operative Aljamal and Hamas itself in their acts of terrorism, including kidnapping and holding Plaintiff hostage for 246 days, in violation of international law,” the suit charges. 

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