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NBC News Reporter Returning To Gaza After Anger Over His Removal

Veteran war reporter Ayman Mohyeldin announced Friday he was heading back to Gaza. Mohyeldin’s coverage of the conflict in the region went viral Wednesday after he live-tweeted an Israeli airstrike that killed four children in Gaza.

update

Veteran war correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin announced via Twitter that NBC News had reversed course and was sending him back to Gaza.

NBC News issued a statement Friday evening confirming Mohyeldin’s redeployment and praising his work:

Ayman Mohyeldin has done extraordinary reporting throughout the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, filing 25+ reports over the past 17 days, including his invaluable and well-documented contribution to the story on the deaths of the four Palestinian children on Wednesday. As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We’ve carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza over the weekend. We look forward to his contributions in the coming days.

Ayman Mohyeldin arrives at the Time magazine “World’s 100 Most Influential People” gala in New York on April 26, 2011. DON EMMERT/AFP / Getty Images

NBC pulled veteran war correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza on Thursday — a day after he live-tweeted an Israeli airstrike in Gaza that killed four children — citing “security concerns,” according to The Intercept.

Mohyeldin has covered the Middle East extensively for over a decade, and reported for major news organizations like CNN, NBC, and Al Jazeera English. Mohyeldin was one of the only foreign correspondents reporting from Gaza during the 2008 Gaza War, winning awards for his Al Jazeera English coverage. He joined NBC after reporting on the Arab Spring from Cairo in 2011 for Al Jazeera.

On Wednesday, Mohyeldin was one of a number of foreign journalists who witnessed an Israeli air strike kill four children near his hotel in Gaza. He shared photos and personal testimonies of the gruesome incident on Twitter in posts that quickly went viral.

4 Palestinian kids killed in a single Israeli airstrike. Minutes before they were killed by our hotel, I was kicking a ball with them #gaza

— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM)

A #Palestinian mother reacts to the news that her son was one of 4 boys killed in Israeli shelling of #gaza seaport

— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM)

On Wednesday evening, NBC had another correspondent, Richard Engel, cover the story from Tel Aviv. NBC aired a pre-recorded interview with Mohyeldin on the day’s killings in a later broadcast. Several NBC employees were angry that Mohyeldin had been sidelined from the story, according to MediaBistro.

Mohyeldin tweeted out a statement critical of the State Department’s response to the violence in Gaza that has since been deleted, causing some on Twitter to question whether NBC censored him. BuzzFeed has reached out to NBC for comment.

These factual posts, which went viral, have since been deleted. Seems like @NBCNews censored their reporter...

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek)

As news of Mohyeldin’s removal spread, journalists and Middle East watchers were outraged at NBC’s decision.

Some criticized @AymanM for leaving AJE for NBC.But he knew he'd bring the Mideast experience & guts NBC needed. That's why they pulled him.

— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy)

No "Western" TV journalists have covered #Gaza with more nuance and heart than @AymanM & @SherineT. In 2008, they were only ones in Gaza

— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill)

In 2008 I wrote about @AymanM (@NBCNews journo evicted from #Gaza) & @SherineT's brave/bold reporting http://t.co/2CbMIBPINv #LetAymanReport

— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE)

Remember, USA is the sort of country where great journos like @AymanM are pulled off TV because they witnessed kids being murdered in Gaza

— Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple)

NBC's pulling of @AymanM again illustrates old Western adage that Arab eyewitnesses can't be believed.

— Chris Toensing (@cjtoensing)

Idea that @AymanM, one of few to report consistently from Gaza wars, being pulled for "security reasons" is laughable http://t.co/7uJbdtdKMa

— Evan Hill (@evanchill)

Wait -- What?? @AymanM whose NBC coverage has been stellar, pulled out of Gaza? https://t.co/nSch7KtjHq

— Anne Barnard (@ABarnardNYT)

Even if no politics in decision to pull @AymanM from Gaza, he is far better equipped to report on the territory, where he lived for years.

— Erin Cunningham (@erinmcunningham)

If @AymanM was pulled for security reasons then why was @RichardEngel sent in? Is he expendable @NBCNews? #Palestine

— Maysoon Zayid (@maysoonzayid)

One of the least biased and experienced MidEast reporters. @AymanM #Gaza

— Moh Hashem (@mohhashem2)

When @AymanM left AJE for NBC, he said he wants to challenge "stereotypes and misunderstandings" that Americans have about the Middle East.

— Mukhtar Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare)

Pulling Ayman Mohyeldin out of Gaza is the ultimate deleted Rihanna tweet.

— Tom Gara (@tomgara)

OK, deep-pocketed news sites trying to build a lively video operation. Let the bidding for Ayman Mohyeldin commence.

— Tom Gara (@tomgara)

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