CNN drops freelancer who said the world 'needs a Hitler'

CNN has cut ties with a freelance reporter whose response to the renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians was that "the world today needs a Hitler".

Pakistan-based Adeel Raja, whose LinkedIn profile said he was a "freelance contributor" to the US news network, deleted the Twitter post after it was picked up this week by rival news outlets, including Fox and Russia-based RT. 

The tweet was made on Sunday (local time). Hitler led the Nazis, which exterminated millions of Jews during World War II, hastening the push for an independent Jewish state, which in 1948 came to fruition. 

"Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee," CNN said in a statement. "As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some news gathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity."

Raja defended his deleted tweet, saying he was glad it "contributed to the #Palestine cause and brought it to limelight".

But others on Twitter said he'd damaged the cause, rather than contributed to it.

"You weren't promoting Palestinian cause. You were promoting violence. There is a difference b/w both," said one person.

"You have glorified a mass murderer and called for another Holocaust. This is inexcusable. You are not an ally to the Palestinians," said another.

"The Proud Boys are hiring, if you're looking for professional employment as a Nazi," said a third. 

It wasn't Raja's first dubious comment regarding Hitler; in 2014, he tweeted his support for the German football side in that year's FIFA World Cup final against Argentina numerous times, because "Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews [sic]".

It's not clear if CNN was aware of his previous tweets in favour of the Holocaust and Hitler. 

The latest fighting in the region was sparked by Israel's attempted eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Protests started to get violent, prompting Israeli police to intervene - including occupying the al-Aqsa Mosque. Their refusal to leave saw Hamas and other Palestinian groups open fire, drawing response from the Israelis.