The 52-year-old presenter of Good Morning Britain was discussing the impact of the atrocities on British Jews with Rob Rinder, 45, who is Jewish.
The TV personality spoke emotionally about how two of his friends had died, adding: ‘It’s painful I suspect for you sitting there looking into that autocue calling these people “militants”, knowing what’s going to ensue, knowing where they’re planting their rockets and knowing the horror that’s going to be brought to innocent civilians.’
But Ms Reid firmly responded on the ITV show: ‘We very clearly call them “terrorists”. I mean, it was an act of terror what happened, and it was a barbaric atrocity.
‘And you and I have been in contact since what happened. I didn’t know that you had lost two friends in that attack. On every level, this is painful for you.’
Susanna Reid described Hamas as ‘terrorists’ on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today
Ms Reid and Ben Shephard (left) were discussing the attacks with Rob Rinder (right)
Rinder spoke emotionally about how two of his friends had died in the Hamas attacks on Israel
Shephard, Ms Reid and Rinder appear on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today
The presenter’s description of Hamas comes in sharp contrast to her former employers the BBC, which refuses to call the group ‘terrorists’. It refers to Hamas as a ‘militant’ group and described the slaughter of civilians as a ‘militant’ attack.
Ms Reid spent 20 years working for the BBC before joining ITV, having first joined BBC Radio Bristol in 1994 as a news producer.
She later became one of the main presenters on BBC Breakfast alongside Bill Turnbull, but left in 2014 to host Good Morning Britain, which replaced Daybreak in ITV’s morning slot.
Ms Reid said months before she left for ITV that ‘if you cut me open I would bleed BBC’.
Today it was revealed the war, ignited by a bloody and wide-ranging Hamas attack at the weekend, had now claimed at least 2,400 lives.
As the BBC continued to avoid using the word ‘terrorist’, King Charles last night condemned the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’ inflicted on Israel.
He was backed by the Prince and Princesses of Wales who said they were ‘profoundly distressed’ at the unfolding civilian slaughter, adding: ‘The horrors inflicted by Hamas’s terrorist attack upon Israel are appalling.’
William and Kate went even further, highlighting the country’s ‘right of self-defence’.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused broadcasters of trying to ‘wilfully mislead’ by not using the word’ terrorist’, saying: ‘The murder of babies where they sleep is not the act of a “freedom fighter”.’
A string of high-profile figures, including Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, also heaped pressure on the BBC over its approach to covering the murder of Israeli civilians.
People watch as a firetruck is deployed outside a burning collapsed building in Gaza City
A man reacts outside a burning collapsed building following Israeli bombardment in Gaza City
An Israeli army self-propelled howitzer fires rounds near the Gaza border in southern Israel
Buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza
Mr Shapps told LBC that it was ‘verging on disgraceful’, adding: ‘It’s time to get the moral compass out at the BBC.’
BBC editorial guidelines say terrorism is an ’emotive subject with significant political overtones’ and ‘terrorist’ can be a ‘barrier rather than an aid to understanding’.
Despite a growing backlash, it is understood the BBC is not planning to review or change its guidelines over the use of the words ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’.
And last night it rejected criticism over its decision, despite Hamas being listed as a proscribed organisation, which means the UK Government sees it as a terrorist group.
BBC director of editorial policy David Jordan said not using the word terrorist was a ‘very long-standing policy’ which had ‘stood the test of time’. He added: ‘We’ve called them massacres, we’ve called [them] murders, we’ve called them out for what things are and that doesn’t in any way devalue the awfulness of what is going on.’
Nick Robinson, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said on social media: ‘I understand entirely why some want the word “terrorism” used. It is, though, the long-standing practice of BBC, ITV and Sky to report others using that language rather than using it ourselves.’
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has raised the issue with BBC director-general Tim Davie and made clear her view that these were ‘acts of terror carried out by a terrorist organisation’.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that by calling Hamas ‘militants’, the BBC ‘not only offers legitimacy to their government, but also denies the fact that they commit atrocities’.
Former BBC journalist Jon Sopel said the corporation’s editorial guidelines were ‘no longer fit for purpose’.