Foreign journalists still not allowed into Gaza 2009-01-06 15:20:19   Print

Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts          

    EREZ CROSSING, Israel, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of journalists waited at Israeli-Gaza border, watching the military operation in Gaza, as Israel refuses to let any media cross into the strip.

    Since the Israel Defense Forces "Cast Lead" operation in Gaza Strip began 11 days ago, the Israeli Supreme Court has agreed to allow a limited number of journalists into Gaza, but Israeli army has not fulfilled its promise yet.

    During a court session, a compromise was made and the parties agreed that a limited team of eight journalists would be allowed into Gaza - however, since the decision, the crossings have not opened.

    Israel allowed over 250 Palestinians with foreign passports to leave Gaza this week, but kept reporters out, deciding to close the strip entirely to the press.

    Israeli authorities said they kept journalists from entering the blockaded, isolated, and bombarded Gaza Strip, because authorities at the Erez crossing point were focused on processing the nearly 300 Palestinians leaving Gaza.

    However, in the past, Israeli officials have voiced their unhappiness with international coverage of events in Gaza, saying it inflates the situation of Palestinian suffering, not making it clear in their reporting that actions of the Israeli military were in response to terror attacks.

    As reporters and journalists are banned from entering Gaza, swarms of foreign press have been reporting on the assault on Hamas from the Gaza-Israel border, while civilians in Gaza Strip continue to describe scenes of widespread panic, as people scramble for refuge.

    The Israeli government banned Israeli journalists from entering Gaza years ago, because of fears for their safety, but foreign reporters have been permitted to go in and out, even during times of fierce fighting.

    The FPA, which represents foreign media in Israel and Gaza strip, welcomed the recent court order, but demanded that the Gaza Strip should be permanently opened for coverage.

    "The Foreign media should have unrestricted access to all towns under attack and the freedom to cover all sides of the conflict zone at a time like this," the FPA said in a statement. "We believe the Israeli government should ensure access of the media to Gaza during this crisis."

    The FPA will not release the names of the chosen journalists, until they have crossed the border, for security purposes.    

Editor: Chris
Related Stories
Abbas: stopping offensive on Gaza "priority"
FM: Egypt to meet Hamas delegation on Gaza crisis
Palestinian, Israeli diplomats blame each other for Gaza conflicts
Home World
  Back to Top