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
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.