Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Journalists make news over Gaza

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Once again access to the Gaza Strip is in the news. This time, perhaps a little self-servingly, because foreign journalists are being denied access to Gaza by Israeli authorities.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents the collective interests of the international media covering the news in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, has filed a law suit with the Supreme Court demanding Israel lifts its ban on journalists entering Gaza. It has been in force for nearly three weeks, since violence flared with Israeli army raids and air strikes and Palestinian “Kassam” rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

The ban has raised eyebrows in Israel – where many are fiercely proud of a vocal and boisterous media which operates largely free of government interference save for a rarely-invoked military censorship law in matters of national security.

In an editorial in the leftist daily Haaretz, the paper says that “shutting out foreign journalists is an act of punishment that gives Israel and her democracy a bad name.” An unnamed Israeli official told the mass-selling Maariv newspaper on Monday: “Israel is being portrayed as trying to put a lid on free speech and to restrict the freedom of the press. We are losing because foreign journalists are busy with Israel’s decision to close the crossings in their faces and not with the real story, which is the firing of Kassam rockets.”

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