The Foreign Press Association in Israel (FPA) yesterday severely condemned the actions of Hamas with respect to freedom of journalistic coverage in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. "The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month. The international media are not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground."
The FPA statement added, "In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media. We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a "vetting" procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA."
Sources close to the FPA told "Globes" that the journalists prefer not to be interviewed in the Israeli media on the subject, and that the statement released was sufficiently critical, and spoke for itself. "As long as the operation is not over, they do not wish to be interviewed," the sources said. The sources added, "It is obvious to you that reporting from Gaza was not objective, due to the circumstances described in the condemnatory press release. When the reporters left Gaza, however, a smattering of objective reports began to leak out. No journalist wants to appear on a blacklist that could prevent him from entering Gaza during the next operation or war."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 12, 2014
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