The government of Israel has recently been under fire from local and international media after warning journalists planning to travel aboard a tentative Gaza flotilla that they will be banned from entering the country for ten years. According to the Foreign Press Association based in Jerusalem, the threat to punish journalists covering the Gaza flotilla
sends a chilling message to the international media, and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press.”
Soazij Dollet, head of the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders North Africa and Middle East desk, reacts to the warning:
It is very worrying that Israel would hinder journalists’ access to information, it goes against the international conventions that Israel has signed and ratified…We want the Israeli authorities to go back on their word and allow foreign journalists and especially Israeli journalists access to Palestinian territories as a whole.
Composed of ten ships, the second Gaza flotilla is slated to set sail from Greece for the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory. Three hundred fifty pro-Palestinian activists from 22 countries are expected to participate in the flotilla.
[via Al Jazeera]