Foreign Press Association Protests Hamas Threats and Harassment of Reporters in Gaza
Hoenlein Hopes FPA Action Will Uncover Misinformation and Disinformation
Monday, August 11, 2014, New York, NY… The Foreign Press Association in Israel including almost 500 members from all parts of the media from 32 countries, issued a statement protesting “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.”
Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, said “this is a very important declaration by a strictly independent association of journalist’s working in Israel, who reported that foreign reporters were ‘harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.’”
There have been increasing reports from those who came out of Gaza of the restrictions placed on foreign journalists and threats made against them. In many cases, journalists would depend on Hamas sources for information and be subject to strict restrictions as the FPA noted, “thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.”
“Several reporters after leaving Gaza noted what they had seen. In one case, a reporter for Italian media said he saw that the nine children killed in a blast were hit by an errant Hamas rocket. Yet, Israel was quick to be blamed and condemned,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents.
“We hope that other journalists will tell the truth about what they witnessed and about the limits that were placed on their ability to report actually and factually what took place,” Hoenlein concluded.