Israel Says Journalists Onboard Freedom
Flotilla Will Not Be Allowed Into Israel
Monday June 27, 2011 05:33 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies
In another escalation against the Freedom Flotilla, heading to
deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government
stated Sunday that journalists, who are onboard the Freedom Flotilla 2
will be denied entry into Israel up to ten years.
Maariv, reported Sunday that the Israeli Government Press Office issued
a release stating that all foreign reporters who are part of the
Flotilla “are violating the Israeli law”, and could be denied entry to
“Israel” for up to ten years, in addition to other sanctions and
Maariv added that the latest declaration by the
Israeli government comes as part of the ongoing Israeli attempts to
prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza.
The Israeli Government
Press Office (GPO) said that the Freedom Flotilla is a “dangerous
provocative act run by fundamentalist foreign and Islamic groups that
support the Hamas movements, known around the world as a terror group”.
The GPO claimed that foreign reporters who wish to report on the
flotilla “can enter Israel legally, and head to the Ashdod Port”, but
should not board the ships.
On Saturday evening, the first ship
of the flotilla, carrying the name Dignity, left France through the
Corsica Port. The Luis Michael French Ship, that sailed earlier, had
already docked in Greece.
Mazin Kahil, coordinator of the
European Campaign Against the Siege, said that some of the ships are
facing technical issues that could delay their sail this week.
The Freedom Flotilla coalition declared it is determined to sail to the
besieged Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies despite Israel's
threats to intercept and attack the ships.
On Sunday, Ireland
declared that the Israeli siege on Gaza is “unjust and
counterproductive”, but also advised its citizens to refrain from
joining the flotilla on the Irish boat MV Saorise, Israeli daily,
Following a meeting with Israel’s Ambassador
to Dublin, Boaz Moda, Irish Foreign Minister, Eamon Gilmore, called on
Israel to avoid military force in what he called “upholding the blockade
on Gaza”. Haaretz said.
Twenty-five Irish nationals, including
former and current members of the Irish and the European parliament,
union leaders and former Irish Rugby international player, Trevor Hogan,
will be boarding the Satires Irish Ship.
Ships from the United
States, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the
Netherlands and Sweden, are also part of the Freedom Flotilla II, and
intend to deliver urgently medical supplies and equipment.
Israeli Journalist, Amira Hass, is participating in the Flotilla on The
Tahrir (Liberation) Canadian ship.
On Sunday, Hass published an
article on Haaretz detailing the training that she and other
participants are engaging in to prepare for an anticipated violent
Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla.
nonviolent tactics and said that they are prepared for whatever will
happen. All participants signed a nonviolence pledge.
On May 31,
2010, Israel attacked the Turkish Mavi Marmara, part of the Freedom
Flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists, including a Turkish activist
who carried U.S. citizenship.
An investigation by the Turkish
government of last year's Israeli attack released its results two weeks
ago, showing that the nine men killed were hit by 30 bullets fired at
close range, with five of the men killed by shots to the head.
The 19-year old American citizen who was killed, Furqan Dogan, was
killed by five bullets fired at a distance of 45 cm to his face, the
back of his head, his leg and his back.
Journalists criticize Israel’s threats against media covering
[ 27/06/2011 - 12:39 PM ]
Journalists say Israel’s fresh threats to take dire sanctions against
media covering the upcoming Gaza flotilla raise “serious questions about
Israel’s commitment” to press freedom.
The statement issued by
the Foreign Press Association in Israel was in response to a letter by
the Government Press Office threatening to bar journalists joining the
flotilla from entering the 1948-occupied territories for ten years.
The FPA statement says 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
“Journalists covering a legitimate news event should be
allowed to do their jobs without threats and intimidation,” the
More than forty Western and Arab media outlets
are set to join the flotilla.
“The Israeli threats, which
conflict with all standards of human values, will not deter the peace
activists on board the ships from achieving their objective of reaching
Gaza, and they will not stop journalists and media organizations from
carrying out their professional role in covering the international
event,” said Khadir al-Mashayikh, the media official of the ship from
Jordan scheduled to join the flotilla.
He called the threats
“further evidence of the falsehood of Tel Aviv’s democracy claims”.
The source recalled that one of those killed during Israel’s
military raid of flotilla’s predecessor in 2010 was a Turkish journalist
who was filming the attack. The military force also confiscated all of
the cameras on board and cut the ship’s internet connection.