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Amira Hass

Amira Hass is the only Jewish Israeli journalist to have lived among the Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah since 1993. She thinks it is as necessary as “covering Britain from London, and France from Paris.” Her reports for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, which she says "cannot be objective, just as any reporting about wrong-doing cannot be objective," have won her enemies in all camps. Forced by Hamas to leave Gaza earlier than planned, in 2008, (though permitted to return two months later) she was detained in Israel twice (in 2008 and 2009) for entering Gaza without a permit and staying in an "enemy entity.”In 2013, the Yesha Council (of settlers in “Judea, Samaria and Gaza”) accused her of inciting violence because she had written that Palestinians had the right to resist and had grounds for throwing stones. She was awarded the Reporters Without Borders/FNAC Prize in 2009 for her independent and outspoken journalism and, in particular, the quality of her reporting for Ha’aretz during and immediately after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive against the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. Accepting the award, she said: “Being an independent journalist is not that hard in Israel but for this independence to be real and effective, two conditions are needed. A newspaper ready to publish the articles and readers. I was lucky to have a newspaper, Ha’aretz, ready to publish, and the support of my editors, especially the news editor. But Israeli readers find it hard to accept a different version of events from what the authorities offer.”