February 14, 2002 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Journalists banned from going to Gaza Strip

In a letter send to the Israeli Chief of Staff, Shaul Moffaz, Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders - RSF) has protested the ban imposed on journalists on 13 February to cover the Israeli army operations in the Gaza Strip. "It is unacceptable for the Israeli authorities to keep journalists from doing their job" asserted Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary general. "We request that you allow the press to freely cover the events related to the army's operations." According to information received by RSF, the Israeli security forces forbade journalists access to the Gaza Strip on 13 February. Numerous television crews were blocked at the Eretz check point. Starting in the morning, Israeli tanks and bulldozers had entered Beit Lahya, Beit Hannun and Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip. Only a pool of written-press journalists were allowed to enter the zone. Last 25 October 2001, the Israeli army banned journalists from entering the village of Beit Rima to the north-west of Ramallah, where the army had begun a military operation in the night of 23 to 24 October. Forty-eight hours later, the press was still not given the right to enter the village where several people had been killed. The army's spokesman, Olivier Rafowicz, said that "security reasons and operational choices" justified this measure, which was also applied to ambulances.