For the past month or so news has been filtering out of Gaza from international journalists that they have been harassed, and even threatened, by Hamas for sending reports and information out which was truthful and not favorable to them.
On 11th August 2014 the Foreign Press Agency released the following Statement
The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground. In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.
The FPA strongly condemns deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists working to cover the current warfare under very difficult circumstances as well as forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments. While we do not condone the use of invective by any side, outright attacks on journalists are absolutely unacceptable.
July 29. Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted:
In other words, having left Gaza, he could say what he could not report whilst he was there. It was a Hamas rocket, not an Israeli rocket, that killed 10 people, eight of them children, at the al Shati refugee camp along the northern Gaza seacoast.
Israeli filmmaker Michael Grynszpan wrote on Facebook that he had met with a Spanish journalist who had just left Gaza and asked him why TV viewers are not seeing Hamas fighters in action. Mr. Grynszpan said he was told:
“It’s very simple. We did see Hamas people there, launching rockets. They were close to our hotel, but if ever we dared pointing our camera on them, they would simply shoot at us and kill us.”
Channel 9 TV reporter Peter Stefanovic tweeted
“Hamas rockets just launched over our hotel from a site about two hundred metres away. So a missile launch site is basically next door.”,
An account called @ThisIsGaza said this was Stefanovic’s fourth time
“passing and fabricating information to Israel… from GAZA” and threatened to sue him.
Another account, @longitude0 wrote:
“You are a cretin. Are you working for the IDF” and “in WWII spies got shot.”
French-Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abu Dagga was
“detained and interrogated by members of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigade at a room in Shifa hospital next to the emergency room.”
He published an account of his treatment in the French newspaper Liberation — but that article has since been “unpublished at Dagga’s request.” Why do you suppose?
John Reed of The Financial Times was threatened after he tweeted about rockets being fired from near that same hospital.
The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Casey posted a photo of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed from a room in the hospital along with this tweet:
“You have to wonder (with) the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” After “a flood of online threats,” the tweet was deleted. But Twitter accounts “continued to attack Casey, including him on lists of ‘journos in Gaza (who) lie/fabricate info for Israel’ and ‘must be sued for crimes.’”
On August 5th the Washington Times reported.
“If you’ve been following the conflict in Gaza, you’ve seen dramatic pictures of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, their tanks and helicopters. You’ve seen pictures of neighborhoods reduced to rubble, with Palestinian men, women and children in desperate circumstances. What you almost certainly have not seen are the combatants Israelis have been fighting. It’s as though they were fighting ghosts.”