Monday, June 27, 2011

Israel rescinds threat to reporters on flotilla

Israel on Monday set aside a warning it issued the previous day that foreign journalists aboard a flotilla planning to challenge its naval blockade of Gaza risked being barred from the country for up to a decade and having their equipment impounded.
Also, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Monday that he had instructed the relevant authorities to devise a special procedure for journalists covering the flotilla bound for Gaza, on the assumption that they would end up in Israel. In contrast to the activists on board, it said that the journalists would not be subject to the “regular policy against infiltrators and those who enter Israel illegally.”
Officials said the earlier decision had been made by staff members without Mr. Netanyahu’s knowledge. The Foreign Press Association in Israel issued a statement welcoming the turnabout, saying it was pleased to see that Israel “understands that journalists should be treated differently from political activists.”

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