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2002-04-09

Reporters Under Attack in the Occupied Territories: Israeli Soldiers Raid the Office of News Organizations in Ramallah; CNN and the Associated Press Say Their Reports Are Being Submitted to Censors; t

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Yesterday, Democracy Now saw a CNN news zipper announcing that the Ramallah offices of CNN, Fox and other networks had been raided by the Israeli military. It also said that the news organizations had been told to run their reports by the Israeli authorities. But after scouring the internet and wires last night, we could find no other reports of this, aside from a sentence buried in a CNN story confirming that "Israeli forces raided the offices of several news organizations and one U.S. aid organization Monday, using gunfire and explosives to enter the buildings." The CNN story made no mention of having to clear reports with the Israeli authorities. But the Boston Globe reports this morning that Israel is considering litigation against news organizations that do not comply with its restrictions. An Associated Press report today says Israel’s military censor has ordered "significant deletions".

And yesterday’s raids are certainly not the only case of Israeli attacks against journalists during "Operation Defensive Shield". As Israel wages its biggest military campaign in the West Bank in 35 years, the Israeli military is firing at journalists trying to cover it. Late last week Israel labeled Ramallah a closed military zone, and marked it off limits to reporters.

At least 20 journalists have come under Israeli fire since the most recent offensive began March 29, according to the Paris-based watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Five journalists have been wounded, including one U.S. reporter, Anthony Shadid of the Boston Globe. Joining us are Steve Rendell of the U.S.-based media watchdog FAIR, and a Palestinian TV cameraman in Bethlehem.

Guests:

  • Steve Rendell, senior analyst at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • Khaled Abu Ajamieh, cameraman with Bethlehem TV

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