Tuesday, December 24, 2013

No Christmas spirit in the West Bank: Israeli journalists banned from celebrations


Palestinian journalists applaud the move as justification for "restrictions" imposed on Palestinian media by Israel.

church of nativity
church of nativity Photo: Reuters
The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday that it expelled Israeli journalists who came to Bethlehem to cover Christmas celebrations.
The PA Ministry of Information said the decision was taken at the request of Palestinian journalists, who protested against the presence of their Israeli colleagues at Manger Square in the city.

A ministry official claimed that the journalists who were kicked out of Bethlehem work for Ha’aretz, i-24 News, Channel One and Arutz Sheva.
Palestinian journalists praised the PA police for kicking the Israelis out of the city.
Omar Nazzal, a senior representative of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, told the Ramallah-based Wattan TV that the move was justified in wake of “restrictions” imposed by Israel on Palestinian journalists.

Earlier this year, a large group of Palestinian journalists launched a campaign to ban Israeli reporters from entering PA-controlled territories in the West Bank.
Since then, several Israeli journalists covering Palestinian affairs have faced threats from their Palestinian colleagues. In once case, Palestinian activists physically assaulted an Israeli TV crew in Ramallah.
The Palestinian journalists have also defended their campaign by arguing that the ban was aimed at “isolating the Israeli media, which is contributing to misinformation and relaying a false and harmful image of the Palestinian reality.”
PA Deputy Minister of Information Mahmoud Khalifa accused Israel of imposing restrictions on the work of Palestinian and international journalists in the West Bank.
“Israel does not honor international laws and conventions calling for the protection of journalists,” he charged. “Israeli reporters have become accustomed to entering the State of Palestine without permission." ‭‮

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