Israel prevents foreign scribes from entering Gaza

January 5th, 2009 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Jan 5 (DPA) Israel’s defence ministry refused to allow foreign correspondents to cross over from Israel into the Gaza Strip Monday, despite a court ruling, a representative of the foreign media in Israel said.The Israeli Supreme Court had ruled last week that eight foreign correspondents could enter the Strip if the Gaza crossings were open to allow humanitarian relief.

On Monday, however, Israeli officials, citing security risks, prevented the journalists from entering the Strip when the crossings were opened to allow 200 foreigners to leave the salient.

Israel has allowed no foreign correspondents to enter the Strip from Israel since it began its Operation “Cast Lead” against Hamas Dec 27.

The Israel Foreign Press Association had petitioned the Supreme Court on the issue, and Israel then agreed to allow a group of eight journalists into the Strip when the crossings were opened.

Two of the places were to be assigned by the army, and the other six places to be decided on the basis of a lottery in the presence of an attorney.

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