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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/13/10

Israeli Prohibitions Against Free Expression and "Enemy Alien" Contacts

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In May 2009, Hass was again arrested after leaving Gaza on charges of residing in an enemy state. She was released on bail after promising not to return for the next 30 days. She's the only Israeli journalist who's been there since the 2006 ban and one of the few reporting accurately in defiance of media censorship.


On January 6, 2009, Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner advocacy group, announced two other arrests for "infringing new legal measures" restricting reporting on the war:


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-- Khader Shahin in Jerusalem, Palestinian correspondent for Al Alam TV, on charges of spreading "state secrets" and "breaching the media code of ethics;" and


-- Mohammad Sarhan, a Jerusalem-based student studying law at Ramat Gan College; he was accused of reporting on Israel's ground assault before the IDF released the news, breaching the same "code of ethics" by telling uncomfortable truths Israel wanted suppressed.

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Foreign journalists were also denied access to Gaza after the Defense Ministry closed the Strip entirely to the press, then compromised when the Foreign Press Association petitioned the High Court of Justice to intervene. According to Haaretz:


"the parties agreed that a limited team of eight journalists would be allowed into Gaza when the Erez crossing opened....to send in humanitarian aid. However, sources in the Foreign Press Association say that since the decision, the crossing has not opened," so Israel's obstructionism continued hoping it could complete its ritual slaughter unobserved by the outside world. It didn't as later investigative reports revealed the truth, followed by world outrage demanding accountability, not so far gotten.


The Israeli Prosecutor's Office and the Police

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Both bodies called all protest actions an existential state security threat, cracking down accordingly and prevailing in all cases not to release those detained. In addition, new grounds for arrests were given, including disturbing the peace and saying "the protests (were) detrimental to public morale."


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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