Israel threatens to punish journalists who cover Gaza flotilla
Israeli officials have threatened to punish activists who plan to set sail from Greece to Gaza, with the aim of breaking the Israeli embargo on the Palestinian territory. Journalists, the Israeli officials say, will also be punished if they choose to cover the activists’ mission, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Journalists who cover the flotilla’s attempt to reach the Gaza strip will be denied entry to the country for 10 year, The National reported. The government press office released a statement that called the pro-Palestinian activists’ actions “a dangerous provocation” and an “international violation of Israeli law.”
Israel’s Foreign Press Association, however, issued a statement calling the government threats “a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press”.
The activist group, called Freedom Flotilla II, plans to set sail in coming days. Last year, nine people died in conflicts that arose because of the same demonstration.