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Israel arrests journalist critical of Gaza war

Press TV [1]
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Israeli police have arrested a journalist upon her arrival from the Gaza Strip over charges of entry into and residence in an “enemy state”.

Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass was booked on Tuesday when she left the Gaza Strip following a few months of reporting in the blockaded coastal sliver run by the Palestinian Hamas movement.

She was immediately taken in for questioning but was later released on bail after promising not to enter the Gaza Strip over the next 30 days.

Amira Hass is the first Israeli journalist to have entered the Gaza Strip since the Israeli army issued an entry ban over the capture of its soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian fighters.


Shalit was captured in 2006 in a cross-border operation conducted a day after Israeli forces kidnapped two civilians in Gaza city.

Last December, Hass was arrested for having entered the Gaza Strip aboard a ship run by peace activists from Europe. The soldiers at the Erez checkpoint detained her as she tried to cross into the territory.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

She was then handed over to Sderot police who later released her under restriction, but said her case would be sent to court.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe Israeli siege since June 2007, when democratically elected Palestinian government Hamas was forced to limit its rule to the coastal territory amidst pressure from its Western-backed rival Fatah.

Along with the Israeli-imposed movement restrictions, which have further plagued the impoverished region’s shattered economy and propelled Gaza onto the brink of a humanitarian crisis, the Cairo government refuses to open the Rafah border crossing.

The seizure has disrupted delivery of necessary aid cargos into the territory where almost half of its 1.5-million-strong population is dependent on aid handouts.