Press: In Israel, Wounding the Messenger

An army ban on reporters sends a chilling warning

The state of Israel prides itself on being the only true democracy in the Middle East, enthusiastically relishing the slings and harrows of hard-fought elections, freedom of assembly and an aggressively independent press. In keeping with that spirit, the Israeli government initially raised few obstacles to the surge of foreign reporters that poured into the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip when violent demonstrations broke out there four months ago. The regular contingent of 250 to 300 writers, photographers, television cameramen and technicians swelled to more than 1,200, all of them racing across the dusty hills of the occupied territories...

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