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Israeli PM reverses government's media warning over flotilla

The Israeli government press office said on Sunday that foreign journalists reporting from the Gaza-bound flotilla could be banned from Israel for up to ten years.

A Palestinian boy leans on a flagpole at a memorial site commemorating the nine activists who died last year.
A Palestinian boy leans on a flagpole at a memorial site commemorating the nine activists who died last year.
Image: AP Photo/Hatem Moussa

ISRAEL’S PRIME minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rescinded a statement from his government’s offices warning foreign journalists that coverage from the Gaza flotilla could see them banned from Israel for a decade.

The note also threatened that journalists’ equipment could be seized and confiscated by Israeli authorities.

Haaretz reports that the Foreign Press Association welcomed the government’s u-turn, after initially describing Sunday’s warning as a “chilling message to the international media”.

Ten ships are travelling to Gaza, which is under blockade an Israeli-imposed blockade. Israel’s security cabinet yesterday ordered its navy to enforce the blockade and prevent the ships from gaining access to the coast of Gaza, the AFP reports in the Montreal Gazette.

Last year, nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli troops stormed ships participating in a similar flotilla. An Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, is taking part in this year’s event.

Read more: Israel threatens to punish journalists covering Gaza flotilla >

Read: TDs and actors join call to support Irish aid ship’s journey to Gaza >

Read: Minister questions need for Gaza flotilla >

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