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Israeli prosecutors charge two Palestinian journalists for broadcasting information subject to military censorship

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Condemns Israeli Hypocrisy Over Palestinian Journalists Accused of Defying Military Censor

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today protested at the charges levelled by Israeli prosecutors against two Palestinians journalists for broadcasting information subject to military censorship.

"We condemn these charges which just prove the hypocrisy and double standards applied by Israel in Gaza," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Israel uses the law to enforce its military dictate on journalists while it fails to implement the order of the country's highest court allowing media access to Gaza."

According to press reports, the two journalists, Hadir Shaheen, 34, and Mohammed Sarhan, 26, who worked for Al-Alam TV in Ramallah, were indicted on Tuesday for reporting on the deployment of Israeli soldiers into Gaza without clearance from Israeli censorship authorities.

Prosecutors claim that the report, which was broadcast on Arabic news channels, including those available in the Gaza Strip, could have been seen by Hamas fighters.

"These charges deal a serious blow to Israel's claim that the ban in Gaza on foreign media is justified on security grounds," added White. "The real reason is the determined effort by Israel to deny media their independence in reporting on its activities in Gaza. This is a cynical attempt to use media for military purposes and we demand that these charges be dropped and the two journalists released."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide.

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