Tel Aviv: Journalists covering the present Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip have claimed that Israel is not allowing foreign press to enter the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Accusing Israel of playing games with the media, the Foreign Press Association said that Tel Aviv’s stalling tactics had exasperated it.
They suggested that Israel was mixing genuine security concerns and games.
"We are waiting day by day, hour by hour," said Glenys Sugarman, executive secretary of the FPA. "We just don't know when we will get in," Sugarman added.
"Israel has never restricted media access like this before, and it should be ashamed," said Ethan Bronner, the New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem. "It's betraying the principles by which it claims to live," he added.
An estimated 400-500 foreign journalists are now in Israel covering the offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
Major Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories, said that security threats near the Erez Crossing had stymied plans to let a pool of eight foreign journalists into the Hamas-ruled territory.
The pool is to be made up of six members of the foreign press chosen by a Foreign Press Association lottery, while the Government Press Office will allot the remaining two slots.
The plan was based on an agreement reached last week, following a petition filed with the High Court of Justice against the ban keeping foreign press out of Gaza.
Lerner said it was still unclear when the journalists would be allowed into the Strip.