Hamas terror group ruling the Gaza Strip issued new restrictions on Tuesday for Palestinians working with foreign media, ordering them not to report about Gazans killed by the failed rocket launches in the three-day flare-up between Israel and Islamic Jihad.
According to Gazan health authorities, the latest round of cross-border fighting left 46 Palestinians killed and 360 wounded. Israeli officials, however, say many of the civilian victims were killed by errant rockets fired by the terror group.
The new guidelines also required Palestinian reporters and translators to blame Israel for the escalation, according to the Foreign Press Association (FPA).
However, after consultations with authorities in Gaza, the restrictions were revoked, AP News learned.
Salam Marouf, director of the Gazan government's media office, also confirmed the revocation, saying that they welcome “all foreign journalists and media into Gaza and we call on them to come.”
After the Egypt-mediated ceasefire took effect on Monday, the Interior Ministry in Gaza issued the rules to Palestinians applying for entry permits on behalf of foreign media outlets instructing them to pass the guidelines on to the foreign reporters.
As Hamas requires all journalists entering the enclave to have a local sponsor - who is often a Palestinian reporter or translator employed by the outlet - the revoked restrictions required them to accompany the foreign journalists.
They were also told to “protect the Palestinian narrative and reject the bias of foreigners to the Israeli narrative."
Moreover, the sponsors would have been held accountable for what the foreign media produced during their visit to Gaza.
According to the rescinded rules, they would have also been required to inform Hamas of “any suspicious behavior or illogical questions” and submit a full report of journalists’ activities in Gaza with the links to all published reports. Spreading information about the guidelines themselves could have resulted in the revocation of the sponsorship.
“Such a move would have constituted a severe, unacceptable, and unjustifiable restriction on the freedom of the press, as well as the safety of our colleagues in Gaza,” the FPA statement said.
Hamas previously banned Palestinians from working for Israeli media or giving interviews to them.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the IDF published footage that shows a failed rocket launch attempt by Islamic Jihad militants that hit a residential home in the northern Gaza Strip city of Jabalia the night before, killing several people, including children.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.