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Israel indicts two East Jerusalem journalists for its breaking censorship regulations

Israel indicts two journalists for its breaking censorship regulations
Kadir Shahin (2nd L) and Muhammed Sarhan (3rd L), journalists working for an Iranian television network, arrive at Jerusalem district court January 13, 2009. Israel on Tuesday filed charges against the two, both Israeli Arabs that reside in East Jerusalem, accusing them of allegedly reporting the beginning of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza despite a military censor's order.Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad

Two east Jerusalem employees of a production company servicing various media outlets worldwide, including one based in Iran, were indicted in Israel Tuesday for breaking Israeli military censorship, the Ynet news site reported.

Kadir Shahin, a reporter with Iranian Arabic-speaking Alalam television station, and producer Muhammad Sarhan are accused of reporting that Israeli ground troops had entered the Gaza Strip on January 3, before the information was cleared for publication, a Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA) report said.

According to the indictment filed in the Jerusalem District court, the two were reporting from the Israeli side of the Gaza border when they spotted Israeli forces gearing up for the ground incursion into the Strip. Although allegedly aware the information had not been cleared by the military censor, the two began a live broadcast detailing the troops' moves.

According to the prosecution, their broadcast included information which they knew could easily find its way to viewers in Gaza, including Hamas members, with whom Israel is located in combat in the salient. The prosecution also asked the court to remand the two in custody untilthe end of the legal proceedings against them, arguing that their office is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, thus posing a risk they could try to flee if released.

Foreign correspondents working in Israel are required to sign a form agreeing to abide by military censorship regulations.

Date posted: January 14, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 343