Foreign Press at Odds with Military

Israeli security forces, battling rioters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, have become embroiled in a parallel conflict with the news media.

The Foreign Press Association and local reporters complained that the Israel Defense Force is putting unreasonable difficulties in the way of their coverage of disturbances in the territories. Foreign correspondents say they are barred from entering the Gaza region because it has allegedly been declared a “restricted military area.”

A local press photographer charged he was roughed up by an IDF lieutenant colonel and his troops in the Gaza Strip because he took pictures of soldiers mistreating Arab youths.

Police, meanwhile, are investigating IDF charges of misconduct on the part of an ABC television network photographer. Avi Pazner, Premier Yitzhak Shamir’s media adviser, claimed over the weekend that the ABC photographer paid Gaza children to burn tires for the benefit of his television cameras.

The cameraman, his wife and the camera crew accompanying him have denied the charges.

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