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Israel Warns Journalists In Gaza, Hamas Using Them As Human Shields

JERUSALEM - During the 14-day conflict, Gaza Ministry officials reported on Monday the death toll in the Gaza Strip is now over 500 after the bloodiest day on Saturday that killed 13 Israeli soldiers and over 50 more civilians that according to The Huffington Post on Monday, has prompted Israel to release a statement about the "life-threatening danger" that exists in Gaza making it unsafe for foreign journalists which the Israel government said will not be held responsible.

Journalists stoop down for cover after Gaza launches rocket into Israel.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Israel's Government Press Office warned journalists on Saturday they are not responsible for their safety in the Gaza Strip. "Gaza and its vicinity are a battleground. Covering the hostilities exposes journalists to life-threatening danger," the Government Press Office (GPO) statement said. "Israel is not in any way responsible for injury or damage that may occur as a result of field reporting." The statement went on to say, "“Gaza and its vicinity are a battleground. Covering hostilities exposes journalists to life-threatening danger. "You are in a war zone. The GPO advises the members of the press to take every possible precaution. Journalists in need of assistance should contact the GPO to facilitate expedited passage from the Erez crossing.”

Israel released the statement since they accredit journalists based in Israel who also cover Palestinian territories including the Gaza Strip. The GPO warned journalists that Hamas was using journalists as human shields and asked them to take "every possible precaution."

Two reporters have been killed in the Gaza Strip over the last two weeks. The AFP reported a cameraman died when an ambulance hit the vehicle he was traveling in. A week ago, it was also reported that another journalist in the Gaza Strip was also killed when an Israeli airstrike hit his vehicle that was clearly marked TV.

Sunday was reported another deadly day in Gaza with 87 people killed on Sunday bringing the numbers of those injured to well over 3,000. Since Israel's Operation Protective Edge campaign began on July 8, the Israel Defense Forces has struck over 2,300 sites in the Gaza Strip that is home to 1.7 million people in a densely populated area behind the wall that separates Israel and the Gaza Strip up against the Mediteranean Sea in a region where they have nowhere to go.

More than 1,663 rockets have been launched by Palestinian militants toward Israel that thanks to their Iron Dome system that intercepts and blows the incoming rockets out of the sky, has kept the Israel death toll very low with one soldier and two civilians being killed.

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