How do Israeli journalists report on a place they can’t reach?

Cameras belonging to news crews stationed at the Israeli side of the border with Gaza attempt to capture the clashes near the fence, May 15, 2018. (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

For the past 11 years, Israeli journalists have been forbidden from entering Gaza. This has affected not only their reporting, but also the way fellow Israelis understand what is happening there.

By Oren Ziv | +972 Magazine | May 19, 2018


This was never Hamas’ decision; it was Israel’s.


The main obstacle that faces anyone who wants to report on what is happening at Gaza protests from the Israeli side of the border is that one can hear the gunfire, see the smoke, report on the army’s conduct, and estimate the number of protesters — and yet, you cannot get the full story. A journalist from East Jerusalem who often covers the goings on at the border summed it up perfectly: “We can hear the bullets, but we can’t see the blood.” Since Israel placed Gaza under siege 11 years ago, Israeli journalists have been forbidden from entering the Strip, both in times of conflict and calm. This was never Hamas’ decision; it was Israel’s.

At around noon, dozens of Palestinians gather at the Great Return March encampment at the northern edge of the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli army fires large quantities of tear gas to disperse them. Earlier in the morning, the journalists on the Israeli side stood about and argued about whether it would be a quiet day, or whether the violence would flare up following the noon prayers and the funerals of the 60 Palestinians shot dead a day earlier. Despite conflicting reports, the Great Return March encampment was still there.

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