The Journal

ISRAEL HAS warned journalists not to join this year’s Gaza flotilla – or face being banned from the country for a decade.

The country says that reports coming from the flotilla could earn the journalists a ban or could result in their equipment being confiscated by Israeli authorities, Haaretz reports.

In a letter to foreign journalists, the Israeli government press office said that the flotilla is illegal and a “dangerous provocation that is being organised by western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas”.

Israel’s defence forces have been ordered to stop the aid ships from reaching Gaza. An Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, is among the flotilla and the Irish Anti-War Movement has called on Tánaiste and Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore to urge the Israeli government to allow the safe passage of the ship to Gaza.

Gilmore urged Israel to show all possible restraint towards the ten ships when he met with the Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai last week. However, Gilmore said: “I cannot advise any Irish national to participate in a venture which potentially brings them into harm’s way through seeking to break a naval blockade.”

Last year, nine activists were killed when Israeli forces stormed ships heading for Gaza.

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