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Israel threatens to punish journalists for covering Gaza flotilla

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On Sunday, Israel warned foreign journalists who sail on the flotilla that it could ban them from entering Israel for up to 10 years and confiscate their equipment, reports Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The warning, in a letter from the Government Press Office, says the flotilla is “a dangerous provocation that is being organized by Western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas."

Flotilla participants are simulating encounters with the Israeli Navy, practicing for what is likely to happen on the three-day journey to Gaza, wrote Amira Hass, a columnist for the Israeli daily, Haaretz. She's in Greece, preparing to board the flotilla.

A columnist for the Israeli news website YNet writes that media are crossing the line by boarding the ships.

“We should all be extremely concerned by the announcement that among those sailing on the imminent flotilla to Gaza are journalists representing mainstream media, including the New York Times and camera crews from CNN and CBS,” writes Simon Plosker. “This is a clear example of the symbiotic relationship between the media and anti-Israel agitators such as those behind the flotilla.”

Israel: We will stop the flotilla

Israel said Thursday it would stop the flotilla from reaching Gaza.

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