Message to journalists in Gaza from the Israeli Government Press Office which I reproduce without comment

Subject: GPO Advisory to Journalists Covering Operation Protective Edge from the Gaza Strip

GPO Advisory to Journalists Covering Operation Protective Edge from the Gaza Strip
(Communicated by the GPO)

Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza continue to attack Israel's civilian population. They have fired over 1,800 rockets at Israel's towns and cities, putting five million of our citizens – men, women and children – in bomb shelters. They have infiltrated Israel by sea and tunnel in an attempt to murder and kidnap Israelis.

In response to these attacks and Hamas' repeated rejection of cease-fire proposals, the IDF began a ground operation in Gaza on Thursday night.

The GPO is doing everything in its power to provide the foreign press with timely information and to facilitate access.

Nevertheless, we wish to stress that Gaza and its vicinity are a battleground. Covering the hostilities exposes journalists to life-threatening danger (and involves risk to equipment).

As part of Hamas' strategy of hiding behind the civilian population it has frequently exploited journalists as human shields, deliberately putting them at risk of injury or death.

Israel is not in any way responsible for injury or damage that may occur as a result of field reporting.

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.

Be safe in your mission.

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