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Israel mounts pressure on Iranian media covering Gaza Carnage

Source: Press TV

Al-Alam correspondent, Khezir Shahin

Israel is mounting pressure on Iranian correspondents covering its crimes against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli court on Sunday extended the detention without charge of two Iranian journalists for another two days.

Israeli forces arrested a correspondent of the Arabic-language Al-Alam News Network, Khezir Shahin, reporting from the occupied Palestinian territories and a producer, Mohammed Sarhan and took them into custody for questioning on Jan. 5, 2009.

Israeli authorities claim that the two journalists violated censorship laws and publicized the launch of the Israeli ground incursion into the Gaza Strip before the military censor had cleared the information for publication.

The Petah Tikva district Court decided to extend the detention for two days while their remand had already been extended by six days. "Although the court must weigh alternatives to (administrative) detention, in offences regarding threats to state security, any other alternative is impractical," judge Aaron Golds of the court said.

All journalists in Israel must sign an agreement to abide by Israeli censorship laws in order to get government accreditation.

Israel's military censor has broad powers to shut down media outlets or imprison journalists to prevent the release of information deemed as a security threat.

This is while Israeli forces targeted the office of Press TV and the Iranian Arab-language satellite channel Al-Alam in the Gaza Strip on Friday.

According to Press TV correspondent, Hamoudi Gharib, the building was targeted even though the staff had kept light projectors working non-stop on the roof of the building for in order to mark the building. Two people were wounded in the attack and Press TV's sister channel, Al-Alam, which was also based in the building had been affected by the attack.

The journalists working in the building had been given safety assurances that the building would not be targeted by mistake, after its coordinates were handed to organizations that were responsible for the journalist safety, including the UN.

According to Tel Aviv, the war that began on Gaza on Dec. 27 was aimed at ending the rocket attacks against Israeli settlers, toppling Hamas and preventing the resistance group from rearming.

After 16 days of Israeli assault, the number of Palestinian casualties is over 890 with more than 3,800 wounded.

Israel strikes Hamas culture ministry

Israeli forces have hit the Hamas ministry of culture in the Gaza Strip, as the offensive turns into an urban battle with resistance fighters.

According to a Press TV correspondent, the ministry building was hit during an operation Sunday.

Tel Aviv launched an "all-out" war on Gaza on Dec. 27 to put a stop to rocket attacks on southern Israel. At least 10 Israeli soldiers have died in the operation.

At least 888 Gazans have been killed in the Israeli offensive, while some 3,900 others have been injured.

Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the impoverished strip, demands a cessation of an 18-month Israeli blockade on Gaza before it stops rocket attacks on Israel.

... Payvand News - 01/11/09 ... --

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