Hamas spokesperson Isra Al-Mudallal, said in a TV interview on Friday that journalists who filmed “places from where missiles were launched” were forced by security personnel to stop or leave the Gaza Strip.
According to a new report by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute, Mudallal, told the Lebanese TV station Mayadeen TV by Skype that some journalists “would focus on filming the places from where missiles were launched.”
“Thus, they were collaborating with the occupation,” said Mudallal, the head of foreign relations in the Hamas Information Ministry.
“These journalists were deported from the Gaza Strip. The security agencies would go and have a chat with these people,” she explained.
Hamas security personnel would give the journalists “some time to change their message” and “one way or another” they would be forced to change their reporting.
The spokesperson went on to say Hamas had some of the journalists “under security surveillance” and were able to reach them despite the ongoing war with Israel.
“We managed to reach them, and tell them that what they were doing was anything but professional journalism and that it was immoral.”
Mudallal noted that since the beginning of the current hostilities journalists could cross into Gaza with little hindrance besides bureaucratic procedures to “guarantee their safety.”
“Our problem was that [we didn't know] who was entering the Gaza Strip. Who were they? Most of them were freelancers, and the others were from news agencies,” she said according to MEMRI.
Mudallal also revealed that fewer journalists entered Gaza in this war compared to 2008 and 2012 and that they “were fixated on the notion of peace and on the Israeli narrative.”