Photojournalists photographers journalists reporters 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
More than 40 foreign journalists have arrived on “short notice” for the release
of Gilad Schalit, the Government Press Office told The Jerusalem Post on
“It’s a lot compared to a normal situation,” said Oren Helman,
director of the GPO.
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The number is still significantly lower than the
turnout to Israel prior to the Palestinian UN statehood bid in
September. During the week prior to Abbas’s speech at the UN, the GPO
estimated about 150 reporters and journalists came to the country.
journalists coming this week will arrive from Germany, France, the United
Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Italy and Switzerland, among other
places, and will join an expected 300 Israel-based foreign journalists at the
Tel Nof Air Force base near Rehovot on Tuesday, according to Helman.
of the publications represented include the BBC, the Guardian, France 24, CBS,
Al Jazeera English, CNN, The Washington Post and German newspaper Bild, he said.
These journalists join about 2,000 correspondents based in Israel who work for
some 450 foreign news media outlets.
“Since the moment the information
about the swap was released I got many phone calls from different bureau chiefs
in Israel and foreign outlets from abroad that were asking about their ability
to send journalists to Israel and get temporary press cards for them,” Helman
“Our press card is very important for journalists because with it
they can enter press conferences that the government organizes,” he continued,
“they can enter media events which will be in Tel Nof tomorrow, and they can
move to the Gaza Strip and to Judea and Samaria.”
Hanani Rapoport, CEO of
Jerusalem Capital Studios, which assists foreign media representatives while in
Israel, agreed that the attention surrounding the Schalit release is much
greater than most of the news interest the country has attracted in recent
months. So much international coverage concerning a single event inside Israel
has not occurred since the Turkish flotilla incident in June 2010, Rapoport said
in a statement.
The Prime Minister’s Office and IDF Spokesman’s Office
are jointly opening a press center at the entrance of the Tel Nof Air Force
base, which will operate from early morning until late in the evening and will
require press credentials and security checks, according to the GPO.
addition to the center at Tel Nof, the IDF Spokesman’s Office will be organizing
press areas at the Steel Monument near Karem Shalom and at the entrance of Ofer
Prison, while the Israel Prisons Service will open press centers at the
entrances of Ketiot Prisons and Hasharon-Tel Mond Prison.
week, despite technically being closed for Succot, GPO employees were summoned
to work in order to provide services and temporary press cards to the additional
foreign journalists arriving, according to Helman.
“We had a very busy
month,” he said, “and it’s a very interesting month for Israel around the