JERUSALEM - Israel said on Monday it was rethinking its threat to bar foreign journalists from entering the country for ten years if they board a new aid flotilla that plans to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
"(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) heard about it on the news and asked to re-examine this issue because it's problematic," Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said, referring to Sunday's warning from Israel's Government Press Office (GPO)."I know the prime minister was as surprised as I was to hear this," he said, without disclosing who had made the decision to deliver the threat.
"There's no way to stop the media in this day and age if they (are on board) anyway. It's better not to clash with them."
The Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem described the warning, which GPO director Oren Helman sent to international media organizations, as a "chilling message" that raised questions about Israel's commitment to freedom of the press.