Police detains Al-Jazeera news team

Real-time broadcast of Katyusha strikes violates censorship.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
July 17, 2006 02:34
1 minute read.

 
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Police detained an Al-Jazeera news team on Sunday whose live broadcast revealed the site of the deadly Katyusha attack in Haifa, in violation of military censorship rules, police and security officials said. The Israeli crew of the Qatar-based pan-Arab TV station was briefly detained after broadcasting real-time footage which disclosed the area of the rocket attack, a Haifa police spokeswoman said. Military censorship rules ban real-time reporting on the exact location of rocket hits. Eight people were killed and dozens were wounded in the mid-morning attack, the most lethal Hizbullah rocket attack since Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon six years ago. The station's Israel correspondent, Elias Karram, was among those detained by the police. The media stationed in Israel has been instructed not to broadcast the exact location of the Hizbullah rocket attacks at the time they are occurring, so as not to help the Lebanese-based terror group refine future attacks. The long-standing security regulations have been accepted by Al-Jazeera when they opened their office in Israel. But the police spokeswoman said that the crew broadcast live during the rocket attack from a nearby observation post, and was warned not to do so again. Al-Jazeera said that Israeli authorities ordered its team away from Haifa's seafront oil refinery after it broadcast live footage from the area shortly after the rockets fell around the city, but the TV station denied breaking the law.

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