Journalists bristle at Israeli moves

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Journalism organizations are protesting to the Israeli government over
impediments to journalists covering hostilities between Israelis and
Palestinians on the West Bank and threats to their safety.

In the past few days, reports have surfaced of an NBC crew fired on by
Israeli soldiers, a CBS crew expelled from Ramallah and other news organizations
-- including Cable News Network, Reuters and NBC -- being told to curtail
operations.

On Tuesday, Israel revoked the credentials of two Abu Dhabi journalists and
threatened legal action against CNN for allegedly ignoring military orders in
broadcasting from Ramallah.

CBS News president Andrew Heyward met with Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkas
to voice concern over recent events affecting CBS and other journalists, while
other journalism organizations voiced concerns in writing.

CBS News said its meeting went well and Pinkas would convey the network's
concerns to Israeli leaders.

In letters to Israeli diplomats in Washington, D.C., and to the Israeli
delegation to the United Nations, Radio-Television News Directors Association
president Barbara Cochran asked that the Israeli government preserve the right
of journalists to cover the events 'without obstruction, threats or
endangerment.'

And the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of
Journalists and the Foreign Press Association have all written Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon protesting the military's attempts to block reporters from
working in Bethlehem, Ramallah and Qalqiliya during the Israeli crackdown on
West Bank militants.

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