The Israeli Foreign Ministry reported earlier today that Hamas is not allowing at least 22 foreign nationals who wish to exit the Gaza Strip for Israel to do so. Among the foreigners being detained are nine Italian citizens, one Canadian, one South Korean, a French national and six journalists from Japan. In addition, two Turkish Red Crescent members have been refused exit.
This violation of the rights of neutral foreigners is an example of Hamas’ attempts to manipulate and pressure the press.
For its part, Israel is keeping the Erez crossing into Gaza open, allowing passage to the foreign press, diplomats and humanitarian workers.
The Kerem Shalom passage into Gaza was also kept open today, enabling the passage of food and medication from Israel into the Gaza Strip.
New York Times Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren wrote about the reports on Facebook, saying, “There have also been reports that Hamas is not allowing foreign journalists to leave; several colleagues are planning to try to cross this morning, so I’ll let you know. Not an issue for me: my editors aren’t letting me leave!”