Reporters on the Job

A Small Window on Gaza: Covering what appears to be a developing civil war in Gaza is a source of frustration for many Western journalists. Since the kidnapping of Fox TV news crews last August, most foreign news organizations are reluctant to take the risk of sending reporters into the Palestinian territory.

"It's frustrating," says correspondent Joshua Mitnik. "I can't safely go to Gaza, so I went to the closest point: the Erez crossing."

The Erez border crossing between Israel and northern Gaza was once a gateway for thousands of Palestinian day laborers to cross into Israel. But since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, the crossing is primarily used by a much smaller number of businessmen, politicians with special Israeli passes, and people with authorization to get treatment in Israeli hospitals.

On Wednesday, Josh stood in the parking lot on the Israeli side, interviewing Palestinians about what was happening in Gaza (see story). "I spoke to one merchant who said that he had to pass through several ad-hoc checkpoints set up by Hamas and Fatah militiamen. They searched him for weapons and quizzed him on his political affiliations. It was clear to him that the wrong political affiliation might get him shot."

– David Clark Scott
World editor

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