Thursday, July 20, 2006

How Israel censors Media to prevent Hezbollah from right aims

The range of issues subject to censorship in the latest conflict with Lebanese guerrillas are all related to the goal of preventing Hezbollah from using the media to help it better aim rockets at Israel.

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The rules include no real-time reports giving the exact locations of guerrilla missile hits; no reports of missile hits — or misses — on strategic targets; and no reports telling when citizens are allowed to leave their bunkers for supplies.

Journalists are also not allowed to give details about senior Israeli officials going to the north, where Hezbollah's rockets are falling, until the officials have left the area. They also cannot report places where there aren't enough shelters or where public defense is weak.

So far in this conflict, about one rocket in 100 fired by Hezbollah has killed an Israeli. The rest usually explode in empty fields, tear concrete from abandoned streets or plunk into the Mediterranean. Fired blind, Hezbollah's thousands of mostly short-range, inaccurate munitions simply pose a random peril to Israeli citizens.

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