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Boycott of Israeli army footage urged

The Foreign Press Association urged its members to boycott Israeli army photos and video footage to protest at the shelling of a media building in Gaza City that wounded two cameramen.

world Updated: Jan 15, 2009 23:54 IST

The Foreign Press Association on Thursday urged its members to boycott Israeli army photos and video footage to protest at the shelling of a media building in Gaza City that wounded two cameramen.

The move was also prompted by the Israeli army's (IDF) refusal to allow reporters to enter the territory to cover the conflict in which some 1,100 people have been killed in the largest Israeli offensive ever launched on the Hamas-run enclave.

"The FPA rejects and condemns the IDF policy of controlling the news coverage of the events in Gaza," said the group -- which represents foreign media outlets in Israel and the Palestinian territories, including AFP.

"By preventing the entry of foreign journalists into Gaza and bombing buildings housing offices of international media -- contrary to IDF assurances that these media buildings would be safe -- the IDF is severely violating basic principles of respect for press freedom," it said.

The group asked media outlets not to use any photos or video footage provided by the Israeli military until it issues a formal apology for the attacks and "offers assurances that no such event will occur in the future." The two cameramen, who worked for Abu Dhabi television, were wounded when an Israeli strike hit a building in Gaza City housing several international and Arab media outlets, witnesses and officials said.

Media outlets housed in the Al-Shuruq tower, located in the Rimal neighbourhood in the centre of Gaza City, include the Reuters news agency and television stations Fox, Sky and Al-Arabiya.