The Israeli media sports a unique reporter, Amira Hass, a journalist for Ha’aretz, whose sympathy for the Arab side is legendary.
Indeed, over the past few years, Ms. Hass went so far as to rent a home inside Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, and her writing has always reflected her place of residence.
Over the last month, Ms. Hass took an apartment in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Ms. Hass felt compelled to flee from the Gaza Strip last Monday after Hamas operatives threatened to kill her over statements that she wrote in essays that were published in her newspaper. Ms. Hass arrived in Gaza on the left-wing activists’ boat that sailed from Cyprus and anchored off the coast of Gaza on Nov. 8.
She published several articles in Ha’aretz that she wrote from inside Gaza, among which she wrote on Nov. 17: “People in Gaza have many complaints about the Hamas regime, and with good reason. It has already proven – mainly to Fatah – to be a regime of fear and repression.” A security official in Israel said that the statements that Ms. Hass had written angered Hamas operatives. “The security establishment received intelligence that her life is in danger,” he said. “They told her, ‘Get the hell out of here.’ She called and asked to enter legally. An Israeli who comes to the gates of Israel must be allowed in.”
Maj. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Office of the Coordinator of Israel Government Activities in the Territories, said, “I received a telephone call from Amira and she told me that they were kicking her out. She told me that the Palestinians had told her personally that they could not guarantee her safety and she was being asked to leave immediately.”
When Ms. Hass left Gaza, she was taken in for questioning in the Sderot police station for disobeying an Israeli army order prohibiting the entry of Israelis into Gaza. She was released under restrictive conditions.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org