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


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.