Police Barring Journalists from Yerushalayim Flashpoints to Calm Tensions

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Israel journalists
Palestinian men pray near the entrance to Har HaBayis on Wednesday.(Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Israel’s police force is acknowledging it is preventing journalists from entering parts of the Old City of Yerushalayim as part of its efforts to lower tensions in the area.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Wednesday that “journalists are being prevented from coming in those specific areas where there have been disturbances and riots.” He says it is a decision made by the Yerushalayim police district.

Reporters have complained this week that they were being prevented from covering the unrest around Har HaBayis while tourists were able to freely move about the city and film with their mobile phones.

The Foreign Press Association says journalists have been shoved and it has created “a dangerous situation” where accredited journalists were blocked from doing their jobs.