The Israeli army is making journalists who enter Gaza sign waivers that absolve it of responsibility for their injury or death.
The Israel Defense Force launched a ground offensive in Gaza on Thursday, and reporters tweeted on Friday that they had to sign the waivers to cross the border. The Huffington Post's Middle East correspondent Sophia Jones tweeted:
At erez crossing, reporters crossing into #gaza are made to sign form absolving IDF of any responsibility if press gets hurt/worse.
— Sophia Jones (@Sophia_MJones) July 18, 2014
The waiver reads: "I am aware that neither the MOD nor the IDF shall bear any liability whatsoever for damage or injury resulting from military operations in and around Gaza or otherwise caused to my person or property during, or as a result of, my presence in or entrance to Gaza." Here is the document in its entirety, via Sophia Jones:
Journalists who reported on conflicts in the region had to sign similar documents in the past — for example, in 2012 and 2003. As Mashable noted, Israel is not alone in requiring journalists to sign such a document. The United States had a similar waiver for journalists in Iraq.
Journalists have been caught in the middle as the violence in the Middle East escalates. They witnessed an Israeli shelling that killed four Palestinian children earlier this week, and provided first aid to other children who were wounded. Some reporters were also asked to evacuate their hotels as Israel pressed forward with its ground invasion.