New York, March 28, 2001 — Six Israeli journalists were prevented from covering this week’s Arab summit in Amman after Jordanian security authorities requested that they leave the country, citing threats on their safety, CPJ has learned.
Roey Gilad, a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Amman, told CPJ that Jordanian authorities asked the journalists to leave the country for “security reasons,” claiming that their safety could not be guaranteed.
The six journalists are: Daniel Sobleman of the daily Haaretz, Smadar Perri and Shaul Golan of the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Bassam Jaber of the Arabic weekly magazine Panorama, and Suleiman al-Shafei and Munif Zahlaqa of the television station Channel Two.
Jordanian authorities contend that the incident was not politically motivated, according to press reports. However, Agence France-Presse today quoted a senior Jordanian official who appeared to justify the incident, saying that “this is an Arab summit and most (participants) do not wish to see Israelis.”
The official added: “Jordan’s priority is to ensure the comfort of its guests.”