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Israel imposes media blackout in Gaza

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TEL AVIV, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - Israel has banned foreign reporters from entering the Gaza Strip for a week, a move viewed as violating press freedom and applying pressure on the Islamist regime amid increased tensions in the region.

The restrictions however do not apply to international aid workers, as well as Palestinians needing medical treatment, an Israeli military spokesman.

"Humanitarian cases are still going in and out, proving safe passage is possible," Peter Lerner said.

The latest move comes following a violation of a five-month-long ceasefire deal by Palestinian militants in response to an Israeli attack, which killed six Palestinians. However, no Israeli casualties or damage were reported.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Press Association said in a statement that the ban on foreign media access was a serious breach of press freedom.

"It is absolutely essential that international journalists be allowed to enter the territory and deliver their news reports to Israel and the rest of the world," the statement said.

Last week, Israel closed all crossings into Gaza as border violence intensified in a breach of a ceasefire deal. The fuel shortages forced Gaza's sole power plant to shut down on Monday, causing blackouts in Gaza.

Israel resumed limited fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

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