JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli court has jailed two journalists for two months for reporting troop movements in Israel in the hour before Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip at the start of an invasion in January.
The two men, both Palestinian residents of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, were convicted on Sunday of breaching military censorship regulations in their reports on troop movements for Iranian media from the Israeli side of Gaza’s border on January 3.
Journalists working in Israel are, in principle, not legally allowed to report any military or security developments without first clearing their report with the military censor.
Khader Shahine and Mohammed Sarhan were accused of reporting troop movements inside Israel that they said indicated a ground invasion was imminent, before Israeli forces crossed the border.
First reports on most international media confirming the invasion came from Palestinian witnesses inside the Gaza Strip, who saw tanks and infantry inside the territory.
A lawyer for the two journalists described their sentences as “harsh.” The civilian court in Jerusalem, in a statement available on Monday, said it was intended to deter others.
Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Alastair Macdonald