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News number: 8710170502

18:04 | 2009-01-06

World

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Lib Dem MEP: Israel must Lift Gaza Ban on Foreign Press

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israel's ban on international journalists entering Gaza must be lifted, otherwise the world can only assume that the Zionist regime has something to hide, according to a British Liberal Democrat MEP.



"Israel must let the world see the truth. If the Israeli military action is as accurate as they claim, then why not allow foreign journalists' access to Gaza to verify their claims," said Chris Davies.

"In the absence of independent observers, the world has no choice but to assume that Israel has something to hide," the Islamic republic news agency quoted him as saying.

His call comes after the Israeli regime defied an order from its own Supreme Court to lift the ban on foreign journalists from entering Gaza during its latest bombardment and invasion, which has so far killed more than 500 Palestinians.

The 54-year-old Euro-MEP, who speaks for the Liberal Democrats on the environment and public health, has visited Gaza three times since 2006 and is a member of the European Parliament delegation to the Palestinian legislature.

He accused the Israeli regime of defying its own laws to "stop the horror unfolding in Gaza from being exposed to the world" and said that its actions "cannot be defended."

"It is also wholly wrong that the people of Gaza live their lives under siege at the best of times and currently are living in a hail of bullets and bombs," said Davies, who was previously the Lib Dem leader in the European Parliament.

"If the international community cannot condemn brutal levels of civilian casualties including women and children, in a conflict shrouded in secrecy by the law-defying Israeli Government, then what hope do oppressed people across the planet have of a world that will come to their aid?," he asked.

Davies was forced to resign as Lib Dm leader in the Strasbourg-based parliament after provoking controversy when criticizing Israel's "racist policies of apartheid" and "influence of the Jewish lobby."