IDF, police, Shin Bet criticize media for coverage of Tel Aviv attack in rare letter

THE JERUSALEM POST:

The spokesperson’s units of Israel Police, IDF and Shin Bet sent an unusual joint letter to “all of the media outlets” in the country, denouncing the coverage of the shooting on Dizengoff street in Tel Aviv and its aftermath on Thursday night and calling on them to examine and learn lessons from the incident.

Reporters on Thursday night followed IDF soldiers during the hunt for the escaped terrorist, at one point even filming almost directly over their shoulders as they searched a building. While the police said they had requested that the reporters stay away, they admitted that they did not close off the area and did not officially demand that the material be censored.

“The recent security situation has been sensitive and challenging for all of us – the broad public, the security and emergency bodies and the Israeli media,” the letter began. “The security incidents sharpen the special role we each have: The professional role to provide security, to provide coverage of the reality on the ground and bring it to the public’s attention, and no less important: to strengthen the feeling of security and prevent the distribution of fake news that can enhance the public’s anxiety and panic.”

“The difficult terror attack that occurred on Dizengoff street and the fact that the area was not “closed off” immediately, caused, unfortunately, media conduct that reminded viewers of television programs that have nothing to do with an emergency situation.”

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