Western journalists operating in Gaza have been threatened and harassed by Hamas for reporting instances of the terrorist groups' use of human shields, according to a Times of Israel report. Israeli officials have noted that some reporters are intimidated by Hamas' threats and have ceased documenting Hamas' exploitation of civilians throughout the conflict.
The newspaper says it confirmed instances in which Hamas officials confiscated equipment and pictures from photographers exposing terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets from civilian structures and fighting in civilian garb.
Hamas continues to limit access to its terrorist operations. For example, Hamas converted Gaza's Shifa hospital into a base of operations but reporters are prevented from showing that.
"We know that downstairs there is a Hamas command and control center and that Hamas leaders are hiding there," an unnamed Israeli official told the newspaper. "No reporter is allowed to go anywhere downstairs. They're only allowed to work upstairs to take pictures of casualties, the pictures that Hamas wants them to take."
Last week, a French journalist told Liberation, a French daily newspaper, the circumstances of his interrogation in a Hamas office in Shifa.
"A few meters from the emergency room, where the injured from the bombings kept on coming in, in the outpatient ward, [the reporter] was received in 'a small section of the hospital used as an office' by a group of young combatants,'" according to the article.
The reporter said a Hamas interrogator confronted him, asking, "Who are you? What's your name? What are you doing?" He also was asked whether he spoke Hebrew or had any relationship with the Palestinian Authority. "The young Hamas supporters insistently ask the question: 'Are you a correspondent for Israel?'" he wrote. The reporter insisted that he contributes to French and Algerian media only and was eventually ordered to leave Gaza.
His account matches a report out of Australia. It cites television reporter Peter Stefanovic, who issued a Twitter post describing seeing rockets being fired from a civilian area near his hotel. Hamas supporters accused him of lying, asking "Are you working for the IDF" and issuing a not-so-subtle threat that "in WWII spies got shot."
Meanwhile, Hamas has executed more than 30 suspected collaborators in Gaza, according to the Times of Israel reporting on Palestinian security officials' statements to Palestine Press News Agency. The alleged spies were summarily executed after a brief investigation. Moreover, Fatah appealed to Hamas to cease harassing its members and placing them under house arrest.