Hostile reporters ambush Israeli FM in Washington

Sunday, January 18, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was treated roughly and in some cases with open hostility by reporters at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington on Friday.

Livni and Rice met the press after signing a "memorandum of understanding" on preventing the smuggling of terrorist arms into the Gaza Strip.

Apparently armed beforehand with a negative report by an unnamed human rights organization, the reporters jumped on Livni, accusing Israel of causing the Gaza war and of being an oppressive regime for refusing to allow journalists to enter the Hamas-controlled territory during the fighting.

Ha'aretz reports that one journalist began reading the human rights report at length as part of his question about why Israel was "murdering innocent civilians in Gaza." When he was asked to get the point of his tirade, he yelled out and demanded to know since when the US has been hosting "terrorists."

Livni reportedly kept her cool, and reiterated that Israel had not wanted to go to war, and that no one in Gaza would have died if Hamas had not first significantly escalated its rocket fire on southern Israel - a threat no nation would have endured for as long as Israel did.

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