Israeli Military Censor Bans Reporting on Eight Specific Subjects Related to War With Hamas

Credit: Chatham House

The Intercept recently obtained a document that sheds light on the Israeli military’s stringent censorship policies during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. This document was issued by the Israeli military to the media as part of the operation named “Swords of Iron.” The document’s existence and the specific restrictions it imposes represent a significant development in the Israeli government’s approach to controlling information during times of conflict.

Authored in English, the directive from the Israeli Chief Censor, Brigadir Gen. Kobi Mandelblit, lists eight specific topics that the media are not allowed to report on without prior approval. These topics encompass a range of sensitive subjects, including the use and capture of IDF weapons, details about Israeli hostages in Gaza, and information regarding cyberattacks and rocket strikes against strategic targets in Israel.

Michael Omer-Man, an expert on Israeli media and the director of research at Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), noted the unusual nature of this directive. The memo, according to him, represents a departure from the general and more limited communications historically issued by the censor.