For Immediate Release

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Taruna Godric, 416-916-5202 ext. 414

Israeli FM confronted at National Press Club

Journalists' microphones turned off when Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni challenged in Washington

WASHINGTON - With Palestinian casualties now totaling over 1000 deaths from the Israeli bombing of Gaza, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni came to Washington to sign a new US-Israel agreement barring Hamas from rearming.

The FM spoke at the National Press Conference in Washington in defense of Israeli actions claiming "what Israel is doing is pure self defense and this is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but our need to fight terrorism."

When asked about the Israeli governments ban on international and domestic journalists covering the Gaza situation Livni was unsure of the "official" reason stating " I don't want to give an answer to this right now." This style of censorship seen in the Israeli media seemed to carry over to the conference with the National Press Clubs as one journalist had his microphone cut off when he questioned Israel's blockade of Gaza humanitarian relief.

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