When Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon launched a massive military offensive in the West Bank in late March, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used threats, intimidation, and, in some cases, potentially lethal force to prevent journalists from covering its military operations. In one notorious incident, IDF troops fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at reporters waiting outside the Ramallah compound of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. IDF soldiers have also fired live rounds at working reporters, detained several journalists, confiscated film or press cards from others, ransacked the offices of private West Bank television and radio stations, and repeatedly attacked the Palestinian National Authority's broadcasting facilities in violation of international humanitarian law. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have expelled one foreign correspondent and refused to accredit Palestinian journalists.
Palestinian militants have also harassed journalists, particularly photographers who captured unflattering images. On April 1 in Bethlehem, for example, militants forced reporters to hand over footage of the body of an alleged Palestinian collaborator who had been shot in a parking lot.