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Israeli Police Allegedly Pose as Journalists

From Associated Press

Police launched an investigation Thursday after Western journalists photographed plainclothes police officers who had pasted press signs on their car to disguise their identity while investigating Palestinians.

The incident drew a formal complaint from the Foreign Press Assn. in Israel, which said in a letter to the government that such action places journalists “at great personal risk” and urged authorities “to cease such behavior immediately.”

The army and other security agencies repeatedly have denied rumors that their agents pose as reporters to get into Arab areas to observe suspects and make arrests.

Journalists’ Fears

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Journalists covering the 15-month Palestinian uprising have expressed fears that such activity could endanger them if Arabs became fearful of vehicles with press tags.

Police spokesman Uzi Sandori said there were two policemen involved, “but it was the idea of just one of them, his own personal idea.”

Police Commissioner David Krauss has asked that an officer be appointed to investigate the matter, Sandori said.

In the continuing violence, soldiers shot and wounded six Palestinians on Thursday in the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 12 people were wounded and a 14-year-old boy was killed, hospital officials said.

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