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Israeli Troops Kick CBS Out

April 1, 2002

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JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli forces expelled a CBS News television crew from Ramallah on Monday as troops continued to occupy the West Bank city and search for militants.

The Foreign Press Association in Israel protested the expulsion of the crew and the military’s attempt to make the entire city off limits to the media.

Kate Rydell, the producer of the CBS crew that entered Ramallah on Sunday, said they were packing their gear Monday when about seven Israeli jeeps pulled up.

``They took up positions along the street with their rifles at the ready,″ she said. ``Two of them came up and asked to see passports.″

She said the soldiers said the area was a closed military zone and escorted the crew out of the city. The soldiers did not confiscate any material or equipment and made no threats, she said.

Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s administrative center in the West Bank, was declared a closed military zone by Israel last Friday, when the Israeli army occupied it after a series of Palestinian attacks in Israel.

But the measure was only sporadically enforced, and journalists and other foreigners were able to get in as late as Sunday morning.

Israel has warned that foreign journalists were at risk in the West Bank city.

On Sunday, Boston Globe reporter Anthony Shadid was shot and wounded in the shoulder while in Ramallah. He was taken to a Ramallah hospital and then to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, where he was recovering, hospital spokesman Ron Kromer said Monday.

The source of the fire that hit Shadid has not yet been established.

Reuters news agency said the Israeli army took over its Ramallah offices and those of several other media organizations in the same building on Friday, forcing the journalists out.

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