Israel Rejects Criticism Over Press Freedoms

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Israel's restrictions on the media during its military operation in the Gaza Strip earlier this year drew black marks this week from a watchdog group monitoring media freedoms worldwide.

Israel dropped 47 places to number 93 out of 175 countries on the annual Reporters Without Borders ranking of press freedoms around the world.

Israel is now ranked behind other Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait and Lebanon.

The group said that 20 journalists were injured and three killed during the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Iran also dropped to number 172 because of its crackdown on journalists during post-election violence this year.

The U.S. rose from number 40 to number 20 and the group attributed the rise to what was called a more relaxed attitude toward the media under President Barack Obama.

Israeli Government spokesman Danny Seaman told CBN News that it was ironic that the group would make such a reference to Obama at a time when he is in a "tiff" with Fox News.

Seaman noted that there is no mention of the methodology used in the determining the ranking of countries. He said that the three journalists who were killed during the Gaza operation were "Hamas activists involved in combat against Israel.

Seaman also noted that Israel hosts hundreds of foreign journalists in the country, including representatives from countries that are at war with Israel.

Click play to hear more of Seaman's comments on this report.

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