Well of course. But now they're offending their old friends like Terje Carlsson:


Hamas authorities in Gaza are requiring foreign journalists to take on regime-approved "sponsors" while in the Strip, the latest sign the Islamist group is determined to keep a tight lid on the flow of information from the coastal territory.

Terje Carlsson, a freelance Swedish journalist, left Israel on Sunday for Gaza, first crossing the Palestinian Authority checkpoint at the border of the Strip and a few hundred meters on, the checkpoint run by Hamas. "They usually check your luggage for liquor, write down your passport number and ask where you're staying," he told The Jerusalem Post by phone from Gaza City.

Carlsson has reported from Gaza at least six times over the last two and a half years and never experienced problems getting in or out. But this time, he said, he was denied entry after officials told him his "fixer" in the Strip had not received prior government approval. A fixer is a local person who sets up interviews with officials and residents, helps reporters take basic security measures and often serves as translator.

After several hours of wrangling, Carlsson was finally let into Gaza, but instructed to find a Hamas-approved "sponsor" the next morning.

The reporter said the demand puts the fixer in a very precarious position. "I've done stories very critical about Hamas (cough cough cough, bullshit)- people have told me about things like drug smuggling corruption. The local fixers give you a lot of information about this - they'll put you in touch with a lot of people who talk about how bad this government is."