Israel's ombudsman for complaints against the media, David Regev, has opened an investigation into media outlets that broadcasted live from the scene of the recent shooting in Tel Aviv.
Thousands of complaints have been filed since yesterday, with emphasis on the way that some broadcasts included uncensored images of security operatives whose faces are classified.
A complaint sent by human rights organization Btsalmo stated: "Throughout the night, the media behaved in a disgraceful and outrageous manner. Televising the hunt for an armed gunman endangers the soldiers involved, especially if the cameraman puts himself in harm's way; a soldier may come to risk his own life to protect the media, posing an unnecessary danger to the forces as they work. We clearly need new guidelines for media conduct during an ongoing incident such as last night."
Shai Glick, CEO of Btsalmo, said: "I welcome the ombudsman's decision. I am confident that the authorities will quickly establish clear procedures for the media at the scene of an attack. I call on the media to act responsibly as well. In my opinion and in the opinion of most Israeli citizens, Israel's security is above ratings. "
Meanwhile, Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel wrote this morning: "There are many lessons to be learned from the management of the incident last night, at the media level as well. I will discuss this with the police and the relevant authorities. Last night there was anarchy."
He said, "A mother should not see her son's face torn open. A policewoman or detective should not need to ask a photographer four times to move a camera because she is in the middle of a briefing. The people of Israel should not hear live police and military communications or an uncensored operating room. A commander from a classified unit should not have to worry over and over again that his identity will be compromised while he is operating. Last night crossed a line, and I think everyone understands that."
"I understand the need to report and compete with other channels, but security needs come first. In times of war, some things are clearly placed under military cordon, and reporters must enter only accompanied and approved by the army or police. This principle must apply even to Dizengoff in Tel Aviv," he added. "In the era of suicide bombings, the media knew to stop photographing the dead and wounded up close. They made an independent decision. There was no regulation. Such discretion is required today, no less than sealing off combat zones."
"Regarding the videos circulated on social media, just don't broadcast them. Operation Guardian of the Walls taught us that a folk video of the attack on Jews can inspire other terrorists. We do not yet have evidence of this in the current wave of attacks, but it is clear that it can happen. Additionally, most social media community guidelines forbid such content."
"We are in constant dialogue with representatives of social networks in Israel and Europe. Please report such videos to them. They are obliged to delete them. Alternatively, report them to my Ministry, and we will handle the matter. I call not for censorship, but for national responsibility. We will win this together."