With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an intifada phase, Israel is facing a global image problem - and once again, the state is blaming the media.

Over the past month, the Knesset - the legislative branch of Israel's government - summoned foreign journalists to defend themselves against accusations of systematic bias, particularly in their reporting of the protracted violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Any time that there's significant sort of re-entry into the cycle of violence, Israel starts to look bad and when that happens the easiest place to look, the easiest place to put blame, is the media.

Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, Editor-in-chief, +972 Magazine

Domestically, the appointment of a new chief military censor, Ariella Ben Avraham, has led to a tightening of control on local media outfits.

Avraham recently issued a directive ordering digital outlets, bloggers and even certain Facebook users to run stories about national security past military censors before publishing or posting.

The directive has alarmed Israeli journalists and non-journalists alike, prompting queries to the Defense Committee to hold hearings on how far the censors can go.

All of this is happening while Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubles up as communications minister, showing how the Likud Party sees controlling the media narrative as critical to the well-being of its government.

Talking us through the story are: Lahav Harkov Levine, reporter at the Jerusalem Post; Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, editor-in-chief at +972 Magazine; Uri Blau, journalist; and Luke Baker, Reuters Bureau Chief and Head of the Foreign Press Association.

Source: Aljazeera