IPI condemns restrictions on Palestinian journalists

In a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, IPI strongly condemned the Israeli government’s decision to stop issuing permits for Palestinian journalists to enter Israeli areas or leave the Palestinian areas.

According to IPI sources, on 1 November 2000 the Israeli Defence Ministry issued a proclamation on Defence Force Radio that Palestinian journalists would no longer be given permits to move freely, because Israel claims that they “only” report the views of the Palestinian National Authority. Journalists of other nationalities would still be able to move freely, the proclamation stated.

In the past, IPI has noticed a disturbing pattern of discrimination and harassment against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli armed forces. Because of their knowledge of the language, terrain, etc., Palestinian journalists have often provided the world with invaluable reporting about events taking place in the region. This latest violation of press freedom appears to be part of a concerted effort to control what is being reported.

International Press Institute, Spiegelgasse 2, A-1010 Vienna, Austria, tel: +43 1 512 90 11, fax: +43 1 512 90 14, e-mail: info@freemedia.at, Internet site: www.freemedia.at