Journalists in Danger

Offices of Gaza weekly ransacked

RSF has demanded a prompt and full investigation after the Gaza City offices of the weekly newspaper “Al-Daar” were ransacked during the Muslim Eid festival, between 1 and 3 February 2004. “The Palestinian Authority should act decisively to prevent attacks against journalists and the media in the territories under its control,” the organisation said in a letter to Palestinian Interior Minister Hakam Balaawi. Al-Daar editor-in-chief Hassan Al-Kachef said the offices had been ransacked and computers were damaged but nothing was stolen, which ruled out a normal burglary. 

Masked men attack Palestinian TV station

At around 4:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2, three masked Palestinian men carrying automatic rifles stormed the offices of the Ramallah-based Al-Quds Educational Television, according to staff. Assistant Manager Haroun Abu Arrah, one of two station employees present at the time, told CPJ that one of the men demanded a “tape,” and when Abu Arrah asked for clarification the assailants began beating the two staffers with rifle butts and fists. After the beating, two of the assailants went into another room and fired several rounds at some of the station’s equipment, destroying computer screens and video equipment. 

Masked men assault Arabiya correspondent in Gaza

Seif al-Din Shahin, Gaza correspondent for the al-Arabiya satellite channel, was traveling in his car with ‘Emad ‘Eid, correspondent for al-Manar. They had just left the offices of Arabiya in the center of Gaza city. Five armed individuals, four of whom wore masks, intercepted the car, dragged Shahin from the vehicle and then proceeded to beat him. The group then escaped. Shahin was taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city. He had sustained bruises throughout his body. He was threatened a few days ago about comments he made in his reports. 

2003: Israeli attacks on the Press

In 2003, Israel continued its attacks on the press. Two journalists, a Palestinian cameraman and a British documentary filmmaker were killed by the Israeli army. Media watchdogs counted attacks and harrassment of journalists and the increasing restrictions imposed on foreign and Palestinian journalists. In January 2004, new Israeli guidelines for press accreditation will impose more restrictions on the work of foreign journalist trying to cover events on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories. EI’s Arjan El Fassed highlights journalists in danger in 2003. 

Accreditation rules for journalists to be tightened

The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, leading journalists and media executives in over 120 countries, is dismayed by the announcement that Israel’s accreditation rules for journalists are to be tightened. According to information provided to IPI, the director of the Government Press Office (GPO), Daniel Seaman, recently announced new regulations for foreign and Israeli journalists, to be introduced on 1 January 2004. Today it sent a letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 

Israel's secret service becomes press card authority

RSF has expressed alarm over new rules for accrediting journalists that are expected to be introduced shortly in Israel. Under the new rules, journalists will have to be cleared by the Shin Bet state security service. RSF described the new rules as a serious threat to press freedom and a flagrant violation of journalists’ rights, and called for their cancellation. The new rules, which are to take effect on 1 January 2004, apply to all journalists working in Israel, including foreign, Palestinian and Israeli journalists. 

Media watchdog slams US, Israel

Reporters Without Borders, a top media watchdog, has accused Israel and the United States of unacceptable behaviour towards journalists in occupied Palestine and Iraq. RSF said on Monday the US had caused the deaths of five journalists in Iraq. And it said the Israeli army was guilty of injuring and threatening journalists in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli army’s repeated abuses against journalists in the occupied territories constitute unacceptable behaviour by two nations that never stop stressing their commitment to freedom of expression. 

Al-Arabiyya offices attacked

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the recent raid on the Ramallah offices of the Dubai-based Arabic satellite news channel Al-Arabiyya. Al-Arabiyya producer Qassem Al-Khateeb told CPJ that on the evening of Saturday, September 13, five masked and armed men entered the building where Al-Arabiyya is housed and asked whether it was the office of Al-Arabiyya. Al-Khateeb responded that it was, and the assailants immediately ordered him and the two other employees at the station at gunpoint to go to the editing room. 

US policy towards journalists in Iraq: Shoot first and ask questions later

IPI is deeply concerned by the killing of Dana because it bears the hallmarks of an engagement policy which invites the allied military to shoot first and ask questions later. An engagement rule that, if continued, will only serve to increase the number of journalists killed in Iraq. At a time when President Bush has declared the war in Iraq to be over, IPI fears that the current engagement rules have not evolved to reflect this change and that the death of Dana reinforces this viewpoint. 

Mazen Dana: In his own words

Yesterday, Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana was shot and killed by US occupation forces in Iraq. In 2001, Dana was honored by the Committee to Protect Journalists ago for his years of courageous reporting on the conflict in his hometown of Hebron in the West Bank. He worked for the Reuters news agency covering one of the most dangerous beats in the world, the West Bank city of Hebron, where journalists are routinely targets of violence. Dana has been wounded repeatedly during the seven years he has documented the clashes in his hometown for Reuters.