Journalists in Danger

Spanish AP photographer kidnapped by gunmen in Gaza

Reporters Without Borders said it was extremely worried by the kidnapping of Emilio Morenatti, a Spanish photographer with the US news agency Associated Press, in the Gaza Strip this morning. “We firmly condemn Morenatti’s abduction and we call on the Palestinian authorities to do everything possible to get him released quickly,” the press freedom organisation said. “He is the eighth journalist to be kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since the start of the year. All were freed safe and sound but no investigation has ever been concluded and none of the kidnappers has been punished.” 

PCHR Condemns Attack on Palestine Workers Radio

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 23:10 on
Thursday, 12 October 2006, dozens of gunmen, including a number of masked ones, broke into the headquarters of the Union of Palestinian Workers Radio in al-Saftawi neighborhood to the west of Jabalya town. The gunmen held the guard of the offices, 70-year-old ‘Abdul Karim al-Hindi, in the car park. A number of the gunmen entered the 4-stotey building, and the other ones deployed in it yard. According to Rezeq al-Bayari, Director of Palestine Workers Radio, which is based on the fourth floor of the building, he and the other staff members of the radio closed the door of the office when they saw the attack on the building through windows. 

Two Palestinian journalists attacked by Israeli security personnel

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the detention of Reuters cameraman Imad Mohammad Bornat by the Israeli authorities over the past two weeks and his possible mistreatment at the time of his arrest on 6 October 2006 in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The organisation also condemned the severe beating, which Agence France Presse photographer Jaafar Ashtiyeh and two of his assistants received on 1 October at a checkpoint at Hawara, near the city of Nablus. Bornat, who is accused of throwing stones at a border policeman while filming him, had a head wound that needed several stitches by the time he arrived under escort at the nearest police station. 

PCHR Condemns the Attacks on Journalists and Wafa News Agency Office in Khan Yunis and Gaza

PCHR is very concerned over the repeated attacks on journalists and media organizations by armed groups and others. The Centre views these attacks as a serious infringement on the freedom of expressions and the media in Palestinian National Authority (PNA) areas. PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 16:30 on Tuesday, 19 September 2006, a number of demonstrators in a march organized by Hamas attacked the photographer Khaled Jamal Bolbol (28) who works for Palestinian Television and the journalist Moafaq Turki Matar (52), who works for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Newspaper. 

B'Tselem demands Military Police investigation of firing at journalists in Gaza

On Sunday [27 August], the Israeli air force fired at a Reuter press vehicle near the Shaja’iyah neighborhood in Gaza. Two journalists in the vehicle were injured, one of them severely. An IDF spokesperson stated that the vehicle was attacked during an IDF operation because the vehicle “was driving suspiciously near IDF forces operating in the area.” The spokesperson contended that the soldiers did not identify the vehicle as one that belonged to the press agency, and regretted that the journalists were injured. According to Reuters, and from photos that appeared in the media, the vehicle was clearly marked as a press vehicle on all sides and on its roof. 

In Gaza, Israeli missile strikes Reuters vehicle and wounds two

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the apparent targeting of two Palestinian cameramen by Israeli forces in Gaza City late Saturday. A missile struck their armored car in the densely populated Shijaiyah neighborhood, seriously wounding Fadel Shana, a freelance cameraman for Reuters, and Sabbah Hmaida, a cameraman with a private Palestinian TV facilities house, Media Group. Reuters said the vehicle was clearly marked “Press” on all sides. The missile struck the letter “P” of the bright red “Press” sign on the car’s roof, the news agency added. Shana lost consciousness for several hours and suffered shrapnel wounds in his right hand and leg, Reuters reported. Hmaida sustained serious leg wounds from shrapnel. 

Abducted Fox News journalists freed, Israeli air strike on Reuters vehicle in Gaza

Reporters Without Borders voiced relief at the release today of Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig in Gaza City after nearly two weeks in captivity but condemned an Israeli missile attack on a clearly-identified Reuters press vehicle in Gaza that seriously injured a local news website journalist. “The release of the two US network journalists is very good news but the Palestinian authorities must still take concrete measures to protect media workers,” the press freedom organisation said. “As for the journalists targeted today by Israeli aircraft, we call on the Israeli military to carry out a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible.” 

Militant group says it holds two Fox News journalists

A group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades today released a video of two Fox News Channel journalists it said it kidnapped in the Gaza Strip last week. In a statement with the video, the previously unknown group demanded the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States within 72 hours in exchange for the journalists, an American and a New Zealander. The group did not say what would happen if its demands were not met. Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, and freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, appeared in good health in the video, which was obtained by the Gaza-based news service Ramattan. They were kidnapped August 14 in the center of Gaza City. 

PNA Required to Act Against the Kidnapping of Internationals and Attacking of International Organizations

PCHR strongly condemns the kidnapping of two international journalists, an American and a New Zealander, in Gaza City yesterday evening. The Centre views this act as a flagrant attack on freedom of expression, and a continuation of the security chaos plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The Centre reiterates its call to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), represented by the Attorney-General, to seriously investigate this crime and other kidnapping crimes, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

Call for release of two Fox News journalists kidnapped in Gaza

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the kidnapping of two journalists working for the US TV network, Fox News, reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig, who were abducted by gunmen in the centre of Gaza City last night. “We appeal to the kidnappers to release these two journalists,” the press freedom organisation said. “They were just doing their job and can in no way be held responsible for US policy in the region or the Israeli army’s operations in the Palestinian Territories or in Lebanon. We also call on the Palestinian authorities to do everything to find Centanni and Wiig and to ensure they return safe and sound to their families.”