International Freedom of Expression eXchange

Journalist wounded by Israeli gunfire during raid on Ramallah

Palestinian journalist Fadi Arouri, who works for the privately-owned local news agency Maan and the daily newspaper “Al Ayyam”, was meanwhile wounded by Israeli gunfire on 4 January during an Israeli military incursion into the West Bank city of Ramallah. Aroury was shot in the abdomen but his injuries were reportedly not considered life-threatening. An RSF delegation visited Israel and the Gaza Strip from 3 to 7 December 2006 to meet with the authorities and discuss the plight of journalists, who are exposed to both Israeli gunfire and violence between the various Palestinian factions. RSF has published a report on this visit that includes recommendations for improving the security of journalists. 

Agence France-Presse photographer kidnapped in Gaza City

Every effort must be made to obtain the rapid release of Agence France-Presse photographer Jaime Razuri, a Peruvian national, who was kidnapped in Gaza City on 1 January 2007, RSF said, condemning a lack of political will on the part of the Palestinian authorities to put an end once and for all to the wave of criminal kidnappings of journalists in the Gaza Strip. “We realise that the chaotic situation prevailing in the Gaza Strip hampers law enforcement, but it is unacceptable that the government and the president do not take action to stop these kidnappings and punish those responsible, especially as the authorities are aware of their identities in most cases,” the press freedom organisation said. 

Press under fire as Israeli offensive continues

As Israel steps up its military offensive into Lebanon, journalists covering the conflict continue to come under fire. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says crews from four Arab television stations told the organisation that on 22 July 2006, Israeli aircraft fired missiles within 75 metres of them to prevent them from covering the effects of Israel’s bombardment of the eastern town of Khiam. The journalists said their convoy of vehicles was chased by Israeli fighter aircraft which fired missiles on the road behind them as they approached a bombed-out bridge. Eventually, the journalists left their vehicles and walked to the village of Hasb Bayah.