Israeli violations of press freedom

Palestinian journalists caught in the Gaza crossfire


Reporters Without Borders today released the report of a visit it made to Gaza and Israel from 4 to 7 December to investigate the disturbing situation of journalists working in the Gaza Strip, to meet with the authorities and to propose ways of improving the security of the media. Palestinian and foreign journalists working in the Palestinian territories are exposed to two different kinds of threats, one from the Israeli army, which has been responsible for many acts of violence against the press since 2000, and more recently from the various Palestinian factions that do not hesitate to target media that criticise them. 

Correspondent for French daily "Liberation" shot in leg


French journalist Didier Francois, the correspondent of the French newspaper “Liberation” and the French international TV news station France 24, sustained a bullet wound to the leg during the clashes that began early on 17 December 2006 in Gaza between the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and Fatah militants. “We urge President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh to appeal for calm and to do everything possible to ensure the safety of both Palestinian journalists and foreign correspondents in the Palestinian territories,” Reporters Without Borders said. 

Correspondent for French daily "Liberation" shot in leg while covering clashes


French journalist Didier Francois, the correspondent of the French newspaper “Liberation” and the French international TV news station France 24, sustained a bullet wound to the leg during the clashes that began early on 17 December 2006 in Gaza between the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and Fatah militants. “We urge President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh to appeal for calm and to do everything possible to ensure the safety of both Palestinian journalists and foreign correspondents in the Palestinian territories,” Reporters Without Borders said. 

Palestinian journalist covering Gaza incursion shot in back by Israeli troops


Reporters Without Borders accused the Israeli government of indifference to repeated acts of violence by its troops against journalists after a young Palestinian cameraman sustained serious gunshot wounds on 3 November 2006, in Beit Hanun, in the north of the Gaza Strip.”We again urge Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government to call the Israeli Defence Force to order,” the press freedom organisation said. “Journalists working in the Gaza Strip are often the victims of what appear to be targeted shootings. Such behaviour towards media personnel will continue until transparent investigations are carried out and those responsible are punished.” 

Armed men attack radio office in Gaza as the security chaos increases


As the security chaos escalated in Gaza yesterday, the number of its victims increased. A group of armed men attacked the Ash-Shaab (People’s Voice) radio station office in Gaza city yesterday, where they shot at the staff members with live ammunition and smashed equipment. According to the affidavit given to Al Mezan by one of the Ash-Shaab Radio staff members, at approximately 7pm Wednesday, 1 November 2006, the station received a telephone threat from a person who claimed to have worked for a security apparatus in Gaza. 

Kidnapped Spanish AP photographer freed


Kidnappers released an Associated Press photographer late Tuesday, hours after he was seized at gunpoint in the Gaza Strip, the AP reported. Spanish photojournalist Emilio Morenatti, 37, was seen by an AP reporter at the office of a Fatah official after he was freed. The AP said no group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Morenatti was abducted by unidentified Palestinian gunmen as he walked out of his apartment in Gaza City towards his driver and interpreter Majed Hamdan, the AP reported. Hamdan said four gunmen grabbed his keys and phone and told him to turn away, pressing a gun to his head, and threatening to harm him. 

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. 

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