Israeli violations of press freedom

TV crews targeted by Israeli warplanes in the south

The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today over allegations by several television crews that Israeli warplanes had attacked them, effectively shutting down live television coverage from southeast Lebanon. Crews from four Arab television stations told CPJ that Israeli aircraft fired missiles within 80 yards (75 meters) of them on July 22 to prevent them from covering the effects of Israel’s bombardment of the area around the town of Khiam, in the eastern sector of the Israel-Lebanon border “Israeli aircraft targeted in an air raid TV crews, especially Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Manar,”said Ghassan Benjeddou, Al-Jazeera’s Lebanon bureau chief. 

Palestine TV cameraman targeted by Israeli tank in Gaza

The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the wounding of Palestine Television cameraman Ibrahim al-Atla by an Israeli tank shell while covering fighting in Gaza. Palestine Television head Mohammed al-Dahoudi alleged that the tank fired deliberately at al-Atla and other journalists with him. Al-Atla was hit by shrapnel during a lull in shooting between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces in the densely-populated Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City yesterday. Al-Dahoudi told CPJ that al-Atla was wearing a vest clearly indicating that he was press. He accused Israeli forces of firing directly at the journalist. 

TV crews hit by Israeli bullets in the West Bank

The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that members of two Arab television crews were wounded by rubber bullets during an Israeli army operation in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday. Wael Tanous, a satellite technician with the Qatar-based channel Al-Jazeera, was hit in the left leg while standing near his uplink vehicle on a main road in Nablus around noon, Al-Jazeera reporter Guevara al-Budeiri told CPJ. She said Tanous, like all crew members, was wearing a vest labeled “TV.” Walid al-Omary, Jerusalem-based bureau chief of Al-Jazeera, told CPJ, “It was clear when they shot him that they knew he was press.” Tanous was treated at a local hospital. 

Journalists Call on Israel to Explain Shooting of Al Jazeera in Palestine

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Israeli Defence Forces to explain a shooting incident in Nablus, in which a news crew of TV satellite channel Al Jazeera was fired upon and a technician injured. “First reports suggest that here was an unarmed media crew suddenly subject to an unprovoked attack by Israeli soldiers,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “If true, it is an astonishing and terrifying example of targeting and the Israeli authorities must give an explanation as to how this happened.” 

Israeli army fires on Al-Jazeera crew in West Bank

Reporters Without Borders has voiced strong condemnation of a 19 July 2006 Israeli army attack on Al-Jazeera TV reporter Jevara Al-Budeiri and her crew in the West Bank town of Nablus, in which one of the crew’s technicians, Wael Tantous, was hit in the foot by rubber bullets. The crew was broadcasting live at the time. “We are very concerned about repeated, deliberate acts of violence against the staff of the satellite TV news station Al-Jazeera,” the organisation said. “We call on the Israeli authorities to give clear orders to stop these acts of intimidation and harassment. The army has no right to prevent this station’s journalists from covering the current clashes.” 

Al-Jazeera reporters detained in northern Israel

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the detention of Al-Jazeera television crews covering Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel amid allegations that they were “assisting the enemy.” Walid al-Omary, Jerusalem-based bureau chief for the Arab satellite TV station, told CPJ that he had been detained by Israeli police three times in two days for his reporting on the location of rocket attacks. Al-Omary said he was detained yesterday evening with his crew for two hours at a police station in the northern port city of Haifa. 

Israeli forces strike Al-Manar TV facilities

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Israel to explain its attacks on Al-Manar TV, the satellite news channel affiliated with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Al-Manar managing director, Ali-Al-Haji, told CPJ that Israeli aircraft fired two missiles today at the station’s headquarters in the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik. Two employees were injured by flying glass, and a civilian in a nearby house was also wounded. The top floors of the building were severely damaged, al-Haji said. However, the station continued to broadcast. Israeli forces separately struck two Al-Manar TV transmitters, one near Baalbek, northeast of Beirut, and another in Maroun al-Ras in southern Lebanon. 

Seven journalists and media workers injured in Lebanon

Voicing concern about attacks on journalists in Lebanon in the past 48 hours and the lack of resources being deployed to protect them, Reporters Without Borders has called on the Israeli authorities to investigate the circumstances in which three journalists with the Lebanese television station New TV were injured on 12 July 2006. Reporter Bassel Al-Aridi, cameraman Abd Khayyat and assistant cameraman Ziad Sarwan were injured when their vehicle was hit by shots fired from an Israeli helicopter as they crossed a bridge in the south of the country, where they had gone to cover the fighting. This took place during an Israeli air raid aimed at cutting lines of communication and destroying bridges. 

Editors, journalists and media executives condemn shooting of two Palestinian photographers

The International Press Institute, the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, strongly condemns the shooting of two Palestinian photographers by Israeli forces in Gaza. Hamdi Al Khur, a photographer with the Turkish-based Ihlas News Agency, was shot twice by Israeli snipers on 7 July in Beit Lahiya. Mohammad Az Zanoun, a photographer with the online news agency Ma’an, was fired upon while photographing two Palestinians who had been killed in the invasion. 

UK court rules IDF shooting of filmmaker in Gaza was murder

The Committee to Protect Journalists today renewed its call for Israel to properly investigate the killing of a British cameraman in the Gaza Strip after a London court found that his shooting by an Israeli officer was murder. James Miller, an award-winning filmmaker, was filming a documentary about Palestinian children caught up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when he was hit by a single shot in the neck three years ago. London’s St Pancras Coroner’s Court concluded today that Miller was shot deliberately.