The International Federation of Journalists today condemned the “dangerous lack of discipline” within the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), following the shooting of Palestinian journalist Saif Dahla during an Israeli incursion into the city of Jenin in the West Bank
On 9 March, Saif Dahla, a photographer for Agence-France Presse (AFP), was injured in his left leg when a soldier in a tank about 20 meters away fired a few rounds from a machine gun. Saif was amongst half a dozen journalists who had been working in the area for over an hour, wearing flak jackets, helmets, and marked clothing clearly identifying them as members of the press.
"This is not the first time we have noticed a dangerous lack of discipline within the IDF," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Our colleagues are not targets and must be able to carry our their professional duties free from any form of intimidation.”
The Israeli army told AFP they would try to find out if it was IDF gunfire that accidentally injured the photographer, but AFP in Jerusalem says they have not had any feedback since the incident. According to witnesses, when Saif was hit the troops were not actually involved in a confrontation.
The IFJ is calling upon the Israeli authorities and the IDF to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into the incident.
The IFJ has endorsed safety-training campaigns for media professionals in Palestine and promotes practical action worldwide to increase protection of journalists through the International News Safety Institute.
Further information: + 32 2 235 22 00
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries