IFJ Condemns Killing of Palestinian Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' group, today condemned the killing of a Palestinian freelance journalist who was allegedly shot dead by Israeli troops in a confrontation in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The journalist, Imad Abu Zahra, a well-known freelance reporter who has also worked for foreign media in the region was covering the confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers after a military vehicle was disabled in a road crash. Another journalist, Said Dahla, of the Palestinian news agency WAFA was injured in the incident.

"This latest killing is further evidence that journalists are among the frontline victims of this continuing tragedy, said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. "We send a message of sympathy to the family and colleagues of Imad Abu Zahra and we insist that the killings must stop and the protection of journalists must become a priority."

The IFJ, which recently carried out a mission to the West Bank and Gaza strip, is issuing a new report next week calling for new initiatives to end the targeting of journalists and unfair discrimination against Palestinian media professionals.

The Israeli authorities have accredited few Palestinian journalists this year and say they will not issue any more press cards to Palestinians while the violence continues.

One international journalist has been killed and dozens have been hurt in violence since the Palestinians rose up against Israeli occupation in September 2000. Italian freelance photographer Raffaele Ciriello was shot dead by troops in the West Bank city of Ramallah in March.