The International Federation of journalists (IFJ) Executive Committee meeting in Tangiers, Morocco, agreed to send a formal appeal to Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to open an immediate investigation into the serious Israeli military attacks against Palestinian journalists.
The IFJ is deeply concerned about repeated Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists, the most recent being the shooting of cameraman Moath Amarneh early this month. As a result, he has lost sight in his left eye. Moath is the third Palestinian journalist to lose his eye after Atiyeh Darwish in 2019, and Ahmad Allaoh in 2014.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) has recorded more than 650 Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists since the beginning of 2019, including 150 injuries caused by bullets. In 2018, PJS reported 813 attacks, including the killing of journalists Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussien in the Gaza Strip.
The International humanitarian law, the 4th article of 1949 3rd Geneva agreement, and article 79 of the Additional Protocol I to the Fourth Geneva Convention are offering full legal protection to journalists as civilians who seek to inform public with reliable information from any armed attack.
The UN General Assembly Resolution No. 2673 issued on 9/12/1970 affirms this international protection for journalists in times of war and calls on Member States to respect the rights of journalists and media institutions, considering that an attack on them is contrary to international conventions, specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Protocol attached to them.
The IFJ, and its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, urge the international community to immediately enact appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of Palestinian journalists. In particular, the IFJ calls on:
- The Director General of UNESCO to condemn the serious attacks against journalists, including the shooting of Moath Amarneh.
- The UN Human Rights Council to visit Palestine and Israel to investigate all the attacks against journalists.
- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, to undertake an official visit to Palestine
Tangiers, Morocco 28 November 2019