Thirteen journalists covering protests in Gaza were injured on Monday, 14 May when Israeli military opened fire on Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in strongly condemning the brutal and ongoing indiscriminate use of lethal force which has resulted in loss of life and serious injury to peaceful protesters and journalist covering protests.
Confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army escalated on 14 May after thousands of Palestinians demonstrated to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in commemoration of their displacement from Israel, and following the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The peaceful demonstration quickly turned into a violent conflict with the Israeli army firing live ammunition, tear gas and firebombs at protesters.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least 58 Palestinians were killed on Monday, including six children. So far, nine journalists who were covering the events were identified among the injured by the PJS, namely Algerian TV cameraman Omar Hamdam, Etihat Press photojournalist Mohammed Wael Aldwaik, Reuters photojournalist Ahmed Zakkout, journalist Farhan Hashim Abu Hadayed, Al-Jazeera’s reporter Wael Dahdouh, journalist Abdullah Alshorbaji, Zain Media’s photojournalist Mohammeh Abu Dahrouh, Wafa Agency’s photographer Rafi Almaleh, and Fursan Al-Irada Radio’s reporter Nihad Fouad Abu Ghalyoun.
In a statement, the PJS called on the UN, its agencies and the international humanitarian organisations to provide protections for Palestinian journalists. The PJS also called for “meaningful implementation of the Security Council’s resolution no. 2222” on the protection of journalists.
In a resolution adopted unanimously at its Executive committee meeting held in Taipei, Taiwan, this week-end, the IFJ condemned the continuous attacks against Palestinian journalists and the killing of photojournalists Yasir Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein this year, as well as the wounding of at least 7 more journalists in Gaza.
“We strongly condemn this inadmissible targeting of journalists in Gaza by Israeli forces which is a major hindrance to freedom of the press, a pillar of democracy. Any democracy worthy of the name should commit to protecting journalists, no matter where they come from,” said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. “We hold the Israeli army and its reckless shooting responsible for the killing and injury of Palestinian journalists for which it must be held accountable.”
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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries