Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the action of the Hamas
Internal Security department which closed down the office of the Palestinian
Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) in Gaza, accusing them of ‘inexcusable intrusion"
in the internal affairs of Palestinian journalists.
"The action by the Hamas
government is a violation of journalists' rights and a slap in the face of
Palestinians who are courageously fighting for their rights and the
independence of journalism in appalling conditions," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President,
who led an IFJ delegation to Palestine last month. "We join our affiliate the
Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate in their strong protest and we support their
demand for an investigation into this action."
The PJS is in the
process of strengthening its work including organising workshops for journalists
to adopt a modern constitution with the aim of uniting journalists across
Palestine who are currently divided both by Israeli restrictions on freedom of
movement and the political divisions between the Hamas government in Gaza and
the Palestine Authority in the West Bank.
"It is impossible not
to conclude that Hamas authorities are targeting journalists who wish to
promote solidarity and unity within the Palestinian community," said Boumelha.
"It is another example of Hamas intolerance in the Gaza strip which has seen
other actions to restrict media freedoms, including the closure of several media and detentions of tens of
Last month, Hamas government
stopped the Gaza-based University of Al Azhar from operating a video link
organised by the PJS for its members in Gaza to join their colleagues at a
meeting in Ramallah with the IFJ delegation visiting Palestine after its
members had been denied permission to enter Gaza by Israel.
The IFJ says that
Hamas government must take action to
protect journalists including the members of the PJS secretariat in Gaza.
should be taken to correct this inexcusable intrusion in the affairs of
journalists by allowing the PJS office to reopen," said Boumelha. "At this time of increased tensions there
should be more protection for journalists and an end to all forms of
more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 members in 125 countries