The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the Hamas leadership in Gaza ‘for arresting Palestinian journalists working for national and foreign media and confiscating media equipments.'
Over the weekend, a group of masked militants, who identified themselves as the ‘internal security service' of the Hamas government in Gaza arrested Sawah Abu Saif, a Palestinian cameraman working for the German public service TV station ARD. Another Palestinian journalist Fuaad Abu Jaradah was also arrested in the same night. Armed members of Hamas also invaded the offices of Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA) and confiscated its equipments and closed the agency down. Similar raids targeted the Gaza media center, which is the headquarter for Abu Dhabi TV, Fox News and Sky News.
"The IFJ asks those responsible in Hamas to immediately release the detained journalists" said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, "we also demand an apology for all media organisations affected by these actions and an commitment by Hamas that those involved will be held accountable."
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), the IFJ affiliate in Palestine, condemned these latest attacks on journalists and media organisations. It demanded in a statement over the weekend ‘the immediate release of journalists being held in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.'
The IFJ had also called last week for the release of Wadah Eid, a reporter for Al Jazeera in Nablus, who was arrested by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank town of Qlqilya.
For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide