IFJ Defending Journalists in Palestine and Israel

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has reaffirmed its commitment to defend the

interests of journalists in Palestine and Israel in response to concerns expressed by its

affiliate the National Federation of Israeli Journalists  (NFIJ) that recent actions in

carrying out a mission to Gaza and IFJ

statements over the crisis have not adequately taken account of the views of

journalists in Israel.

The IFJ says that the emergency mission to Gaza was primarily focused

on the conditions and circumstances of Palestinian journalists and media and

was not designed or intended to examine the situation in Israeli journalism.

The IFJ recognises that Israeli journalists have

sought to report the crisis fairly under difficult conditions - they, too, were

victims of the media blockade imposed by Israel

which restricted foreign media access to Gaza

during the conflict. The actions of the Jerusalem-based Foreign Press

Association which successfully challenged this blockade in the Israeli courts

were also supported by many journalists in Israel.

The IFJ, says General Secretary Aidan White, "Staunchly

defends the role of its affiliate in Israel as an independent voice of

professional journalists in Israeli society and has publicly and robustly

repudiated attempt in some quarters to link the NFIJ with the actions of the

Israeli government."

The IFJ remains committed to building working links

between journalists in Israel

and Palestine

in defence of free and independent journalism and will continue to oppose and condemn

military strikes against unarmed media installations, regardless of who carries

them out. It will challenge all groups, whether in Gaza

and the West Bank and in Israel

itself, when they intimidate or threaten journalists.

The IFJ pledges to continue to speak out for respect

for international law, to defend the right of journalist to work freely and try

to build structures for dialogue to ensure that all opinions are heard. It will

continue to work with journalists in Israel

and Palestine

in this endeavour.  

For more

information contact the IFJ at

            +32 2 235 2207       

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide