have spoken out against restrictions on freedom of movement facing reporters in
propose a joint forum with Palestinian colleagues to deal with a range of
problems facing media and journalists in the region.
In a meeting with a
delegation from the International Federation of Journalists in Jerusalem last
week leaders of the Jerusalem Association of Journalists proposed setting up a regional
forum to encourage joint action by Palestinian and Israeli journalists on
issues such as safety and freedom of movement. They also suggest setting up a hotline
to help journalists in trouble.
"This would be a
major step forward for journalists," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "Joint
action by Israeli and Palestinian journalists to tackle problems both groups
face -- such as restrictions on freedom of movement - will strengthen efforts
to remove obstacles to the exercise of journalism."
Palestinian journalists say that restrictions
on movement between Gaza and the West Bank are proving an obstacle to organising a
conference of their syndicate.
Haim Shibi, Head of
the Jerusalem Association of Journalists Committee on foreign relations, said:
"We recognise the problems. It is clearly unacceptable that Palestinian
journalists are unable to meet to organise themselves. Israel should
allow journalists to move freely and all journalists, both
Palestinian and Israeli, should be able to carry out their professional
duties in safety and without fear or intimidation. That is a challenge, too,
for the Palestinian Authority."
The meeting between
the IFJ and the Jerusalem
colleagues covered concerns over stalled negotiations with employers on a new collective
agreement. Journalists are under pressure because of declining
working conditions, falling media quality and attacks on public broadcasting.
It was also agreed to strengthen links between the National Federation of Israel
Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists.
For more information contact the IFJ
at +32 2 235 2200
The IFJ represents over 600,000
journalists in 120 countries worldwide