THE IFJ today called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to stop trying to manipulate media in the battle for public opinion inside and outside of the region.

"Images of a Palestinian father and his son caught in the midst of Israeli gunfire and Palestinian violence against two captured Israeli soldiers have inflamed both sides", says the IFJ. "Now is the time to cool it", says Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. Israeli and Palestinian authorities must not do anything to pressure journalists to deliver images and reports that suit only their political intentions.

Journalists must be careful to ensure that they are acting professionally and that they do not do anything to prejudice the intentions of other journalists in circumstances that are potentially dangerous for all.

The IFJ statement follows news of disciplinary action against a RAI correspondent who disowned action by the rival Italian TV team of Mediaset for filming the attack on the Ramallah police station in which two Israeli soldiers died.

"Journalists are being forced to take difficult and, sometimes, impossible decisions in very tense conditions. They must be given space to make up their minds, without fear of reprisals either in the region or at home", said Aidan White.