Israel: Bomb explodes at journalist's home

An explosive device detonated in the new house of Israeli Arab journalist Hassan Shaalan two weeks after gunmen fired at the reporter’s current home. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Israeli authorities to investigate the attacks thoroughly and to take urgent steps to ensure the safety of Hassan Shaalan and his family.

Journalist Hassan Shaalan. Credit: Ynet

Despite the extensive material damage, there were no injuries as the reporter and his family haven't yet moved in to their new house. 

However, they were in the house when, in a separate attack, two masked men opened fire at their current home two weeks earlier. Three of the bullets hit the childrens' room, fortunately without causing any injury.

The journalist, who works for Yediot Aharonot, has often investigated and reported on organized crime in Israeli Arab cities. Recently he covered the violence during the Israeli military operation "Guardian of the walls".

For Hassan Shaalan, there is no doubt that these attacks are targeted and linked to his journalistic work. During the armed attack, he had heard the assailants shouting his name. 

As he said shortly afterward: “These criminals wanted to send a message — you better keep your mouth shut. They don't want us to report on what's going on in Arab society. I'm not afraid of anyone. I keep working as usual”. The Israeli police have opened an investigation into the shooting and the explosion, but no suspects have been arrested at this time.

Hassan Shaalan had received numerous death threats and suffered attacks by Israeli security forces while doing his job. He has denounced the impunity for police violence against journalists.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The Israeli authorities must ensure that these attacks are thoroughly investigated and that the attackers are punished for their crimes. We stand in solidarity with Hassan Shaalan and call on the authorities to protect his life.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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