Attacks Against Media in Gaza Must End Now, says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has reiterated its call for Israeli forces to end attacks against journalists and media organisations in Gaza following the latest spate of violent incidents today, Tuesday 22 July. According to media reports, an Israeli war jet fired shots at the Aljazeera office based in Al-Jala' Tower in Gaza City Centre. Media workers were forced to evacuate the building. IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), has also today reported that cameraman Sami Thabet, who works for Palestine TV, was injured in an Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa Hospital in the centre of Gaza, while journalists Ahmad Al Bodeiri and Sarah Al-Athra, from Palestine Today TV, were hit by rubber coated bullets. In another incident, BBC Arabic reporter, Feras Khatib, was this morning manhandled by an angry Israeli bystander while reporting live from inside the Israeli city of Ashkelon. The attacks followed a statement made by the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, yesterday Monday, 21 July, in which he slammed Al Jazeera, stating: “Al Jazeera does not even bother to appear as a reliable news outlet for the sake of appearance. It broadcasts to Gaza and the world anti-Israeli incitement, lies, provocations and it encourages terrorists to act.” He also said he is looking into the possibility of banning Al Jazeera from broadcasting in Israel. The PJS has repeated its deep concern for journalists covering events in Gaza and has called on international human rights organisations and the UN to help bring an end to the attacks. “As each day goes by we learn of more and more incidents where journalists reporting in Gaza are being intimidated, attacked and murdered,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Too many journalists and media workers have been injured or killed in the line of duty already, and if this violence continues then more lives will surely be lost. Israeli authorities must control their forces and end this abuse of power now.” Journalists reporting from the region are advised to read IFJ’s Front Line Journalism Handbook. Specifically designed for journalists working in the Arab World and Middle East, the regionally customised handbook provides journalists with invaluable practical safety advice and information for covering conflict zones.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17 The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries