The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Israeli government to identify and punish the Israeli soldiers who carried out a brutal attack on a journalist in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh yesterday, Sunday 27 April.
According to IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), Palestinian photographer Maaz Meshaal, who works for the Turkish news agency Anadol, was hit by more than ten rubber bullets fired by Israeli troops.
The PJS has spoken to Meshaal who said an Israeli officer ordered soldiers to shoot him even though he was carrying a camera and wearing a uniform that showed he was a journalist. He was hit in various parts of his body, including his foot which was left bleeding and swollen, and he could not stand up or walk after the attack.
"We condemn the use of such brutal force against a working journalist," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "This incident is another example of the Israeli soldiers' disregard for the safety of Palestinian journalists and their right to life."
The PJS has condemned the appalling shooting and stated that attacks against Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces have been increasing in recent months. Warning of a media safety crisis in the region, the union has demanded that Israeli authorities and the country’s military stop attacks on Palestinian journalists and respect their right to freedom of movement and expression.
Backing the call of its affiliate, the IFJ has also urged journalists working in the region to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant at all times, including wearing protective clothing and headgear while on assignment.
“We call on authorities in Israel to keep the Israeli military in check and bring an end to these blatant abuses of authority which are clearly designed to intimidate Palestinian journalists and are undermining press freedom in the region,” added Boumelha.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries