السبت، 24 يوليو، 2010

IFJ Condemns Violence against Photojournalists by Israeli Military in West Bank

قاسم الركابي




The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Israeli authorities to investigate violence by its soldiers in the West Bank who attacked a group of local photojournalists last week as they were covering demonstrations in the area for three international news agencies.



In particular, the Federation is seeking reassurances from the Government that journalists must in no way be targeted for their presence in the vicinity of areas where fighting and political direct action are taking place.



"We are deeply concerned by attempts to justify attacks on journalists on their presence near the events they are reporting on," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "This would be a dangerous departure from established practice under international humanitarian law which enshrines the protection of journalists in conflict areas."



The IFJ has learned that three photographers were attacked by soldiers on Saturday as they covered a demonstration taking place in Beit Omar, near Hebron. They were Hazem Bader from French news agency AFP, Reuters Abdul Rahim Al-Aqusini and Associated Press Abdul Hafiz Hashlamoun. One photographer said he was hit by a baton and the other lost his hearing after a stun grenade exploded near him.