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Israeli army attacks journalists near Ramallah

7 September 2018

The National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) joined with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), in strongly condemning the Israeli army's attack on Palestinian journalists who held a protest near Ramallah on Tuesday 4 September 2018.

The protest was an act of solidarity with Ali Dar Ali, a Palestine TV correspondent, who appeared on the same day before an Israeli military court.

On Tuesday Ali Dar Ali, who was arrested at home on 15 August 2018 and has been detained since then, had his detention extended until 12 September.

Ali is allegedly accused of inciting violence against Israeli soldiers, over a video he posted on his official Facebook page that shows Israeli security forces operating in the Al-Amari refugee camp.

On the same day, several journalists were shot in the legs by Israeli security forces in the village of Ras Karkar near Ramallah, while covering civil demonstrations.

In a statement, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, said:

"The Israeli forces used sonic bombs, gas bombs, and rubber bullets, against the protestors. It has caused fainting and suffocation of several journalists". 

Victims include AFP photographer Abbas Momani and correspondent Joseph Dyke, Al-Hayat newspapers’ photojournalist Esam Al-Rimawi and AP photographer Iyad Hamad.

The PJS said they were deliberately targeted despite wearing clothing clearly identifying them as press reporters.

Union representatives have denounced this violence inflicted on journalists and have called on the authorities in Israel to take action to stop the targeting of journalists.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary said:

"The Israeli army must stop targeting Palestinian journalists whose only crime is doing their job. The Israeli government must publish the rules of engagement of its army operations in the occupied Palestine towards journalists covering the events and ensure they conform to norms of international law to prevent such attacks". 

The PJS made a global appeal for the respect of Palestinian journalists’ rights in the occupied territories:

"We - during this open war on journalists in Palestine - call on the IFJ, EFJ, FAJ, the UN and all its institutions, to condemn practices and violations of press freedom in Palestine and to pressure Israel so as to end them. We require that Israel stop continuous crimes against Palestinian journalists and journalism. We emphasize that these on-going crimes will not discourage Palestinian journalists, who believe in the humanity of their message, continuing to expose the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people."

Tags: , palestine, israel, palestinian journalists' syndicate, ifj, journalist safety, journalists assaulted, journalists attacked, journalists detained, journalists injured, journalists' rights, solidarity, health and safety, press freedom, right to report