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Israeli soldiers tear gas IFJ leaders

19 November 2018

On Saturday 17 November Israeli soldiers fired tear gas on a peaceful assembly of IFJ leaders who were demanding the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists.

One member of the International Federation of Journalists executive committee was injured after being hit on the shoulder. Many others were left choking on tear gas.

In an open letter to the Israeli prime minister, the IFJ - whose executive committee met in Ramallah at the weekend - has demanded an urgent response to the unprovoked attack.

The letter, copied to the United Nations and UNESCO, said:

"After having held a brief press conference the IFJ’s global leadership and a number of Palestinian journalists walked peacefully a few hundred metres along the main road towards the Qalandia checkpoint.

"At about 100 metres from this important entry point to Jerusalem the Israeli army, with no warning and no discussion, fired around 10 tear gas grenades towards the group, injuring one of the members of the
IFJ’s executive committee on the shoulder and causing many others to choke.

"In a peaceful manner and still well within the Palestinian Territories the IFJ delegation turned and retraced their steps along the road in a bid to escape the Israeli gas attack.

"The IFJ urgently demands a response from the Israeli prime minister to this unprovoked physical assault and to these violations of freedom of expression and freedom of movement.

"No democratic state worthy of the name can react in this way.

"The IFJ also called for the Israeli authorities to recognise the international press card which is recognised by 145 governments worldwide - but not Israel."

Tags: , ifj, palestinian journalists' syndicate, palestine, israel, press cards