West bank, 6 Rajab 1435/5 May 2014 (MINA) – The Israeli occupation army attacked a peaceful protest organised by Palestinian journalists on Saturday near Beit El military barrier in the occupied West Bank. The protest was organised to mark World Press Freedom Day.
Soldiers are reported to have fired stun grenades and tear gas at the journalists, who shouted slogans demanding freedom of movement for Palestinian media professionals and protection from Israeli violations of their rights, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The head of the Journalists’ Union, Abdel Nasser Al-Najjar, who took part in the protest, said, “Our message on World Press Freedom Day is that we want guarantees and protection for our freedom of work and movement.” He urged an end to Israeli aggression against his members and all other journalists working in Palestine.
Al-Najjar pointed out that the media plays an important role in exposing Israeli practices and crimes against Palestinians, and in defending human rights. He noted that hundreds of journalists and media workers have been injured in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past five years, through physical abuse and due to suffocation from the gas fired at them by the Israelis.
A new report issued by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights on Saturday highlighted the fact that Israeli attacks on journalistic freedom are on the increase. Silencing the Press: documentation of the Israeli forces’ violations against the press crews working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory covers the period between January 2013 and March 2014; it documents 135 cases of assaults against journalists, violating journalists’ right to life and personal safety and subjecting them to beatings and other violence, as well as humiliation and degrading treatment.
“The Israeli army used excessive force indiscriminately and disproportionately against journalists in ways unjustified by any military necessity,” the report alleges.(T/P03/P04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)