Israeli authorities must stop 'routine abuse' of journalists

By agency reporter
July 26, 2017

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) recorded at least 15 incidents of journalists being attacked, abused or prevented from reporting by Israeli security forces while attempting to cover the Al-Aqsa Mosque protests over the weekend. (22-23 July 2017)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate, PJS, in condemning these abuses and is calling on the Israeli authorities to let journalists work freely and safely.  

Israeli, Palestinian and foreign journalists have been forcibly removed from areas around old Jerusalem whilst attempting to cover the Al-Aqsa Mosque protests over the past few days. 

Thousands of protesters converged around the Al-Aqsa mosque in mass prayer protests on Friday 21 July against the installation of metal detectors and security cameras at the the entrance to the holy site last week. The security measures were removed on 24 July. 

More than 450 protesters have been injured in clashes with Israeli security forces whilst numerous journalists were forcibly removed from areas of Old Jerusalem and barred from entering and reporting on the mosque site. 

In a statement released on Sunday July 23, the Foreign Press Association of Israel condemned the treatment of journalists by Israeli police:

"Not only have journalists been banned from access, they have been pushed and shoved into areas where their safety is at risk, and where they bear the brunt of the Israeli security response to rioting crowds including teargas, stun grenades and beatings resulting in several serious injuries."

Sky News Arabia chief editor, Omar Al-Issawi, said:"We’re not strangers to this kind of treatment as journalists, but it’s unacceptable”

Phillipe Leruth, IFJ president, said: "The IFJ has repeatedly criticised the Israeli government for their mistreatment of journalists including the disrespect of journalists’ rights to travel and report safely and without hindrance.

"The IFJ calls on the Israeli government to adhere to international conventions and treaties and cease its routine abuse and harassment of journalists."

* International Federation of Journalists http://www.ifj.org/

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