Journalists in al-Quds: Persevering despite Zionist Targeting

19 Feb

Journalists in al-Quds: Persevering despite Zionist Targeting

Fadi Obeid – Gaza

The “Israeli” crimes and violations in al-Quds city are uncountable, and cannot be usually limited to assaulting, evicting, and oppressing Palestinian citizens. Recent events show a noteworthy escalation in journalist targeting; the total number of assaults was 23 in 2012 alone, according to a report published by al-Quds Affairs Unit in the Media Ministry, Ramallah.
According to the same report, these assaults include direct targeting with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and thunder-flashes, as well as beating with clubs and sharp objects on the head, detention, house arrests, breaking into journalist institutes, and confiscating its contents.

Moreover, these assaults are being executed in an organized framework, according to the Chief of al-Quds Media Center, Mohammad Sadeq, in an interview with al-Ahed News Website.
Sadeq further pointed out the policy of banning al-Quds journalists from reaching several areas in the occupied city, including the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. He reiterated his and his colleagues’ insistence on continuing their work despite obstructions and dangers, for their faith in national strife, and their duty towards the Palestinian cause’s righteousness and need for global recognition.
Likewise, Sadeq was subject to a series of attacks similar to the ones people of the same field suffered, the latest was deliberately tearing his identity card by a soldier, which could prohibit him from attending events for months.

Also, Sadeq was directly threatened while covering news regarding “Israeli” soldiers assaulting Palestinian youth, where the people who threatened him said, “We know you are a journalist. You must leave immediately or else face arrest or gunfire!”

When asked whether there are any movements from authorities to protect journalists, Sadeq stated, “Unfortunately, there are no Palestinian institutions inside the city to handle al-Quds journalists’ affairs due to the terms of the Oslo Accord. Besides, we don’t deal with Beit Agron cards given by “Israeli” departments.”

In addition to direct assaults, the “Israeli” security forces tried to submit 4 journalists to humiliating searches that included strip searches on July 16, 2012, during a conference of the US Secretary of State then Hillary Clinton. The journalists, however, refused being searched.

Among proof on “Israeli” violations, the occupation forces targeted an Associated Press photographer, Mahfouz Abu Turk with rubber bullets while covering assaults on the military Qalandia checkpoint on November 18, 2012.
On this note, “The Palestinian Journalist Block” censured international alliances and regional organizations in charge of journalistic freedom for the constant “Israeli” targeting of Palestinian journalists in the West Bank.
The Block further demanded the necessary protection for Palestinian media outlets and personnel, describing silence regarding these violations as a green light for oppression by occupation forces.

Source: al-Ahed News, translated and edited by moqawama.org

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