[Press Release, 5 March 2013] – A PALESTINIAN PHOTOJOURNALIST was shot and severely injured by an Israeli soldier near the Ofer prison in Ramallah last Friday evening, according to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The IFJ has today condemned the shooting, calling for an investigation to identify and punish the shooter.
“We condemn the use of lethal force against a working journalist who did nothing wrong and is now fighting for his life,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “This latest incident is another example of the Israeli soldiers’ disregard for the safety of Palestinian journalists and their right to life.”
The PJS also condemned the shooting which it said was deliberate. The journalist was shot in stomach and the bullet exited through his back, tearing his stomach and spleen. He also suffered damage to his thoracic and colon, the union added.
The PJS further warned of media safety crisis in Palestine, accusing the Israeli forces of putting lives at risk by firing live bullets against media. The PJS is urging journalists to exercise extreme caution, including by wearing protecting clothing and headgear on assignment while calling on Israel to allow the union to provide such equipment to journalists working in the area.
The IFJ, which has provided safety training to journalists in Palestine as part of its campaign to boost media security, backs its affiliate’s call but stressed the duty on Israel to fulfil its international obligation under international law.
“The focus should be on failure of the government in Israel to keep their military’s conduct in check,” added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. “They need to take action and this incident provides an opportunity for them to show the will to end these abuses of authority.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries