On this day, the UN General Assembly has proclaimed the 18th of December 2013 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, by virtue Resolution 68/163.
The aim of this resolution is to confront the culture of impunity for perpetrators of crimes and attacks against journalists, and to empower victims of journalists with justice. Especially since 9 out of 10 cases of murdering journalists, perpetrators are not held accountable, the resolution also aims to provide a safe environment for journalists and enable them to perform their work without interference.
Across the Occupied Palestinian Territories attacks against journalists and media freedoms, especially the Israeli ones, have escalated on a fast pace and they have become more violent and dangerous.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” documented 474 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine since the beginning of the year. From which, Israeli Occupation Forces committed a total of 372 attacks, around 78% of all documented attacks.
Noting that, the majority of all documented attacks committed by IOF fell under dangerous attacks and grave breaches, the most serious and dangerous was the killing of two Palestinian journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein during the coverage of the peaceful return march in Gaza in two separate incidents (both journalists were clearly identifiable with the press vests and located hundreds of meters away from the border fence) and posed no imminent threat but were rather performing their duties. As well as, targeting and injuring hundreds of Palestinian journalists with live ammunition and explosive bullets, during the past ten months.
According to MADA Center, hundreds of other attacks against journalists in Palestine have been carried out over the past few years. A total of 43 Palestinian journalists have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces since the year 2000. MADA reiterates its commitment to continue working with various partners locally, regionally and internationally in order to put an end to the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel which is the main reason behind the continuous and systematic attacks against targeting and killing Palestinian journalists and to realize the objectives that the UN resolution aims at achieving.
Finally, The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) in collaboration with The Civil Commission for the Independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL) organized a competition for the best moot court for law students of across Palestinian universities to defend freedom of expression to shed light on the culture of impunity enjoyed by Israel and crimes committed by the Israeli occupation that went without accountability or punishment. The outcome of the competition will be held on 8/11/2018 in the West Bank. MADA will also organize a different event on the occasion of the international day to end impunity in collaboration with the Committee to support journalists on this occasion in Gaza City on Saturday 03rd of November 2018.