Ramallah / PNN/
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms expresses its deep concern about the escalation of violations and restrictions imposed on journalists and freedom of expression in Gaza Strip by the Israeli authorities, not to mention the use of excessive force against them, which comes in the context of the systematic policy they follow against media freedoms and crews, whether local or foreign, working in the Palestinian territories.
Yesterday, Sunday corresponding to 17th Sep., three journalists were injured by gas bombs in Gaza Strip while they were covering a demonstration called by the national and Islamic forces in support of Al-Aqsa and denouncing the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, as it took place in “Jakar” Street, north of the Jabalia Refugee Camp, east of Gaza City. The occupation forces used live bullets and sound bombs, and tear gas against the peaceful demonstrators and journalists, which resulted in the injury of Al-Manara Agency cameraman FADI MAHMOUD AL-DANAF (37 years old) in the right knee, and the injury of the French Agency cameraman BILAL BASSAM AL-SABBAGH (32 years old) in the right thigh, while the Turkish Anadolu Agency cameraman MUSTAFA MOHAMMED HASSOUNA (43 years old) was injured with bruises on the face resulting from the occupation forces directly and deliberately throwing gas bombs at a group of journalists to prevent them from covering.
A few days earlier, Khabar Agency cameraman MOHAMMED SOBH was injured by a gas bomb in the hand, and Al-Aqsa TV cameraman ISMAIL ABU OMAR was injured by a gas bomb in the back while covering the clashes that broke out on Wednesday 13th Sep. in Malka Camp area, east of Gaza City, on the same day marking the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip.
In the same context, photojournalist ASHRAF NASSAR ABU AMRA was injured by a gas bomb directly in the right hand (which was holding the camera) while covering the demonstrations east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip on Friday, 15th Sep., this led to the shattering of the fingers, segmented fracture of the middle finger, and tendon rapture.
MADA, as it is deeply concerned about the escalation of Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during the past few days, calls on human rights organizations, especially those working in the field of defending journalists, to intervene and put pressure on the Israeli government to adhere to international laws and conventions, and not to use excessive force against unarmed civilians, including journalists. It also calls for pressure on the occupation authorities to respect Article (19) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in particular, which guarantees freedom of opinion and expression