The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) issued a press release accusing the Hamas-led government and Hamasâ€™ security forces of cracking down on dozens of journalists in the Gaza Strip, adding that Hamas security forces in Gaza assaulted media offices over the weekend, including an office for Reuters and others.The IFJ also stated that the Hamas Authorities in Gaza prevented members of IFJ affiliate, The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate from travelling to and from the Gaza Strip.
In its March 23 release, the IFJ accused the Hamas-led government in Gaza of conducting systematic attacks on media workers after dozens of journalists were attacked by the security forces over the weekend.
In its release the IFJ denounced what it called â€śthe brutal force used by the Hamas security forces against the media in Gazaâ€ť.
Aiden White, IFJ General Secretary, stated that such attacks cannot be justified and that â€śHamas has shown intolerance for dialogue and press freedomâ€ť.
At least twenty journalists were attacked and beaten, and that their documents were confiscated as the security forces of Hamas violently assaulted media outlets and reporters during their coverage of a rally that was held last week calling for Palestinian unity and for an end to the Hamas-Fateh rift.
The security forces ransacked several media offices in Gaza and imposed a ban on board members of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS).
The PJS held a protest in the central West Bank city of Ramallah to protest the attacks on the Gaza-based journalists, and the ban imposed on PJS board members.
The IFJ said that these attacks are a reminder of what it called â€śthe violent and repressive nature of the Hamas regime which opposes political reforms that are being demanded across the regionâ€ť.
It added that the Freedom of Press is an essential element to democracy, and that it supports that journalists in Gaza for their remarkable commitment to professional reporting on events taking place in the Gaza Strip.