Palestinian Information Minister, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, rejected on Tuesday all attacks against reporters and called for the release of journalists surrounded by gunmen in a building in Gaza, and the release of the abducted BBC reporter Allen Johnston.Dr. Barghouthi stated that all journalists should be free to move and should not be subjected to any attacks.

The statements of Barghouthi came during a protest for journalists in front of the Ramattan Media Agency in the northern West Bank city of Ramallah.

The journalists were protesting in support of their fellow journalists surrounded by gunmen in Al Johara tower in Gaza city, and in support to the safe and immediate release of Johnston.

The minister of information said that journalists should be protected and should be provided with the needed freedom of movement in order to be able to perform their duties without any obstacles.

He added that the journalists played an important role in exposing the Israeli illegal activities during the current Intifada and exposed the Israeli crimes.

Dr. Barghouthi also said that the Palestinians feel ashamed by the Gaza internal clashes and want these clashes to end immediately since they negatively affect the Palestinian struggle against the occupation and the image of resistance.

He called for an immediate halt of all clashes and all incidents of chaos, and called on the gunmen to respect the ceasefire agreement which was mediated between Fateh and Hamas.

Dr. Barghouthi received confirmations from several factions confirming their commitment to the ceasefire and expressed hopes that these commitments will be translated into actions in order to end the clashes and to concentrate the efforts on aiding the people and lifting the international-Israeli led embargo.