The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) recently held a meeting with journalists, to announce its release of a special report and documentary film dealing with the violations against journalists and media outlets during the Israeli attack on Gaza of 2014.The Palestinian News Network reports that MADA’s general director, Mr. Mousa Rimawi, opened the the meeting by condemning the killing of journalists in Palestine and worldwide, including the latest attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine.
He said: ‘We would like to see the unprecedented solidarity with Charlie Hebdo’s victims being expanded to include solidarity with the Palestinian journalists and journalists from all over the world. 2014 witnessed major violations against media freedoms, with the killing of 100 journalists, 17 of whom in the Gaza Strip.’
Rimawi also welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to join the International Criminal Court, hoping that it will not only hold Israelis accountable for assaulting journalists and civilians, but also to deter them from committing further violations against journalists in Palestine, and from considering themselves as above the law.
He thanked the International Media Support (IMS) in Denmark for supporting and funding the production of both film and report. He also expressed his gratefulness to all of MADA’s partners, who showed their support for freedom of expression in Palestine by supporting MADA’s work, especially the Open Society Foundations, the European Union, IFEX, and the UNESCO office in Ramallah.
Mr. Rimawi pointed out that the report, entitled ‘The Media in Gaza: Caught in the Crossfire’ (available in both Arabic and English), monitors the attacks committed by the Israeli occupation forces on journalists and media freedoms in Gaza during the latest attack. It also compares media violations committed during the 2014 attack with the previous ones, in the years 2008-2009 and 2012.
He said: ‘The total of Israeli violations during the last attack were 112, and the total of attacks were 191 during the last three Israeli attacks on Gaza strip , most of which were severe aggressions: the IOF killed 24 journalists and media workers in the three attacks, and shelled and destroyed 61 local, Arab and international media outlets.’
Rimawi added: ‘Severe media violations were monitored during each of the three attacks, with for example the targeting and destruction of various media outlets, but the escalating violations reached a peak during the latest attack in July 2014 with the killing of 17 journalists and media workers.’
He emphasized that the causes of the continuous escalation of Israeli violations of media freedoms are twofold: the power of the image and the role that the media plays in exposing the Israeli crimes to the world, and the fact that Israeli soldiers, officers, officials and settlers are committing these crimes in total impunity, which is no less than an encouragement to commit more crimes. This requires a serious move to hold the aggressors accountable in order to stop these violations.
Rimawi affirmed that many of the media violations committed during the three attacks were deliberate and not accidental, as Israel claims.
The 11-minute film ‘Journalists under Fire’ was screened in the meeting, which features live scenes of what the journalists and media outlets face while performing their job in war time, as well as testimonies of journalists who worked during the 51 day attack on Gaza, some of whom were victims of serious violations.
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Read the report: http://www.madacenter.org/images/text_editor/Gazaspecialrep1.pdf