The Government Media Office (GMO) held a press conference on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, which coincides the 26, September, each year, demanding to practically show support for Palestinian journalists.
The head of the GMO, Salma Ma’rouf, praised efforts of the Palestinian journalists who continue conveying the truth despite all dangerous aggression of Israeli occupation, against them.
In the press statement, the GMO pointed out that the Israeli occupation has adopted a systematic policy of targeting Palestinian journalists, ignoring all international laws and norms that guarantee freedom of speech. Since the beginning of this year, Israeli forces have committed 633 violations against Palestinian journalists, the latest being the targeting of journalists who were covering the non-violent peaceful Great Return March on the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip. Two were killed and more than 180 were injured.
Violations against journalists take many other forms, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, especially in the occupied West Bank, including the denial of access to locations, destruction of equipment, arbitrary arrest, physical assault, and use of firearms that lead to injury or death. Israeli forces not only target journalists in the field, but also hinders their work through the intentional disruption of broadcast signals, frequent shutdown of radio stations, and occasional destruction of media offices and broadcasting towers. 21 journalists are still being held in Israeli jails.
Based on the difficult conditions the Palestinian journalist faces on the ground, the Government Media Office (GMO) asserts on the following:
– Calling on Palestinian journalists to save no effort on revealing Israeli crimes and aggressions against Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
– Calling on all international and regional institutions and organizations to stand by Palestinian journalists against Israeli violations, translate their support to real actions on the ground and to cancel the membership of Israel from all forums that defending the freedom of opinion, especially the International Federation of Journalists.
– Warning of the overwhelming silence regarding the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists, stressing the importance to try Israeli leaders over their violations of journalists’ rights.
– Calling on international institutions to exert pressure on Israeli occupation to allow the entry of protective equipment for journalists such as press vests, helmets, gas masks and other means that Israeli occupation has banned its entry to Gaza for 11 years.
– Stressing the Palestinian journalists’ rights to work within the recognized law, values and ethics and in accordance with the social and national responsibility that protects them.
– Stressing the importance of unity to face the internal division through re-activating the journalists’ union according to free and fair elections that all journalists have the right to participate in under the syndicate and democratic applicable norms.