Thursday, November 22, 2012

IFJ Says Israel Intentionally Targeted #Gaza Journalists

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
BRUSSELS, November 22, 2012 (WAFA) - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Wednesday accused Israel of waging a war on journalists in Gaza that resulted in the killing of three journalists, according to a statement published on its official website.
Israeli airstrike at a car killed two cameramen with al-Aqsa satellite station and a second strike killed the director of Al-Quds Educational Television.
IFJ president Jim Boumelha said the deadly attacks on journalists “are clear evidence that the Israeli military has declared war on journalists in Gaza.”
“There can be no more lame excuses from the Israeli Air Force that it was targeting its enemy's communications,” said Boumelha. “The army which claims its strikes are surgically precise must have known there were journalists in this car and it should be accountable for what appears to amount to a war crime,” he said.
IFJ said that the Israeli forces claimed they have warned journalists in a tweet to stay away from Hamas facilities whom they accuse of using media as a human shield; however IPJ stressed that the warning should have been given ahead of any attack to allow for evacuation of civilians, including journalists.
“The intimidation of journalists has turned into an open war through the Israeli defense forces practice of shooting first and warning later,' added Boumelha.
“This is reckless and highly irresponsible and we are urging the world community to investigate potential breaches of international humanitarian law,” he added.
The IFJ is examining options for an urgent mission to Gaza to investigate the targeting and killing of journalists.
Meanwhile, journalists representing 14 syndicates and associations in the Arab world also strongly condemned the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip and the deliberate targeting of journalists and media staff, according to the IFJ website.
They supported the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in their demands to the United Nations to form an international commission of inquiry “into the crimes of the occupation, to question and punish the perpetrators of these crimes and the violations against journalists and media organizations in the Gaza Strip.”