The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) held a meeting in Gaza city yesterday (26 January) to present its special report and short documentary film on the Israeli violations against journalists and media outlets during the latest attack on the Gaza Strip in summer 2014. The journalists who participated in the meeting stressed on the need to hold the Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes against journalists and media outlets in Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip.
MADA’s coordinator in Gaza Dr Ahmad Hammad thanked the International Media Support (IMS) organization in Denmark for funding the report, the film and the event.
He condemned the harassment of journalists in Palestine and worldwide, the latest incident being the attack against Charlie Hebdo journalists in France. He said: “We would like to see the solidarity with Charlie Hebdo’ journalists being expanded to include solidarity with journalists from Palestine and other countries that face serious violations of media freedoms.
Hammad 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 added: “During the last three Israeli attacks on Gaza, MADA monitored a total of 191 Israeli violations, 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.” He observed that the killing of journalists in the latest attack equals 77% of the total of killings committed by the IOF against journalists in Palestine in the last 14 years and a half. This attack raised the number of killed journalists since the year 2000 to 39 journalists and media workers.
MADA’s lawyer in Gaza Karem Nashwan said that keeping silent about the Israeli crimes justifies their continuation, and that all the human rights organizations should stand together to hold Israel accountable and to trial its leaders for violating one of the most important right: freedom of expression.