Reporters Without Borders issued a statement on Tuesday condemning Israel’s increasing violence against Palestinian journalists, including the deliberate targeting of two journalists during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 16 May.
The statement said: “The clashes broke out while the two journalists – Issam Al-Rimawi, a photographer for the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, and freelance photographer Abdalkarim Al-Museitef – were covering a protest march accompanying the funeral of two Palestinian youths killed during the previous day’s commemoration of the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe).
“Rimawi’s left shoulder was injured by a rubber bullet while Museitef lost consciousness from the effects of the teargas. Both were taken to Ramallah regional hospital.”
“This incident is unfortunately not isolated,” noted Soazig Dollet, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East and North Africa desk. “We are very concerned about the marked increase in the number of Palestinian journalists being deliberately targeted by the Israeli security forces.”
She continued: “We reiterate our call to the Israeli authorities, especially the military, to respect the physical integrity of journalists covering demonstrations.”
Dollet pointed out that the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on 28 March “recognising the importance of media coverage of protests and condemning any attacks or violence against the journalists covering them”.
Reporters Without Borders said that the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has already “registered some 80 cases of media freedom violations by the Israeli security forces affecting Palestinian news providers during the first four months of this year, including more than 30 physical attacks”.