Scores of journalists gathered in front of the UN headquarters in Gaza City today to mark World Press Freedom Day, calling for an end to Israeli violations of the Palestinian press, particularly in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
Holding placards reading "journalism is not a crime" and "freedom for Palestinian journalists detained in Israeli jails", they called for Israeli leaders who are thought to be responsible for the murder of Palestinian journalists in violation of international conventions to be put on trial. They stressed the importance of such action for the triumph of humanity and the credibility of internationally-recognised human rights laws, saying the failure to punish the leaders of the occupation and allowing them to evade responsibility drives them to continue to commit more crimes against Palestinian journalists.
In a speech, Journalist Ahlam Eid called on human rights organisations and international bodies such as the United Nations, the Federation of Arab Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders to intervene urgently to force the Israeli occupation to release all of her colleagues who are being held in Israeli prisons and detention centres, and to urge the Israeli occupation to allow the entry of the necessary media and broadcasting equipment.
Eid emphasised that Palestinian journalists and media institutions will continue to do their jobs at all costs, regardless of the Israeli occupation's policies and crimes against them.
Palestinian bodies also demanded Israel abide by the laws and regulations that guarantee freedom of the press.