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Israel must be held to account for targeting journalists, Africa journalists union says

June 14, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Palestinian paramedics and journalists carry a fellow journalist who was wounded by Israeli forces October 5, 2018 [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]

African journalists have called on the African Union and governments to condemn Israel’s deliberate targeting of journalists and news media organisations and hold Israel legally accountable for crimes committed against media workers during its recent attacks on the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in occupied Palestine.

Israeli Attacks on Press - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israeli Attacks on Press – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

African governments were urged “to stand on the right side of history” by unequivocally condemning the human rights violations committed by the Israeli government. The search for permanent solutions, said FAJ President Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed, required governmental interventions.

In a two-day African Journalists Leadership Conference which took place in Accra, Ghana, earlier this month and which was held less than a week after Israel ended its brutal bombing campaign of the besieged Gaza Strip where it destroyed a building that housed the Associated Press news agency and several other media outlets, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) condemned the “total impunity” that Israel enjoyed in its killing of journalists and destruction of media offices “under the bogus pretext of self-defence.”

The destruction of the Al-Jalaa building was widely regarded as an attempt to silence journalists covering Israel’s military attacks. In less than a week, Israel bombed the offices of at least 18 media outlets.

Conference delegates also condemned the pressure that Israel was exerting on news media organisations “to sack and censor Palestinian journalists who are advocating for media freedom and protesting against the violations of the rights of Palestinians.” Associated Press was found to have fired 22-year old journalist, Emily Wilder, for her pro-Palestine views.

READ: 337 Israel violations against Palestinian journalist in May