Call for the Formation of an International Commission of Inquiry for the Crimes Committed against Palestinian Journalists

2018-10-31 12:58


The Journalist Support Committee calls for the formation of an international commission of inquiry for the crimes committed against Palestinian journalists 

“Israeli” violations against the Palestinian press crews continue to be perpetrated since the end of March 2018, where the occupation forces violated all international and humanitarian conventions, and used the most powerful weapons and ammunition, whose victims were a large number of media professionals, journalists and activists, where two journalists were killed and more than 240 media professionals were wounded with varying degrees of intensity.

On Friday, October 12, more than 8 journalists were injured by live bullets, shrapnel and gas bombs during their coverage of the Return Marches in the Gaza Strip governorates:

  • Bilal al-Sabbagh, a photojournalist, was wounded by a gunshot on his foot during his coverage of the clashes in eastern Gaza
  • Yousef Aslih was injured by a shrapnel in the foot
  • Badr Al-Najadi, a photojournalist, was shot in the foot
  • Yaser Al-Tawil, a photojournalist, was wounded by a gunshot in the foot
  • Mohammed Majid Abu Daqqa was injured in the legs while working for Al-Sharq News Network when covering the events of Khuza'a in Khan Younis
  • Ahmad Radwan, an activist and photojournalist, was wounded by Israeli bullets while covering the events of Khazaa in Khan Younis
  • Yahya Abu Anza was injured while covering the events of Khazaa in Khan Younis
  • Mahmoud Badr was injured.

The Israeli occupation forces also targeted Al-Aqsa channel's crew east of Rafah, which directly led to the destruction and breaking of the camera after it fell on the ground.

We, at the Journalist Support Committee, caution against the danger of the continued Israeli violation against journalists without any international and Arab deterrent and without holding it accountable for its crimes against media freedoms.

We also call upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the Gaza Strip as soon as possible and reaffirm its international responsibilities, status and moral standing which it represents in order to stop this horrifying aggression and to provide insight into the occupation crimes against journalists and the deliberate and continuous targeting of civilians and media personnel protected by international law.

We also call on the UN Human Rights Council to expedite the formation of a commission of inquiry to record and document violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the OPT without any delay due to bureaucratic restrictions and procedures.

We call on the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions to meet their contractual commitment not only to respect the agreements but also to "ensure respect" and to intervene immediately and expeditiously in order to stop the crimes committed by the occupying forces. We call upon the Swiss Government, as it is the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, to hold a new Congress of the High Parties as soon as possible.

We stress on the need to hold accountable and prosecute the occupation for its crimes committed against journalists exercising their professional duties.

The Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip face the snipers of the occupation with shields that are not qualified to deal with the bullets and shrapnel of the occupation. They also wear an inadequate face protection mask since they are inhaling an immense amount of toxic gas fired by the occupation. Therefore, we demand adequate shields and masks immediately and urgently, as the number of wounded journalists is increasing.

We call on journalists to take caution and use all the available means to protect themselves from the occupation’s aggression. We would like to pay tribute for their steadfastness and courage to resist the Israeli aggression and continue to cover and expose the crimes of occupation by voice, word and image.

Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
14 October 2018