The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned an attack by Israeli police on photographers near Silwad in the West Bank on Sunday, 26 October. According to reports, Israeli police fired rubber bullets at the photographers at close range while they were taking pictures of protests that followed the funeral of a Palestinian activist.
Two journalists are said to have received minor injuries in the attack. One was a reporter from the Associated Press who is said to have injured his arm. Another freelance photographer from Switzerland, Lazar Simeonov, was injured in his hand, while his camera was also damaged.
IFJ’s Swiss affiliate, Impressum, has issued a statement demanding that the Israeli Ambassador in Switzerland investigate the incident and provide an explanation for the attack. “We strongly condemn this reckless and brutal attack which showed no regard for the safety of the journalists who were carrying out legitimate work to ensure the truth is told,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “This incident is yet another example of the Israeli soldiers’ blatant disregard for the safety, freedoms and rights of journalists covering the conflict. We call on the Israeli government to carry out a thorough investigation to identify and punish those soldiers who carried out this act and ensure they face the full weight of justice.”
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) called last week upon the United Nations and other relevant organizations to lift the prosecution immunity granted to Israel’s political officials and military commanders who committed crimes against Palestinian journalists during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip.
“The crime of targeting Palestinian journalists and media outlets in Gaza will never go unpunished,” stressed the PJS’ statement which came to mark the International Day to End Immunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) on November 2. Around 17 journalists were killed and 30 others were wounded during the third Israeli offensive on Gaza in just seven years. Houses of other journalists were also demolished, displacing their families, while several media outlets were targeted and destroyed.