Committee to Protect Journalists – MENA
Washington D.C., April 25, 2018–Ahmed Abu Hussein, a Palestinian photographer for the Gaza-based Voice of the People Radio, died today from bullet wounds to his abdomen sustained on April 13 while he was covering protests in the northern Gazan city of Jabalia, according to news reports citing Gazan Health Ministry officials. Hussein is the second journalist to die from injuries sustained while covering protests in Gaza that began on March 30, according to CPJ research.
“Protective gear that clearly indicates individuals are members of the press should afford them extra protection–not make them targets,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “The death of Ahmed Abu Hussein underscores the need for Israeli authorities to urgently scrutinize its policies toward journalists covering protests and take immediate, effective action.”
Yaser Murtaja, a photojournalist and cameraperson for the Gaza-based media production company Ain Media, was injured when a live round hit him while he was covering protests in the area east of Khan Younis on April 6 and died the next day from injuries, CPJ documented. Both Hussein and Murtaja were wearing protective gear marked with PRESS at the time they were shot. CPJ in a letter April 19 called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) policy on mass protests and the press and to ensure that the shooting of journalists in Gaza is quickly and thoroughly investigated.
Ramez Najeeb Harb, 39 years old, Journalist and Salem Swelam, a Palestinian christian cameraman were killed and another cameraman injured in an Israeli strike on the Al-Shrouq Building in Gaza City at 14:05 Gaza time, 19-Nov-2012
As the death threats I wrote about yesterday were obviously not working, in the early hours of this morning Israel launched three missiles at the Gaza offices of the Al Quds Satellite channel in Al Shawa Hosari Tower, injuring five workers, one of whom lost a leg.
This attack on the media was followed several hours later by another on Al Aqsa television station, which completely destroyed its studios, as well as damaged the premises of Palestine Media Production on the floor below. In this attack, three journalists were injured.
The remnants of the guided surface missile that hit the Al Quds offices bear not only evidence of its origin (The United States) but also of its toxicity, adding to the growing evidence that Israel is using prohibited weapons in its latest Gaza atrocity.
Meanwhile, western media and governments continue to hypocritically espouse the right of Israel to defend itself, while ignoring the right of Gazans to do the same.
The nonsense that this latest ‘exchange of fire’ is the fault of Hamas and justified by Israel’s right to security has been noted by many, including Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, who wrote today, referring to Gaza, that “no country would tolerate the periodic assassination of its leaders by missiles fired by a neighboring country, especially during a lull achieved by a mutually agreed truce.”
The source of the weaponry perhaps goes some way towards explaining why Barack Obama is such an apologist for Israel’s latest rampage of mass murder.
It does not, however, explain his blatant hypocrisy given the concluding remarks of his press statement delivered on World Press Freedom Day in May this year.
“No matter the cause, when journalists are intimidated, attacked, imprisoned, or disappeared, individuals begin to self-censor, fear replaces truth, and all of our societies suffer. A culture of impunity for such actions must not be allowed to persist in any country.
This year, across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, the world witnessed not only these perils, but also the promise that a free press holds for fostering innovative, successful, and stable democracies. On this World Press Freedom Day, we call upon all governments to seize that promise by recognizing the vital role of a free press and taking the necessary steps to create societies in which independent journalists can operate freely and without fear.”
Perhaps he could begin in his own backyard, and stop supplying the weapons being used to silence the press – and follow up with ensuring his ‘client state’ does not enjoy impunity for this crass violation of press freedom.
And perhaps United States citizens could act to ensure their taxes are not used to stifle the First Amendment of the Constitution they so cherish – when it suits them.