Al Mezan condemns the targeting of journalists by the occupation forces in eastern Gaza and calls for international intervention to protect civilians
The Israeli occupation forces continue to target journalists and media workers while they were covering the activities of the demonstrations held near the separation fence in the eastern Gaza Strip, despite the clarity of their distinctive badges, and their standing at safe distances, as yesterday evening, Sunday, 17/9/2023, four citizens were injured, including three journalists who were present to cover the demonstrations that took place east of the town of Jabalia in the North Gaza governorate.
The monitoring and documentation work continued by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights indicates that the Israeli occupation forces, stationed at the eastern separation fence in the Abu Safiya area, east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza governorate, opened fire on their various weapons, at approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 17/09/2023, towards a gathering of citizens who were gathering near the separation fence in protest against extremists’ attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque, and were using tear gas canisters as a weapon, firing them directly towards the bodies of citizens. And journalists in particular, who were present to cover the demonstration, which resulted in the injury of photographer for Al-Manara Fadi Mahmoud Ramadan Al-Danaf (36 years old) with a gas canister in the right knee, and photographer for the French news agency (AFP), Bilal Bassam Odeh Sabbagh (32 years old), with a gas canister in his right thigh, and photographer for Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Muhammad Al-Badri Hassouna (42 years old), with a gas canister in the face. One civilian was hit by a tear gas canister in his left hand.
In this context, the injured photojournalist, Fadi Al-Danaf, reported that at approximately 16:00 in the evening of the same day, he went with the crew to the Abu Safiya area, east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza governorate, to cover the peaceful demonstrations to protest against Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and upon his arrival at the place he wore a bulletproof shield and the press badge was clear on his chest and back, and that he began to prepare his equipment, and he was at a distance of more than 200 meters from the separation fence, and after about Half an hour in the evening of the same day, he felt something hit his right knee, fell to the ground, and it turned out to be a gas canister, and immediately the ambulance men carried him and transported him by ambulance to the Indonesian hospital in the same province, where I received treatment.
According to photojournalist Bilal Al-Sabbagh , he went to the Abu Safiya area, east of the town of Jabalia in the northern Gaza governorate, to cover the demonstrations, and he was wearing a bulletproof shield written on it press, and he was far from the separation fence, and at about 16:40 pm on the same day, and while filming the activities of the demonstration, he felt something hit his right leg strongly, so he fell to the ground, and it turned out that the thing that hit his leg was a gas canister, as it was spreading gas after hitting it, and he was screaming From the pain, the ambulance men came to him and provided him with first aid in the same place, and then went to Al-Shifa Hospital, west of Gaza City, to check on his leg and complete treatment.
In another separate incident, freelance photojournalist Ashraf Muhammad Nassar Abu Amra (37 years old) was directly hit by a tear gas canister in his right hand, when he was more than 300 meters away from the eastern separation fence in Khan Yunis governorate in the southern Gaza Strip, while filming the activities of a demonstration last Friday, 15/9/2023.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, while reiterating its strong condemnation of the repeated targeting of journalists despite the clarity of their distinctive badges, reiterates its condemnation and denunciation of the behavior of the occupation forces, their deliberate use of excessive force and inflicting harm on their ranks without regard for the rules of international law, and that this behavior aims to prevent the transfer of the truth of what the occupation forces are doing in their dealings with the participants in those demonstrations.
Therefore, Al Mezan calls on the international community to take urgent action to compel the occupation authorities to respect their obligations under international law, stop the grave and systematic violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces, work to protect Palestinian journalists, and activate accountability and prosecution mechanisms for all those suspected of involvement in committing grave violations, as the only way to ensure respect for the rules of international law and achieve justice in this region of the world..
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression also calls for investigating the grave violations against journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories, working to stop them and holding accountable those who committed or ordered their commission.
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Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is an independent, non-profit, Palestinian NGO based in the Gaza Strip.
It enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and aims to promote respect for human rights
Raising awareness of its importance and strengthening the foundations of democracy in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza Strip..
For more information, please call Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza City: +970 8 2820447 – 2820442
Working hours between 08:00 – 15:00 (06:00 – 13:00 GMT) Sunday Thursday