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FPA News

16/06/2016
Upcoming events: The FPA will host the CIS, Commanders for Israel's Security, on June 28th. FPA members only, registration by email.
05/06/2016
The FPA wishes our Moslem members, friends and colleagues Ramadan Mubarak with peace, harmony and joy.
23/05/2016
The FPA protests demand for body search of respected photojournalist by Prime Minister's security detail this morning.
19/05/2016
The FPA calls on Hamas to allow unfettered access in and out of Gaza.
09/03/2016
Hamas demanding exorbitant licensing fees for foreign media armoured cars in Gaza.
08/03/2016
Congratulations to FPA members on their newest publications
16/02/2016
The FPA strongly protests the detention of Washington Post correspondent William Booth at the Damascus Gate today
08/02/2016
The FPA responds to an invite by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence subcommittee hearing on media bias
30/10/2015
Israeli border police officers physically assaulted several members of the international press, as they attempted to cover clashes between Palestinian stone throwers and Israeli forces at Beit El, near Ramallah.
22/10/2015
FPA press event with Fatah Central Committee member and the head of PECDAR Mohammed Shtayyieh has been postponed.
16/10/2015
The FPA deplores the violation of press privileges by unauthorised persons and imposters.
15/10/2015
Border Police push TV cameraman and proceed to kick him in the face and head as he lies on the ground protecting his camera.
13/10/2015
The FPA issues a statement and travel warning
29/09/2015
Job vacancy BBC News Ramallah. For details see Bulletin Board "Services"
26/09/2015
The FPA strongly protests unprovoked IDF attack on photojournalists near Nablus yesterday
16/09/2015
The FPA sharply denounces Border Police harassment of journalists covering the disturbances at the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.
15/09/2015
The FPA wishes friends, members and colleagues a very happy and peaceful New Year.
15/06/2015
The FPA protests a foreign ministry video ridiculing foreign media reporting on Gaza last summer.
11/06/2015
FPA members win awards and citations for reporting on last year's war in Gaza
27/04/2015
CPJ report "Attacks on the Press" released today
26/04/2015
The FPA condemns in the strongest terms the abusive behavior of Israeli security forces toward photographers covering the weekly protest in Nebi Salah last Friday
25/03/2015
Veteran FPA member Heidi Levine wins prestigious photojournalism award
20/11/2014
The FPA responds to FM accusations of aiding terrorism.
03/11/2014
The FPA strongly protests against recent incidents of Border Police deliberately obstructing journalists in the field, firing stun grenades and firing rubber bullets at journalists.
15/08/2014
The repeated assaults by IDF forces on camera crews out on assignment covering protests in Hebron is totally unacceptable.
11/08/2014
The FPA protests Hamas attempts to actively intervene or direct reporting by visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.

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2016 UPCOMING EVENTS

 

On June 28th the FPA will host prominent members of the CIS, Commanders for Israel's Security for an exclusive discussion of their " Security First" plan.   NB: Prior registration is required for all events.
 

The FPA Annual General meeting and Board elections were held on Monday April 18th.  Guest speaker was Dr Yossi Vardi.


 

2015 


  
The FPA AGM was held on Sunday April 26th 2015,  a new Chair and Board came into office. Guest speaker was PA chief negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat .

 

2014

The FPA Annual General Meeting was held on April 27th, 2014. The guest speaker was the Minister of Economic Affairs, Naftali Bennett. .

Outgoing chairman Crispian Balmer summarised the activites of the past  twelve months:

"So another year passes for the FPA, and with it my term as chairman of this great organisation. As ever, I have to thank the harmonious board for all its hard work over the past 12 months. I must also thank Glenys, a tireless warrior for press freedom, a thorn in the side to local officialdom, without whom, this organisation would rapidly grind to a sorry halt. Her contribution, enthusiasm and belief in the FPA cannot be underestimated. She is a rock.
Looking back over this past year, I am delighted to say that we managed to organise some good events following the lull of 2012/2013. Isaac Herzog, Yuval Steinitz, Danny Danon and now Naftali Bennett have all come and addressed our members. Many others were approached, but only a few took the bite. I would like to think that we would attract many more top class speakers in the months ahead and would urge all members to use their best contacts and persuade them to be our guest. The board does not hold the keys to this organisation. It belongs to everyone and the more people who get involved and try to boost our organisation the better.
Planning events is only a very small part of what the FPA does. Much of the board’s activity goes on behind the scenes, struggling with the powers that be in both Israel and Palestine to protect the rights of our members. It can be frustrating, it can end in failure, but this work must never stop.
We had some wins. For starters, we finally managed to get refunds totalling some 79,000 shekels to a handful of our TV members after we took legal action against over payment of VAT. Better than getting a rubber bullet shot at your stomach from close quarters, or have a stun grenade burn your leg, or have your car windscreen shattered by rock-throwing settlers while IDF soldiers stand-by, or have a rubber bullet fired deliberately at your car as you follow police orders and drive away from a sealed off zone, or have a gun pointed straight at your face for just trying to do your job.
Sadly all those things have happened to FPA members this year, and as per usual we issued angry statements. As per usual, nothing seemed to happen. We went to talk to the IDF and we are still trying to find a responsible adult at the Border Police to discuss our multiple concerns about the way they carry out their business. Unless the authorities take our complaints seriously and change attitudes on the ground, one of our members will be maimed or killed. The violence is rising. A sense of impunity seems to reign amongst the security forces, and, to the best of our knowledge, not a single person has been indicted, punished or even reprimanded over incidents that we believe represented a blatant abuse of power. This is obviously deeply discouraging, but it does not mean we should stop our fight, stop protesting and stop caring, quite the contrary! Yes, worse things happen in Syria, and in many other neighbouring countries, but Israel proudly promotes itself as the only democracy in the Middle East. As such it should aspire to full protection of a vibrant press. I was delighted to see the Israeli Press Council picking up our cause and would like to thank Arik Bachar for his support.

To give credit where credit is due, relations with the GPO have improved markedly in the past couple of years. They have intervened in individual B1 visa cases and have doled out a significant number of new GPO cards for our Palestinian members.
Our lawyers roared into action when the Knesset unexpectedly looked poised to force foreigners to get Israeli driving licences. We won a temporary reprieve, but we must be realistic and recognise that sooner or later this will probably happen. Sorry.


One of the oddities of working in the Holy Land is the threat that you might have to take your clothes off if you want to see the prime minister. I like to think that our zero- tolerance of this has drastically reduced the number of strip searches, but sadly one of our members was forced to undress to attend July 4th celebrations at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. We dutifully put out a statement to denounce this and shortly afterwards Al Houra TV sacked a producer in Jerusalem who had brought this violation to our attention. Al Houra said the two events were not associated. I do hope so. Because It would be represent a new low if the companies that employ us fail to support us or appeared happy to let such abuses pass unnoticed.

My time is almost up, but before I go, I would like to pay homage to our fine colleague, Sky cameraman Mick Deane, who was shot dead last August, while filming on the streets of Cairo. Mick was a neighbour of mine in Jerusalem, a great professional and a gentle spirit. No one has been arrested for his brutal killing, and I would bet all my life savings that the person who pulled the trigger will never be tried. An outrageous scandal that can only compound this terrible tragedy.

I know the results of the board election are not yet know, but we do already know that the next chairman will be our long-time board member Samar Shalabi. This is an historic moment. For the first time in the 57-year history of the FPA, we will have a Palestinian chairman. About time too! I wish him all the very best, as I am sure we all do.

Crispian Balmer, Chairman
The Foreign Press Association

 

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