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FPA News

The FPA wishes members, friends and colleagues a happy Passover, Easter and a peaceful and enjoyable spring break. The FPA office will be closed until April 22nd.
Former FPA chairman and TIME correspondent Robert Slater passed away in Jerusalem this morning after a long illness. See "Former Chairmen"
An AP cameraman "encouraged" to leave the site of a demonstration by shooting at his car at the entrance to the Aida refugee camp yesterday. See "Statements"
The FPA protests multiple SMS and emailed threats made to foreign journalists and demands the Hamas takes steps to stop this.
The well known veteran Dutch correspondent Adriaan Bloemendaal passed away in Tel Aviv yesterday. See "In Memoriam" as he is remembered by his friends.
Photojournalists from Reuters and AP injured by border police at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem this evening.
The FPA condemns the violent and unprofessional behavior of an Israeli policeman during disturbances on Feb. 28 in East Jerusalem
Newly arrived correspondents - useful pointers. NB The regulations re drivers licenses for foreign journalists based in Israel are about to change. Members will be updated as soon as we have some clarity.
The FPA replies to the IDF response re Qualandia events on 29th November. See Statements
The FPA strongly protests last Friday's attempt by the IDF forces to clear Qalandia of photojournalists by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades directly at them. See Statements.
The FPA deplores the closure of Al Arabiyeh's offices in Gaza by Hamas.
The FPA protests unacceptable behavior by the border police against journalists on assignment yet again
FPA members congratulated on receiving Overseas Press Club photography awards for 2012
Unwanted photojournalists, this time at Qalandia Crossing Saturday March 30th. See "Statements"
This past Saturday Hizmeh junction near Jerusalem was the conflict zone - against the photojournalists again ! See Statements.
Saturday showdown, this time in the South Hebron Hills. Photographers not welcome !
Journalists get in the way of security again, this time in Burin.
The FPA yet again calls on Israel refrain from barring access to news worthy events by manhandling journalists. See "Statements"
For regional updates on safety issues see Bulletin Board

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The FPA Annual General Meeting will be held on April 27th, 2014. The guest speaker will be the Minister of Economic Affairs, Naftali Bennett.  The event is open to FPA members only, by prior registration.


The FPA Annual General Meeting was held on April 29th.  For a list of Board members see "About the FPA"


FPA asks for Enquiry:The Foreign Press Association, FPA, has today instructed our lawyers to respectfully request the Military Advocate General of the Israeli Defence Force IDF to conduct a criminal inquiry into the unprovoked attack on an FPA member on August 17th 2012 by the IDF.


Since the attack took place we have consulted with the Journalists Association in Jerusalem, which represents Israeli journalists; the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International News Safety Institute. All these bodies have told us they support the action we are now taking.

Despite requesting formally in writing and asking informally through various government channels the IDF have so far told us nothing about the nature of their inquiry. We don’t know whether the men seen on the video beating up our members with clubs have been suspended or even identified.

To the best of our knowledge, the IDF has refrained in the past from conducting a criminal, rather than just an operational, inquiry when journalists have been attacked. We believe that the incident in question exceeds all of the expected norms from a professional army and professional soldiers, and we demand that an official criminal inquiry will be conducted immediately.

That is the course of action we are asking the Military Advocate General to take today

NOTE: Below are statements in support of our action.

Statement 1:

“Incidents like that shows the opposite of the behaviour by soldiers in the army of a democratic state.
Following my letter to the chief of staff, the JAJ join the demand for a full inquiry and call to review the IDF policy
דני זקן
יו"ר אגודת העיתונאים ירושלים

Statement 2 :

‘We join with our colleagues in the Foreign Press Association in demanding a full and impartial inquiry into the recent incident in which in journalists were viciously beaten by members of the IDF,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon “The actions of IDF soldiers caught on video are reprehensible. Those responsible must be held to account.” 
Committee to Protect Journalists

Statement 3:

"This appears to be a horrible, unprovoked attack on journalists peacefully going about their lawful business. It must be fully and openly investigated and the perpetrators held to account," said INSI Director Rodney Pinder.
"Impunity for those who attack journalists is a major driver behind the violence and this has become a matter of great concern to the international community. Israel must not align itself with those rogue nations who tolerate attacks on journalists and hence freedom of the press, a cornerstone of democracy."
The International News Safety Institute


IPI Headquarters: Spiegelgasse 2/29 I 1010 Vienna I Austria
T: + 43 1 512 90 11 I F: + 43 1 512 90 14 I E:
ipi@freemedia.at  I W: www.freemedia.at


Open Letter to Leaders of Israel and Palestinian Territories: Leaders Must Protect Journalists Rights
Israeli and Palestinian Journalists Forum Calls for Press Freedom Ahead of Possible UN Recognition of Palestine
Vienna, 29 August 2011
Dear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dear President Mahmoud Abbas, Dear Ismail Haniyeh,
We, a forum of journalists from Israel and the Palestinian Territories, are writing today to urge you as the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and Gaza to respect the rights of journalists operating in your territories.
The IPI Israeli-Palestinian Journalists Forum is a group of 25 journalists from Israel and Palestinian Territories who gathered together in support of press freedom in June 2011 in Vienna at the initiative of the International Press Institute (IPI), the world's oldest press freedom organization.
The Palestinian National Authority is currently working toward the recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations. This is a matter of interest to the region and the world, but moreover, to every person living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. That is why journalists working for Palestinian and Israeli media must be allowed to do their work without restriction. This is a matter of democratic principle. Journalists must be allowed to access and gather information without restriction. Journalists must also be free to responsibly publish news and commentary, without fear of attack or legal reprisal.
This is necessary so that the public in Israel and the Palestinian Territories have access to news from all sides, and to a wide array of political opinion. Journalists must be kept safe so that the people they serve can be kept informed.
The recent events in south Israel and Gaza make press more important than ever. Journalists must be permitted to work on the ground, so that they can report on the social and humanitarian aspects of attacks on all sides, and not just on military and political news. When journalists are prevented from travelling, or are arrested or threatened with attack, they are less able and less likely to report in-depth stories from the other side, and it is the public that suffers because it receives limited information.
Meeting at their first session in 1946, the U.N. General Assembly declared: "Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and is the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated. Freedom of information implies the right to gather, transmit and publish news anywhere and everywhere without fetters. As such it is an essential factor in any serious effort to promote the peace and progress of the world."
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
We hope that you, as leaders in the region, will respect the rights of each person living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories to access information and news that will help them to understand and make informed decisions about their government and future.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your response, and would be happy to meet and discuss this issue with you at your convenience.
Steering Committee IPI -Israeli-Palestinian Journalists Forum (IPJF)
Taghreed El Khodary
Lily Galili
Mohammed Daraghmeh
Daniel Zaken
Anthony Mills
Alison Bethel McKenzie
International Press Institute (IPI)




Israel's Government Press Office sends a warning to journalists not to participate in news coverage on the upcoming Gaza flotilla from on board one of the boats and threatens punitive measures against anyone who does so:


The FPA lawyers last night -- 26th June 2011 -- informed the GPO that the FPA rejects the letter from the authorities and their ban on coverage of the Gaza flotilla. Furthermore the laywyers contend that legal basis for the warning to journalists is shaky at best. 


The FPA's reaction to GPO threats to take dire measures against journalists daring to cover the upcoming Gaza flotilla other than from distant sterile positions provided by the authorities at the Ashdod port with no direct access to the events as they transpire has had a resounding effect from the Jerusalem Journalists Association chairman Dany Zaken who commented:"The Journalists association condemns the decision made by the GPO and call to abolish it. Journalists are not activists,  and democratic countries should and must let them do their job. The threats are putting Israel shoulder to shoulder with regimes that depress freedom of the press"

So too the Association for Civil Rights in Israel: ACRI to Government Press Office : Retract Baseless Demand that Foreign Journalists must not to Board the Gaza Flotilla 



The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) urged the director of the Israeli Government Press Office to retract statements he had made earlier today claiming that foreign journalists wishing to board the ships of the Gaza-bound flotilla will be viewed as deliberately violating the Israeli law, and such actions may result in the confiscation of equipment and a prohibition to enter Israel for the duration of up to ten years.



 In the letter, ACRI Attorney Oded Feller states that such claims are legally baseless and stand in clear contradiction to the role of journalists in a free society and the responsibility of the Government Press Office to maintain freedom of press, concluding: "Should the Israeli authorities decide to drag ships into Israel’s borders, and as a result will bring into Israel those present on those ships, it may not be claimed that they had entered the country illegally".

June 27th 2011







The FPA strongly condemns the actions of the Israeli police detail guarding Israel opposition leader Tzipi Livni after the correspondents for The Times, James Hider, and for National Public Radio (NPR) Lourdes Garcia Navarro, were randomly detained on the night of 27th December while trying to cover Ms Livni’s speech on the delegitimization of Israel before the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) conference at the Gate Hotel in Jerusalem. 
Such interference in the routine work of journalists is in violation all the principles of the functioning of a free media . We urge authorities to investigate this incident, and take all necessary steps to ensure it is not repeated. 


The Board of the Foreign Press Association 29.12.10






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