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FPA News

28/06/2014
The FPA wishes members, friends and colleagues Ramadan Kareem.
20/06/2014
Deliberate violence and intimidation against professional journalists carrying out their work anywhere is totally unacceptable.
29/05/2014
A change in policy appears to be the reason for unprecedented aggressive behaviour by the authorities against journalists covering demonstrations in Jerusalem
16/05/2014
The FPA condemns the violent attack on journalists in the Ramallah environs and demands that steps be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.
28/04/2014
The FPA has a new chairman and Board.
25/03/2014
Former FPA chairman and TIME correspondent Robert Slater passed away in Jerusalem this morning after a long illness. See "Former Chairmen"
24/03/2014
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"
23/03/2014
The FPA protests multiple SMS and emailed threats made to foreign journalists and demands the Hamas takes steps to stop this.
17/03/2014
The well known veteran Dutch correspondent Adriaan Bloemendaal passed away in Tel Aviv yesterday. See "In Memoriam" as he is remembered by his friends.
11/03/2014
Photojournalists from Reuters and AP injured by border police at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem this evening.
28/02/2014
The FPA condemns the violent and unprofessional behavior of an Israeli policeman during disturbances on Feb. 28 in East Jerusalem
20/12/2013
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.
02/12/2013
The FPA replies to the IDF response re Qualandia events on 29th November. See Statements
01/12/2013
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.
27/07/2013
The FPA deplores the closure of Al Arabiyeh's offices in Gaza by Hamas.
04/07/2013
The FPA protests unacceptable behavior by the border police against journalists on assignment yet again
17/05/2013
FPA members congratulated on receiving Overseas Press Club photography awards for 2012
02/04/2013
Unwanted photojournalists, this time at Qalandia Crossing Saturday March 30th. See "Statements"
11/03/2013
This past Saturday Hizmeh junction near Jerusalem was the conflict zone - against the photojournalists again ! See Statements.
10/02/2013
Saturday showdown, this time in the South Hebron Hills. Photographers not welcome !
06/02/2013
Journalists get in the way of security again, this time in Burin.
16/01/2013
The FPA yet again calls on Israel refrain from barring access to news worthy events by manhandling journalists. See "Statements"
28/02/2012
For regional updates on safety issues see Bulletin Board

Press room

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2004 Statements

 

The board of the FPA notes with alarm that several of our members have been recently targeted with live rounds of ammunition while covering the current clashes in Gaza. In some cases it has not been clear which side has been responsible for shooting. But there are several documented cases, including one today,  where IDF units are clearly responsible.

 

 

 

The incidents have involved media personnel in clearly marked vehicles and equipment, in some cases where there has been no shooting in the immediate vicinity.

 

 

 

In the light of these attacks, the FPA calls on all sides to show restraint and to respect the safety of journalists working in areas of conflict. In particular we would urge the IDF to investigate the incidents where army personnel are involved and to take appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrators.

 

 

 

The Board of the FPA

 

October 11th, 2004

 


 

 

 

The FPA board is delighted to hear that CNN producer Riyad Ali has been released unharmed after being kidnapped in Gaza City.

 

 

 

The board salutes the efforts of all individuals and organisations who helped secure Riyad’s release.

 

 

 

The FPA once again calls on all parties to respect journalists’ freedom of movement and right of access. In particular, the board urges the Palestinian authorities to allow the international media safe and unhindered access throughout their areas of control in the West Bank and Gaza and for the Israeli authorities to re-open the Erez crossing without delay so that the media can do their job.

 

  

 

The FPA Board

 

September 28th, 2004

 

 


 

 

 

 

 The FPA board has learned with deep concern that CNN producer Riyad Ali has been kidnapped while working in Gaza City and demands his immediate release unharmed.

 

 

 

The FPA deplores this dangerous development and calls upon all relevant authorities to respect the independence and integrity of journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Journalists should not be used as pawns by any side at any time.

 

 

 

The board calls upon its members to exercise maximum vigilance while reporting from hostile environments. The FPA also calls on both sides to respect the safety and security of journalists and to maintain the freedom of movement and the right of access to these areas of conflict.

 

 

 

The FPA Board

 

September 27th, 2004

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The FPA welcomes the release of Peter Hounam this evening.

 

 

 

The arrest of  journalists doing their jobs is a most dangerous threat to any democracy. Preventing their access to legal counsel is unacceptable. Both events are an ominous precedent to a country which prides itself in its openess and its fairness.

 

 

 

FPA Board

 

27 May 2004

 

 

 

 


 

 

  

 

The FPA expresses astonishment and deep concerned at the arrest of Peter Hounam  and the manner in which that arrest took place, without allowing him his basic rights of access to legal counsel.

 

 

 

As far as we are aware Hounam's articles in the Sunday Times did not break censorship in any way and his planned documentary for the BBC has yet to be aired.

 

 

 

We therefore demand  that the authorities come forward with their case against Mr. Hounam and allow him his democratic rights.

 

 

 

FPA Board

 

27 May 2004

 

 


 

 

 

The FPA board has learned with deep concern that one of our members narrowly escaped kidnap today while covering the latest escalation in fighting in Gaza. The member, who wishes to remain anonymous, was approached by a group of men outside Gaza's xxx hospital where Palestinians were being treated after Israel's attack this afternoon on Palestinian demonstrators. The men first engaged our colleague in conversation, but then grabbed him and tried to bundle him into a car.  The kidnappers were only thwarted when passersby heeded our colleague's shouts for assistance.

The FPA deplores this dangerous new development and calls upon all relevant authorities to respect the independence and integrity of journalists covering the conflict. The board also calls upon all its members to exercise maximum vigilance while reporting from hostile environments and if possible to work closely in teams in order to minimise the risk of kidnap or worse.

The FPA Board

 

19 May 2004

 

 


 

 

 

The board of the FPA is deeply disappointed to learn that the Israeli government has presented another legal challenge against the professional viability of some of our members. The government's bid to reverse last week's Supreme Court ruling against the ban on issuing press cards to Palestinians is a retrograde step for press freedom and does nothing to promote Israeli security.
The High Court of Justice ruled on April 25 that it was illegal for the Government Press Office to continue refusing credentials to journalists from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The High Court's ruling, hailed by international press campaign groups, said Palestinian journalists should be allowed cards if they had been given security clearance to work in Israel.
But the government has now requested a hearing by a larger panel than the original three Supreme Court judges -- the only avenue left for appeal -- citing concerns that Palestinians with press credentials would pose a security threat because of their potential access to Israeli leaders.
The FPA fully understands the need for security, but the continued imposition of these unjust restrictions does nothing to promote the necessary safeguards. Unfortunately, the Government Press Office seems intent on doing everything in its power to damage Israel's reputation for democracy and press freedom.

The FPA Board

 

May 12th, 2004

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

The board of the Foreign Press Association is appalled to learn that the IDF has now further tightened its restrictions on our members at Erez Crossing, insisting that foreign journalists must cross from Gaza back into Israel in groups of five at a time, citing security considerations.
While understanding the IDF's desire to improve security, the FPA fails to understand how crossing in groups can achieve this. Indeed the new regulations mean our members are being forced to wait for hours in a potentially dangerous environment, thus increasing the risk of injury and severely hampering our effectiveness as journalists.
At the time of writing, one journalist has been waiting to cross for more than 24 hours and there is still no immediate prospect of his return to Israel.
The FPA sees these restrictions as heightening the risk to which our members are exposed and therefore highly unjustified. We call on the IDF to end this restriction on the freedom of the media and to respect the rights of working journalists. This measure singles out journalists for discrimination and ill treatment.
The FPA also notes with concern that access to Gaza is still being denied to FPA members with dual Israel-foreign nationalities, despite our earlier protests. The FPA calls on the Israeli government and the IDF to allow these journalists the same access accorded to their single-nationality colleagues.

The FPA Board

 

April 26, 2004

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Foreign Press Association welcomes today's Supreme Court ruling ordering the Government Press Office to end its sweeping ban on issuing press accreditation to Palestinians residing in the West Bank and Gaza.
This policy, in effect for some two and a half years, was unjust and discriminatory, badly hampered the media's ability to cover the news, and grievously injured Israel's standing as a country that respects the freedom of the press.
We note that beyond the issue dealt with directly by the ruling, even Palestinians who do not need to enter Israel or have no permits to do so need press accreditation because of the military's control of the West Bank and Gaza.
We call on the Israeli authorities to respect the spirit of the Supreme Court's ruling and minimize any bureaucratic hurdles that might serve to slow or prevent the resumed accreditation of all Palestinians who work as journalists for foreign media.
We hope today's ruling might begin a new chapter in relations between the foreign media and the GPO.

 

 

The FPA Board

 

25 April, 2004

 

 


 

 

 

 

The board of the Foreign Press Association is distressed to learn that fully accredited journalists with dual Israeli-foreign nationalities are once again being barred from entering Gaza. While journalists with foreign passports are being allowed entry across Erez, those with dual citizenship are being denied entry, citing security considerations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FPA calls on the government and the IDF to end this restriction on the freedom of the media and to respect the rights of working journalists. It rejects any assertion that a dual-national citizen necessarily poses a greater security or kidnap risk than a foreign national.

 

 

  

 

 

The FPA demands that the Israeli military uphold its own rules for dealing with journalists and allowing them maximum freedom.

 

 

 

 

The FPA Board

 

 

20 April 2004

 

 


 

 
The board of the Foreign Press Association is distressed to learn that fully accredited journalists are being barred from entering Gaza today to cover the aftermath of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. While journalists with foreign passports have been allowed entry across Erez after a few hours’ delay, access for those with dual Israel-foreign nationalities is still being denied.

 

The FPA notes that this is a change of policy directed against journalists with dual nationalities, preventing the media from properly covering one of the most significant developments of the Israel-Palestinian conflict in recent months.

 

The FPA calls on the government and the IDF to end this restriction on the freedom of the media and to respect the rights of working journalists. Fpa members do not request the protection of the Israeli military from Palestinians ; rather they demand that the Israeli military uphold its own rules for dealing with journalists and allowing them maximum freedom.

 

 

The FPA Board

22 March 2004

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