RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In an open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded an urgent response to the unprovoked attack by Israeli forces that took place against a peaceful march organized by IFJ, at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank.
Several Palestinian and international journalists suffered severe tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the peaceful march, including the Head of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, Nasser Abu Bakr, was directly injured with a tear-gas bomb in the shoulder.
The march was organized in support of the rights of Palestinian journalists and demanded the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists.
In the letter, the IFJ leadership said, “After having held a brief press conference the IFJ’s global leadership and a number of Palestinian journalists walked peacefully a few hundred meters along the main road towards the Qalandiya checkpoint.”
IFJ continued, “At about 100 meters from this important entry point to Jerusalem the Israeli army, with no warning and no discussion, fired around 10 tear-gas bombs towards the group, injuring one of the members of the IFJ’s Executive Committee on the shoulder and causing many others to choke.”
“The IFJ urgently demands a response from the Israeli Prime Minister to this unprovoked physical assault and to these violations of freedom of expression and freedom of movement.”
“No democratic state worthy of the name can react in this way.”
IFJ also called for the Israeli authorities to recognize the International Press Card, which is recognized by 145 governments worldwide, however, not in Israel.