PALESTINIAN MEDIA OUTLETS BOMBED AGAIN
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has warned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the bombing of the facilities was a "dangerous strategy that could lead to targeting of media around the world" and was compromising efforts to improve levels of safety for Israeli and Palestinian journalists. The organisation recently concluded a series of emergency risk-awareness training courses for some 100 Palestinian journalists in Gaza and the West Bank. IFJ says Israel's bombings of Palestinian broadcasting facilities continues an unacceptable trend that began after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) 1999 bombing of the RTS broadcasting station in Belgrade which killed 16 media staff. The organisation says the incident set a precedent that has since been repeated in the India-Pakistan conflict, the Middle East and the US bombing of Arabic broadcaster "Al Jazeera's" office in Kabul, Afghanistan.
CPJ and RSF say the attack on the PNA's broadcasting facilities is the third since 13 December 2001 when IDF forces destroyed the VOP's offices and main transmitter in Ramallah. A month later, on 19 January, Israeli forces in the same city set fire to a VOP broadcast building. [See IFEX "Communiqué" #10-50].">http://communique.ifex.org/articles.cfm?system_id=3903">#10-50].
Meanwhile, CPJ and RSF report that Sagui Bashan, a reporter for Israel's Channel 2 television station, was shot at by IDF troops while attempting to enter the Gaza Strip on 14 February. CPJ says Bashan tried to enter Gaza in order to retrieve film footage from his cameraman when he was stopped by a soldier at an IDF roadblock close to the Karni border crossing. When the soldier failed to produce an official military order proving that the area was a closed military territory, Bashan began driving towards the border crossing, at which point his car was fired upon, adds RSF. Bashan sustained arm and leg injuries from shrapnel and was later treated at a hospital. RSF says Bashan is the 46th journalist to be injured by gunfire since the second Intifada began on 29 September 2000. For more information, see www.ifj.org, www.cpj.org and www.rsf.org.