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New Al Mezan Report, Israeli Violations against the Freedom of Press and during Operation 'Cast Lead'

10-03-2009 00:00

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has published a new report on Israeli violations against journalists and violations of the freedom of the press perpetrated during its latest offensive against the Gaza Strip, codenamed “Operation Cast Lead’.
While noting the widespread nature of the Israeli attacks, this report focuses specifically on practices aimed at media outlets, journalists and those working in the media field.
  The report demonstrates that in the days immediately preceding the attack, Israel prevented journalists from entering the Gaza Strip, in order to prevent the truth about the crimes that were to be committed from reaching the outside world.
That no foreign journalists or international news agencies were allowed to enter the Gaza Strip indicates a prior and deliberate intention to target civilians, civilian objects, private property, infrastructure, medical teams, ambulances, medical centers and civil defense teams.
All of these violations are war crimes and crimes against humanity for which journalists have given their lives.
This report clearly demonstrates that the Israeli Occupation Forces deliberately shelled media premises.
  While foreign journalists were prevented from entering, local journalists in the Gaza Strip were able to cover the offensive and show what was happening on the ground – despite the fact that local journalists have limited capacity in terms of equipment, means of transmission and protection.
  Al Mezan Center for Human Rights congratulates and expresses deep appreciation for the immense efforts of local journalists to send out the truth about the crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
These efforts had a major impact on world public opinion and the unprecedented solidarity campaigns with the Palestinian struggle for freedom which took place around the world.
  Al Mezan Center strongly condemns the grave and systematic violations perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation Forces against international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan reaffirms that these practices amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    Al Mezan Center calls on the international community to uphold its legal and moral obligations to take effective action to: Ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice Prevent a further attack on the Gaza Strip Lift the siege on the Gaza Strip Prevent the perpetration of further war crimes by the Israeli forces   This requires the redoubling of efforts to prosecute Israeli war criminals and bring them to justice.
  The report is available in Arabic at the link below:   http://www.
mezan.
ps/ar/details.
php?id=8563&ddname=gaza destruction&id2=7&id_dept=24&p=center       End  

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