1771. In an open letter, dated 29 December 2008, the Foreign Press Association stated that the denial of media access to Gaza wasan unprecedented restriction of press freedom. As a result, the world’s media is unable to accurately report on events inside Gaza at this critical time… Despite our protests, the Israeli authorities have refused to let journalists in… Never before have journalists been prevented from doing their work in this way. We believe it is vital that journalists be allowed to find out for themselves what is going on in Gaza. Israel controls access to Gaza. Israel must allow professional journalists access to this important story. [emphasis added]
On the one hand, the report does acknowledge that Hamas curtailed the press in Gaza:
98. Allegations were also received in relation to the use of excessive force and suppression of demonstrations by Palestinian security services – particularly those in support of the population of Gaza during the Israeli military operations. On these occasions Palestinian Authority security services have allegedly arrested many individuals and prevented the media from covering the events. The Mission also received allegations of harassment by Palestinian security services of journalists who expressed critical views.
On the other hand, the Goldstone Commission again equates Israel with the Hamas terrorists. Left unsaid is the degree that Hamas has gone to suppress journalists over the years:
2004In the absence of the kind of detail the report gives about Israel, it would be instructive to review what has happened to journalism in Gaza over the years.
- Another attack on a Palestinian journalist
- Reporters Without Borders calls on Yasser Arafat to act after killing of journalist
- Reporters Without Borders condemns ransacking of Gaza weekly newspaper offices
- Reporters Without Borders condemns attack on TV correspondent in Gaza
- Kidnapped French TV soundman Mohammed Ouathi freed after nine days
- Two Knight Ridder journalists kidnapped for several hours in Gaza
- Release of three journalists held hostage in Gaza City
- Prime minister urged to punish gunmen who attacked Palestinian TV bureau
- Unknown group makes "unrealistic" demand for release of Fox News journalists, creating "Iraq-style" situation
- Fatah-linked radio studios attacked and destroyed
- French daily Libération correspondent shot in leg while covering clashes between rival factions
- Spanish photographer released on same day he was kidnapped
- Upsurge of physical attacks on West Bank journalists
Reporters Without Borders today strongly protested against an increase in physical assaults against journalists on the West Bank, eight of whom have been attacked by forces controlled by President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, since 23 November.
- Call for release of two TV journalists held in Hebron
- A third pro-Hamas journalist arrested in the West Bank
- PBC journalist arrested and beaten by Executive Force paramilitaries in Gaza
- Hamas disbands journalists union amid continuing incidents
Reporters Without Borders today condemned Hamas’ decision on 3 September to dissolve the Gaza Strip branch of the Union of Palestinian Journalists, most of whose members are affiliated to Fatah or support it. At the same time, Hamas has decided to create a Government Committee for the Media.
...“After its decision to apply a press law going back to 1995 that allows it to step up control of the media, Hamas has again adopted arbitrary measures designed to restrict journalists’ freedom even more.”
- Press freedom situation continues to deteriorate in Hamastan
“The situation of journalists in the Gaza Strip has got much worse since the Hamas takeover,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The party’s leaders went out of their way in July to get British journalist Alan Johnston released but, for local journalists, the members of the Executive Force are press freedom enemies and do not hesitate to use violence.”
- Media diversity in danger in Gaza Strip and West Bank
Broadcast media that are affiliated to Fatah or support it have stopped operating in Gaza, while pro-Hamas journalists are exposed to threats in the West Bank, controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
- After 114 days as hostage, Alan Johnston says: “It is just the most fantastic thing to be free”
- Pro-Fatah TV and radio stations attacked, forced off the air
- Gunmen storm independent news agency amid continuing impunity in Gaza
- Kidnapped Palestinian journalist is freed
- Dismay at death of two newspaper employees in Gaza Strip clashes
- Relief at news that kidnapped AFP photographer has been freed