The IFJ condemned the arrest yesterday of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal, member of the board of IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, while he crossed the al-Karameh border.
According to the PJS his mobile was confiscated and he was allowed one call to his wife which he told her he was taken to the Etzion interrogation center.
Nazzal was on his way to Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, to attend the General Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists taking place on 25-26 April as part a PJS delegation invited to participate.
IFJ president Jim Boumelha will be writing to Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to demand that Nazzal is released forthwith and allowed to travel to Sarajevo to attend this general meeting.
“It was shocking to hear that a participant to a congress for journalists from all over Europe has been arrested by the Israeli authorities on his way to attend and banged in Etzion prison without any reason being given,” said Boumelha. “The 100 delegates representing over 320,000 journalists in 51 unions from all over Europe will be demanding that their colleague is released forthwith.”
From Times of Israel:
Israel’s Shin Bet security service on Monday accused a Palestinian journalist arrested this past weekend of belonging to a “terror group” after colleagues called for international support for his release.Of course, the Shin Bet is right - Nazzal is a PFLP operative who uses his supposed journalism credentials to promote terror.
Omar Nazzal, a member of the general secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), was detained by Israeli officials on Saturday at the border between the West Bank and Jordan.
He was seeking to travel to a meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Bosnia.
The Shin Bet said in response to an AFP query that he had been recently appointed a director of Palestine Today, a TV channel it declared illegal in February, and was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — a group Israel considers a terror organization.
“Omar has for years been known to be a Popular Front activist: he was arrested now because of his involvement in current Popular Front activities,” Shin Bet said in a written reply.
It said he was not detained because of his journalism but over “his involvement in terror group activities”.
He has written several articles for the official PFLP website.
One has to wonder why the International Federation of Journalists are more upset over the arrest of a member of a terror group who masquerades as a journalist in order to travel to Europe than they are over the fact that terrorists cynically endanger all journalists by using them as cover.
Oh, and while the Times of Israel doesn't mention it, Palestine Today is an Islamic Jihad media organization, one that they proudly use as part of their "media war" division.
The IFJ should be condemning the clear violation of their ethics by so-called "journalists" who use that title as cover for their political and terror-supporting activities. But obviously ethics is something for them to accuse others of violating, not an issue for them.
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