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Statements 2009

Statements 2009

The Foreign Press Association is deeply concerned at the announcement by the Palestinian Authority that it intends to suspend the operation of Al Jazeera's bureau in Ramallah.  We urge the PA to reconsider and are urgently seeking a resolution in line with the PA's stated commitment to freedom of the press.

The Board of the Foreign Press Association, July 15th 2009

The FPA welcomes today's ruling from the Supreme Court endorsing the principle of unfettered access to the Gaza Strip for the international media.

We believe this decision upholds Israel's own stated commitment to freedom of the press.

The denial for such access in recent months represented a clear violation of that commitment and we are hopeful that such a situation will not recur. 

This is a noteworthy decision for freedom of access to journalists in situations of conflict.

The Board of the Foreign Press Association, January 23rd 2009

The Foreign Press Association is alarmed to learn of the heavy firepower currently being employed by Israeli forces against the building in Gaza City that houses the Reuters news agency and other international media outlets. Initial reports are that these attacks have caused injury and damage. We also note that IDF bullets entered the windows of the offices of the Associated Press in a different part of the city today. We call on the military to halt this fire immediately. These are buildings housing journalists working for international news agencies and must not be targeted. We note that these buildings are well known landmarks in Gaza and that the IDF has been clearly notified of their location on several occasions. The Board of the Foreign Press Association, January 15th, 2009

 The FPA strongly protests the imposition of closed military zones in large sections of southern Israel, which is occurring on top of the current ban on international journalists entering Gaza. 

Taken together, the Gaza ban and the closed military zones amount to serious violations of press freedom. We note with grave concern today's detention of a photographer working for an international news agency and the confiscation of his camera, in addition to an incident on Monday in which a photographer's disk was forcibly erased. With these actions, Israel is seriously hindering the free flow of information on a news story that is of vital interest to readers and viewers around the world. We note that the Israeli government has failed to honor a ruling from its own Supreme Court ordering access to the Gaza Strip for the international media. No good purpose can be served by these unconscionable infringements of basic democratic principles, and we urge the Israeli government to reconsider its stance immediately. The Board of The Foreign Press Association, 13th January 2009.

The FPA is appalled by the statement made this morning on BBC TV by the Israeli ambassador in London indicating that the reason the foreign media have not been allowed into Gaza is due to "infighting" in the FPA. 

The FPA wishes to categorically state that the organization has been in full compliance with the decision of the Israeli Surpeme Court. A complete list of names was provided to the authorities who confirmed receipt of the list.

The FPA repeats the request to allow the foreign media to enter Gaza without delay. The Board of the Foreign Press Association, January 7th 2009

See CPJ's letter to Minister of Defense Barak: http://cpj.org/2009/01/cpj-urges-israel-to-open-gaza-to-international-rep.php  

 The FPA strongly protests the Israeli government's decision to continue the ban on international journalists entering Gaza despite the Supreme Court ruling requiring it to allow access.

The unprecedented denial of access to Gaza for the world's media amounts to a severe violation of press freedom and puts the state of Israel in the company of a handful of regimes around the world which regularly keep journalists from doing their jobs.

We call on the Israeli authorities to lift this ban immediately in line with the decision of their own country's Supreme Court and the basic principles of democratic statehood. The Board of the Foreign Press Association, 6th January, 2009

The Foreign Press Association while pleased with the decision if the Israeil High Court to allow limited access to Gaza for foreign journalists, expresses its serious concern about the requirements to use the mechanism of pools which themselves have now been scaled back. We believe the Israeli Government should ensure unfettered access for the world's media to Gaza during this crisis. The FPA declares that it will be responsible exclusively for pool material of its members as submitted on the FPA list. The Foreign Press Association, 2nd January 2009