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West Bank journalists demonstrate in solidarity with attacked Gaza colleagues

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by Palestinian Ma'an News Agency website

Ramallah, 25 August: Dozens of Palestinian journalists and representatives of foreign and local news outlets on Saturday held a sit-in demonstration in the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The sit-in is intended to show solidarity with journalists in the Gaza Strip.

The organizers of the demonstration issued a statement declaring "we want to show our solidarity with the journalists in Gaza, for the assaults and oppression they suffer from the Hamas-affiliated Executive Force."

Human rights organizations have registered several violations against media outlets which they described as dangerous.

Among the assaults listed were "beating, firing gunshots overhead, detention, damaging property and confiscating recorded material."

Some members of the Palestinian Legislative Council took part in the sit-in, as well as Minister of Information Riyad al-Maliki, and Minister of Social Affairs Mahmud al-Habash.

A reporter from Al-Jazeera Interna! tional, Walid Batrawi, said "the sit-in comes as a condemnation of the violations against journalists' lives, not their profession."

Photojournalist, Jamal Aruri, said that what is happening in the Gaza Strip must be reported and that iron rods and bullets will not deter journalists in their determination to reveal the truth. He added that the Israeli occupation failed to deter journalists and so will the Executive Force.

The journalists' syndicate of Palestine called another sit-in to be held on Sunday near Al-Manara Square in central Ramallah in protest against the conduct of the Hamas-affiliated Executive Force towards the press and journalists.

Source: Ma'an News Agency website, Bethlehem, in English 1136 gmt 25 Aug 07


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