Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hamas attacks Reuters Gaza office; threatens to throw journalist out window

GAZA, March 19 (Reuters) - Several armed men entered Reuters' office in Gaza on Saturday, threatened employees with guns and took away a video camera, apparently after they spotted a reporter filming a demonstration from the building. The men struck one Reuters journalist on the arm with a metal bar and threatened to throw another out of the window of the high-rise block. The group, which numbered about 10 men, smashed a television set and other equipment before leaving.
The same group, several of whom were carrying pistols, also forcibly entered the nearby offices of U.S. broadcaster CNN and the Japanese station NHK. They seized videotape at NHK.
The men told Reuters journalists that they came from the internal security services of Hamas, the Islamist group which governs the Palestinian enclave, but they showed no documents.
Hamas officially condemned and denied the attack:
"Initial information shows these men were not from the government. We have arrested some of them and we are going to interrogate them and see who they were acting for," Interior Minister Fathi Hammad told reporters.
He added that he had told all security services to treat journalists with respect and prevent attacks on them.
But this wasn't the first time:
It was the second time in a week that media organisations have came under attack in Gaza. Witnesses said security forces beat photographers and cameramen on Tuesday as they tried to film another Palestinian unity rally in the city.  The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories, condemned the March 15 crackdown: "This is the latest in a string of chilling attacks on reporters in Gaza," it said in a statement.
Must have been those ubiquitous violent "youths":
Hamas denied accusations that it was responsible for the violence, blaming the assault on "different youth groups".
We're sure Reuters will find some way to blame the attacks on the "occupation".

 Reuters and Hamas in better days

1 comment:

  1. Re photo -- "Reuters & Hamas in better days": Interesting collection of bottles on the desk.....

    So much for the Islamic prohibition on alcohol.....