Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Truth and consequences under the Israeli occupation

Palestinian and foreign journalists demonstrate in Gaza to mark two months since the death of their colleague, Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana, who was killed by fire from an Israeli tank, 16 June 2008.

By Mohammed Omer, The Electronic Intifada, 5 August 2008

"I am a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. At the age of 17, I armed myself with a camera and a pen, committed to report accurately on events in Gaza. I have filed reports as Israeli fighter jets bombed Gaza City. I have interviewed mothers as they watched their children die in hospitals unequipped to serve them because of Israel's embargo. I have been recognized for my reporting, even in the United States and United Kingdom, where I have won two international awards. I have also been beaten and tortured by Israeli soldiers......

Martha Gellhorn brought to light atrocities committed in World War II and in the Vietnam War. In her tradition, I remain committed to accurate reporting from Gaza today. For this I may suffer lifelong consequences. But I hold on to the hope that Americans -- as well as journalists worldwide -- will impress upon Israel the need to respect the rights of reporters. Freedom of speech and a free press are hallmarks of any democracy. I am proud to call myself a Palestinian and a journalist. The might of the Israeli military will not silence my pen or darken my camera lens."

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