New York, May 14, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalist is outraged by the killings of a journalist and a media worker, who were shot on Sunday in Gaza City.
Gunmen wearing presidential guard uniforms stopped a taxi carrying Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi, 25, an economics editor for the Hamas-affiliated daily Palestine, and Mohammad Matar Abdo, 25, a manager responsible for distribution and civic relations, Editor-in-Chief Mustafa al-Sawaf told CPJ today. The taxi was stopped at 2:30 p.m. in a high-security area southwest of Gaza City that is controlled by Fatah, al-Sawaf and other journalists told CPJ.
News accounts vary on the ensuing events; al-Sawaf said the two men were beaten before being shot on a public street. Al-Ashi died at the scene, while Abdo was taken to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City where he died at 3 a.m. today, al-Sawaf and CPJ sources said. Al-Sawaf said his description was based on interviews with eyewitnesses and an account that Abdo provided his brother before he died.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the Palestinian Journalists Bloc both denounced the killings. Mohamed Edwan, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said Fatah had nothing to do with the killings and that presidential guards are instructed to shoot only in self-defense. He said Fatah condemns the killings and urges that the perpetrators be punished.
“We condemn the murders of Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi and Mohammad Matar Abdo and offer condolences to their families,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority must ensure a swift, thorough, and fair investigation into this heinous crime.”
Al-Ashi and Abdo were scheduled to meet with economic and tourism organizations in Gaza that afternoon, al-Sawaf told CPJ. The fledgling Palestine newspaper was launched early this May.
The murders come amid clashes in the coastal strip over the previous 24 hours. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that at least six people died and another 52 wounded in fighting between rival Fatah and Hamas militias.
Rivalry between the Hamas-led government elected in January and the Fatah movement has put pressure on Palestinian journalists to align themselves with particular groups. Journalists have endured harassment, threats, and beatings by Palestinian security forces and various factions in retaliation for their coverage of Palestinian politics.
Hamas detains at least 3 Palestinian journalists after Gaza cost-of-living protests
March 19, 2019 4:13 PM ET
Beirut, March 19, 2019--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the detention of at least three Gazan journalists and called on authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to release them immediately....
Photographer detained, sentenced to deportation by Israeli authorities
March 8, 2019 8:36 AM ET
Beirut, March 8, 2019--The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern about the prolonged detention of Mustafa al-Kharouf, a photographer for the Turkish state-owned Anadolu Agency, and called for Israeli authorities to either clarify the reasons for his detention and deportation order or release him immediately....
Beirut, January 23, 2019--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the arrest of Palestinian journalist Yousef al-Faqeeh, a reporter for the London-based Quds Press News Agency, and called on the Palestinian Authority to release him immediately....
Hamas forces detain and allegedly assault director of Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate
January 16, 2019 12:10 PM ET
Beirut, January 16, 2019 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the detention and alleged assault of Louay al-Ghoul, the executive director of the Gaza branch of the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate, a journalists' union....
Palestinian security forces arrested two journalists in West Bank in late December
January 9, 2019 5:20 PM ET
Beirut, January 9, 2019 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern about the arrests last month of Palestinian journalists Zaid Abu Ara, a reporter for the London-based Quds Press News Agency, and Motasem Saqf al-Hit, a photographer for the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network. Al-Hit has been released,...