"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, June 11, 2007

Iran-Backed Terrorists in Gaza Exploit Press Neutrality

If your claims are legitimate, why use illegitimate means? If with your violent actions the world turns a blind eye, why use illegitimate means? If you use illegitimate means, the world turns a blind eye and your true aim is the annihilation of Israel; keep it up. No two state solution will ever satisfy the bloodthirsty ignorance of those intent on the destruction of Israel

From The Israel Project:

On June 9, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a radical offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, used a vehicle labeled "TV" to try to kidnap Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers. [1]

The Israel Project condemns PIJ's use of a vehicle disguised as a TV van to perpetrate terrorist attacks against the IDF across the Gaza border. This contravenes international conventions relating to the neutrality of the press. It also jeopardizes foreign journalists' ability to perform their work in a fair and -- more importantly -- safe manner.

The attack against Israeli forces took place at Kissufim Crossing, a Gaza border throughway located just north of Kerem Shalom Crossing, where Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped nearly one year ago. Cpl. Shalit was taken hostage on June 25, 2006 by Hamas' military wing Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, together with the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and the Army of Islam - the group currently holding journalist Alan Johnston - while stationed near the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. [2]

Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Ahmed claimed that the terrorist attack was thoroughly planned out beforehand, hailing the assault a "superior" and intricate suicide mission. [3]

The attempted kidnapping was just the latest in a long and deadly series of attacks perpetrated by Iran-backed terrorists and Palestinian militants, who continuously exploit and sometimes harm the press in Gaza. [See List Below]

The Board of the Foreign Press Association (FPA) released a statement on June 9 stating that " Armoured vehicles marked with TV are an invaluable protection for genuine journalists working in hostile environments...Today's abuse of this recognised protection for the working journalist is a grave development and we condemn those that carried it out." [4]

Palestinian Islamic Jihad's gross exploitation of press symbols caused the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate, the only journalists' union for the West Bank and Gaza, also to react. [5]

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on June 10 at the weekly Knesset (Parliament) meeting that PIJ attempted "to take advantage of the special sensitivity that we have in a democratic country, such as ours, to the right of the media to operate freely and independently in security-sensitive areas." [6]

Press Personnel Kidnapped by Palestinian Militants in Gaza since Sept. 2004:

March 12, 2007 - BBC correspondent Alan Johnston is kidnapped by a mafia-like Gaza-based clan calling itself the Army of Islam. This group is thought to have ties to al-Qaeda. Johnston's captors released a video on the Internet demanding that Britain release several Muslim prisoners including Islamist al-Qaeda cleric Abu Qatada, who is one of Britain's most wanted men. [7]

Jan. 7, 2007 - Jaime Razuri from Agence France-Presse is kidnapped and released almost a week later. The kidnappers have not been identified. [8]

Oct. 23, 2006
- Emilio Morenatti, an Associated Press photographer, is kidnapped by unidentified Palestinian gunmen and released on the same day. [9]

Aug. 27, 2006
- Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig are held for two weeks by a previously unknown group identified as the Holy Jihad Brigades. They were released unharmed after being forced to convert to Islam. [10]

March 15, 2006
- Caroline Laurent, reporter for the French-language weekly ELLE; Alfred Yaghobzadeh, photographer for France's Sipa Press; and Yong Tae-Young, a correspondent for South Korea's KBS are kidnapped from the Al-Dira Hotel in Gaza. Palestinian Security Services claim the kidnappers are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The abducted journalists were released within 22 hours. [11]

Oct. 12, 2005
- Dion Nissenbaum and Adam Pletts of Knight Ridder (now McClatchy Newspapers) are abducted by renegade members of the Fatah party. The journalists were freed later that day. [12]

Sept. 10, 2005
- Journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi of Corriere della Serra (Italy) is abducted in the town of Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. He was released the same day. [13]

Aug.15, 2005
- Journalist Mohammad Ouathi, a French citizen of Algerian origin is kidnapped and released a week later. No group claimed responsibility. [14]

Jan. 8, 2005
- Ramon Lobo and Carmen Secanella, reporters for Spain's El Pais, are kidnapped briefly by Palestinian militants in Gaza's Khan Younes refugee camp. [15]

Sept. 27, 2004
- Riad Ali, producer for CNN is abducted at gunpoint and released the following day. Ali claims that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was behind his kidnapping but the militia has denied the allegations. [16]


[1] "A Fatah-Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist squad infiltrated Israel near the Kissufim Crossing to attack an IDF force," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 11, 2007,

[2] Two soldiers killed, one missing in Kerem Shalom terror attack," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 25, 2006,

[3] A Fatah-Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist squad infiltrated Israel near the Kissufim Crossing to attack an IDF force," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 11, 2007,

[4] Statements," Foreign Press Association, June 9, 2007,

[5] Cashman, Greer Fay and The Associated Press, "Press slams gunmen for using TV jeep," The Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2007,

[6] al-Mughrabi, Nida, "Gaza militants' "TV" sign draws reporters' anger," Reuters, June 10, 2007,

[7] "Timeline: Kidnappings of journalists in the Gaza Strip," Reuters, June 1, 2007,

[8] Ibid.

[9] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007,

[10] Ibid.; [11] Ibid.; [12] Ibid.; [13] Ibid.; [14] Ibid.; [15] Ibid.; [16] Ibid.

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