Israeli, Palestinian Reporters Urge Israel to Uphold Journalists’ Rights

Israeli-Palestinian Journalists' Forum sends letter calling on leaders to uphold rights following June meeting; journalist Yoav Hendel appointed head of National Information Directorate at Prime Minister's Office.

The Israeli-Palestinian Journalists' Forum has called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to uphold the rights of journalists reporting in the region. "The Palestinian Authority is currently working toward the recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations. This is a matter of interest to the region and the world, but moreover, to every person living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories," the press group said. "That is why journalists working for Palestinian and Israeli media must be allowed to do their work without restriction," the letter added.

The forum met in June. Among those in attendance was Yoaz Hendel, who at the time was a journalist with the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, but has since been appointed head of the National Information Directorate at the Prime Minister's Office. His name did not appear on the final version of the declaration.

Journalists hurt in the West Bank

The PMO confirmed that Hendel had participated in the June meeting but said his views were not changed as a result of his attendance: "Like the other participants, he was very skeptical about the drafting of the declaration and certainly did not contribute or assist in writing it."