Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi

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Attacks on the Press   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks on the Press 2007: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

ISRAEL and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

A bitter power struggle between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah left journalists vulnerable to harassment and attack, with the slayings of two local media workers and the abduction of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston underscoring the risk. Journalists covering Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza also had to contend with perennial abuses at the hands of Israeli forces.

Alerts   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Journalist, media worker killed in Gaza City

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.
May 14, 2007 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Media Worker

Mohammad Matar Abdo

Gunmen wearing Presidential Guard uniforms stopped a taxi carrying Abdo, 25, a manager responsible for distribution and civic relations for the Hamas-affiliated daily, and Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi, 25, an economics editor for the paper, Editor-in-Chief Mustafa al-Sawaf told CPJ. The taxi was stopped on May 13 at 2:30 p.m. in a high-security area southwest of Gaza City that was controlled by Fatah, al-Sawaf and other journalists told CPJ.

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. the next day, al-Sawaf and CPJ sources said. The description was based on interviews with eyewitnesses and an account that Abdo provided his brother before he died, al-Sawaf said.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the Palestinian Journalists Block 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 were instructed to shoot only in self-defense. He said Fatah condemned the killings and urged that the perpetrators be punished.

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 in May. The murders came amid clashes in the coastal strip between the Fatah and Hamas factions.

May 14, 2007 3:01 AM ET

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