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Group: Israel deliberately attacked Palestinian journalists


GENEVA (AFP) — Israel deliberately targeted Hamas-run media installations in its bombing campaign on Gaza and is practising media censorship, a journalist rights group said Monday.

The installations in question include Al-Aqsa television, Al-Resalah newspaper and Sawt Al-Aqsa radio, which the Israeli army bombed on December 28 and over the weekend respectively, the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign said in a statement, citing a Palestinian media non-governmental group.

The press group, which fights for better protection of journalists in conflict zones, also condemned the recent deaths of two journalists as a result of Israeli attacks.

"Two Palestinian journalists were killed one in previous attacks by Israel, photographer Hamza Shahin,who died on 26 December 2008, and another during the current military round on 3 January, Omar Silawi.

"The current attacks against Palestinian journalists remind the media community of the attacks that were committed by Israel against Lebanese media in the July-August war 2006," the press group said, referring to the conflict between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia.

It called for Israel to allow non-Palestinian media access to Gaza and denounced the military censorship it said journalists were subjected to in Israel "which questions their ability to cover objectively the conflict from the Israeli side."

The Geneva group called for an independent international probe to look into alleged rights violations during the conflict.

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