Palestinian journos refuse strip search
Jerusalem - Sona Adeek
Several Palestinian journalists boycotted a press conference held by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Jerusalem, after Israeli security officers ordered them to undergo a strip search before they entered the conference room at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem.
The reporters argued that they had undergone all the necessary procedures prior to the conference and obtained the required permits to enter the press conference, but Israel's Internal Security refused to allow them into the hotel unless they agree to the body search. The journalists refused and left the hotel building. Palestinian reporters said that Israel did not insist on Israeli and international reporters being strip-searched and only singled out Palestinian reporters.
The reporters also stated that Israeli security officers first searched their cameras and equipment for more than 10 minutes before they told the Palestinian reporters that they must be strip searched. The American Consulate was informed and officials "apologised" for the discrimination and adding that they would deliver a complaint to Israeli officials.
Abdelnasser al-Najar, head of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate condemned this Israeli violation, and saluted the Palestinian reporters who left the conference in protest against this abuse.
"We will not be stripped physically, culturally or by any other means," al-Najar said, "Palestinian reporters believe in their freedoms and rights," he added, "The United States claims to be the pioneer of freedom, yet allows this racial discrimination to take place."
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate called for Palestinian reporters to hold a sit-in on Tuesday in front of the United States consulate headquarters in Ramallah to protest against the Israeli discrimination against them.