Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent, posted a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, which Hamas uses as a base. The photo has since been removed. Photo: Nick Casey / Twitter.
Radjaa Abu Dagga, Gaza correspondent for France’s Libération, told the newspaper‘s readers on Tuesday how Hamas refused his requests to leave Gaza and how he was interrogated by Hamas members from their headquarters inside Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, a violation of international rules of war.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon published a translation of his harrowing account on Thursday.
Correspondent Radjaa Abu Dagga for years divided his time between Paris, where his wife and son live, and Gaza, where his parents live and where he works. On 18 June, when he wanted to cross the Rafah border, an officer banned his way and took his passport like all Palestinians trying to cross into Egypt that day.
After four blocked attempts to leave Gaza without explanation over weeks, the Palestinian journalist was summoned by the security services of Hamas on Sunday. ‘I received a call from a private number. They summoned me to Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza City center,’ explains Radjaa. He carried with him his two phones, his press card and a small camera.
A few meters from the emergency room where the injured from bombings are constantly flowing, in the outpatient department, he was received in ‘a small section of the hospital used as administration’ by a band of young fighters. They were all well dressed, which surprised Radjaa, ‘in civilian clothing with a gun under one’s shirt and some had walkie-talkies.’ He was ordered to empty his pockets, removing his shoes and his belt then was taken to a hospital room ‘which served that day as the command office of three people.’
A man begins his interrogation: ‘Who are you? Who do you call? What are you doing?’ ‘I was very surprised by the procedure,’ admits Radjaa, who showed him his press card in response. Questions came. They asked if he speaks Hebrew, he has relations with Ramallah. Young Hamas supporters insistently ask the question: ‘Are you a correspondent for Israel?’ Radjaa repeated that he only works for French media and a chain of Algerian radio.
It was then that the three men delivered this message: ‘This is yours to choose. We are an executive administration. We will carry the message of Qassams. You have to stay at home and give us your papers.’ Stunned to be covered by the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, Radjaa tried to defend himself and especially to understand why such a decision was taken against him. In vain. ‘It is impossible to communicate with these people,’ laments the journalist.
He is not the first to undergo this kind of pressure and combatants in front of him did not hide. ‘They are enraged against the presidency and accused me of collaborating with Mahmoud Abbas,’ he says. Reporters Without Borders confirms that …read more
Source: The Algemeiner