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Media coalition says NATO, Israel may have breached Geneva Convention

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A coalition of news organizations called on the United Nations on Friday to investigate reports that NATO and Israeli forces have targeted journalists in breach of international law.

A coalition of news organizations called on the United Nations on Friday to investigate reports that NATO and Israeli forces have targeted journalists in breach of international law.

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) said the international coalition conducting an air operation in Libya and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) may have violated the Geneva Convention and a Security Council resolution "which calls on all members states to protect journalists and media staff working in conflict zones."

"We call on NATO and the IDF to respect the safety of journalists and allow them to go about their business free from harm or threat of harm," INSI Director Rodney Pinder said.

"It is doubly disturbing when attacks on journalists and news organizations are staged by democracies who assert the fundamental human right of free speech and freedom of information," he added.

Last Friday, Israeli forces reportedly used riot-control weapons on a dozen of press photographers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A day later a NATO air strike on the headquarters of Libyan state broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya in the capital Tripoli killed three employees and wounded 21.

During a war or a conflict, journalists are regarded as civilians and are protected under the Geneva Convention. In addition, the UN Resolution 1738 condemns acts of violence against journalists and other media personnel in conflict situations.

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