2003 - Amira Hass, Israel
Laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2003
Ms Hass is the first and only Israeli journalist living in the Palestinian Territories. She moved to Gaza after the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreements in December 1993 and settled in Ramallah in the West Bank in 1997. Despite restrictions from both Israeli military authorities and from the Palestinian authorities, Ms Hass has been doggedly filing compassionate reports about the daily lives and hardships of the Palestinians. Her independent and critical reporting on the policies of both Israelis and Palestinians has exposed her to pressure from both sides.
The child of Holocaust survivors, Ms Hass was born in Jerusalem in 1956 and studied history in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. After working as a teacher, she started her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor at Ha’aretz and began writing about the Palestinian Territories in 1991, apparently undaunted by danger and criticism from both Israelis and Palestinians.