530 Media Violations in Occupied Palestine Last Year
Israeli militarized occupation represses speech, assembly, association and dissent – notably targeting nonviolent protests and other forms of resistance against occupation harshness.
Military censorship prohibits publishing information about Israeli high crimes of war and against humanity.
Nor are reports exposing daily Israeli persecution of defenseless Palestinians tolerated. Rare exceptions prove the rule.
When Israel goes to war, journalists’ lives are endangered for criticizing its aggression. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), 720 journalists were killed in Israel and Occupied Palestine from 2005 – 2014.
Three Israeli wars of aggression on Gaza were waged during this period. In 2014, RSF said Israeli “murders are becoming more barbaric and the number of abductions is growing rapidly, with those carrying them out seeking to prevent independent news coverage and deter scrutiny by the outside world.”
The same pattern continues from then to now, RSF saying Israel “often violate(s) the rights of Palestinian journalists and journalists of other nations, especially when they are covering demonstrations,” adding:
“Under Israel’s system of administrative detention, Palestinian journalists can be held indefinitely without trial, without formal charge, and without notifying a lawyer.”
“They are often accused of inciting violence, cooperating with terrorist organizations, or otherwise posing a threat to Israel’s security.”
In its 2017 annual report, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reported 530 violations of media freedom in Israel and the Occupied Territories last year – 71% by Israel, 29% by Palestinian officials, mostly by the PA serving as its enforcer.
In December 2017 and January 2018, RSW reported 117 violations against Palestinian media freedoms, mostly by Israel – many related to protests against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
“(O)ne of the main violations reported was assaulting a Reuters’ photojournalist in Jerusalem with a baton on the head, causing a huge wound and a concussion,” MADA explained, adding:
“Israeli forces also continued their policy of preventing coverage of incidents by holding journalists and assaulting them.”
According to MADA general director Mousa Rimawi, “15 different types” of Israeli violations occurred last year, “a new approach to suppress Palestinian media and media freedom…”
Major ones include “home confinement/home detention (of) journalists,” preventing them from covering protests “for prolonged periods, sometimes (for) three months, banishing (them) from events for long periods, and mass detain(ing) and not releas(ing) them” until after protests and other incidents end – to suppress information on harsh Israeli crackdowns.
Media outlets were targeted as well as Palestinian journalists – 17 shut down by military order. Repressive Israeli laws targeted media freedom last year, along with closure of 29 news reporting websites.
Palestinian resisters, journalists and others held in Israeli prisons experience cruel and inhumane treatment, including torture – Western and Israeli media failing to report it.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."