638 Israeli Violations Against Journalists since the Beginning of this Year

2018-10-16 10:22


The Journalist Support Committee: 638 Israeli violations against journalists since the beginning of this year.

A series of continuous crimes are still perpetrating against the freedom of expression, targeting many journalists, media professionals and activists who record the suffering of the Palestinians with their pens and cameras under the clutches of the Israeli occupation. They also record the tragedy which befalls the Palestinians in conditions of injustice and oppression by Palestinian bodies.

We at the Journalist Support Committee affirm that the Israeli occupation is still discouraging in targeting the freedom of the press through increasing its aggression against Palestinian journalists without any international deterrent pressures against its crimes and continued violations and through violating the international and human rights conventions that enhance freedom of expression. 

As we are celebrating the International Day of solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist which takes place each year on September 26, we assure that the occupation used excessive force without taking into account the principles of distinction and proportionality where no military necessity justifies it by using flimsy pretexts under the name of incitement.

In a special report monitoring Israeli violations of Palestinian journalists since the beginning of 2018, the Journalist Support Committee documented 638 Israeli violations against journalists. Among the violations was the killing of two journalists during the coverage of April 2018 marches: Yasser Murtaja, And Ahmed Abu Hussein.

According to a close monitoring of Israeli violations the most serious violations were witnessed in May 2018 reaching 129 Israeli violations, where the majority of violations occurred in the occupied Gaza Strip when targeting the Palestinian journalists and firing at them with live and explosive bullets and poisonous bombs while covering the march on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. 

The report showed that the violations included arrest, detention, extension of detention, and direct assault for the purpose of inflicting the utmost damage to them, such as firing live and metal bullets. 

The report recorded 82 cases of arrests, detentions and summonses since the beginning of 2018, and 53 cases of extension of detention, postponement and sentencing of journalists detained in Israeli jails.

Concerning the number of casualties among the media professionals and journalists, the highest number of violations were recorded since the beginning of the year and amounted to 254 injuries, where 211 journalists and media professionals scored the largest part from Gaza Strip, which varied between direct assault metal bullets coated with rubber, gunshots, sound bombs and bludgeoning in addition to cases of suffocation and poisoning as a result of throwing poison gas and pepper gas on journalists while performing their professional duty. 

The report documented more than 83 cases of coverage denial and obstructing the work of journalists,  including 31 cases of confiscation of equipment, identities, cameras, press cards and 6 travel ban cases.

The report also recorded 7 cases of incitement and accusation, and 35 cases of closure of institutions and sites, including the closure of the Al-Quds satellite channel, which is a Union member in working within the occupied territories in 1948 and Jerusalem city. Companies that provided information services banned dealing with this TV. In addition, the printing press of Elia Foundation for Youth Media, Al-Risala Media, the Palestinian Rai Agency and Al-Aqsa satellite channel were closed several times.

The report pointed out that the occupation stormed and raided many of the press and media institutions amid the acts of demolition and sabotage of 49 cases.

The occupation not only prosecuted journalists and their lenses while performing their work, but it reached out to torture journalists inside the occupation’s prisons and prevent their relatives and lawyers from visiting them and impose fines. 36 cases were recorded.

In commemoration of the day of solidarity with the Palestinian journalist, which falls on September 26 of each year, we pay a heartfelt tribute to the press teams working in the Palestinian press and media outlets for their great efforts in serving the Palestinian cause. We want to assure on a number of issues: 

  1. We pay tribute to the journalists’ victims, especially the journalists of the return marches, the journalist Yasser Murtaja and journalist Ahmed Abu Hussein. We also pay tribute to the wounded and detained journalists inside the Israeli prisons. 
  2. We express our deep sorrow, condemnation and denunciation of the Israeli occupation forces targeting journalists and media professionals who carry out their noble mission to convey the truth and expose the crimes perpetrated against our Palestinian people.
  3. We strongly condemn the continued aggression of the occupation and the targeting of journalists during their coverage of the march of return on the eastern border, and we consider it a failed attempt to blur the truth. 
  4. We condemn the deliberate targeting of the press team, preventing and obstructing their work and preventing them from carrying out their duties and media mission in uncovering the occupation crimes, apart from the closure of several press organizations, including Al-Quds satellite channel in Jerusalem and the occupied territories. 
  5. We warn from the escalation of the occupation crimes against Palestinian journalists who are working professionally and responsibly, as witnessed by all international institutions.
  6. We demand the embodiment of genuine international solidarity with the Palestinian journalist through various forms to stop the aggressions against him so that he can carry out his work freely and safely. 
  7. We call on international institutions, concerned with the rights of journalists, for the need of action to exert pressure on the occupation to stop its aggression against Palestinian journalists, mainly that all international conventions and norms allowed them to move freely, cover and report freely without any pressure, stressing that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects freedom of expression on the basis that everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference. 
  8. We call upon the International Federation of Journalists, the Union of Arab Journalists, all human rights organizations and the international community as a whole to condemn such lawlessness acts against freedom of information.
  9. We call upon all human rights institutions to hold the occupation accountable for its previous and present crimes as an important mean to stop these crimes. We also call for stopping the deliberate Israeli incitement against journalists on the media. 
  10. We demand the release of all detained journalists in Israeli jails, especially sick journalists who are under administrative detention. 

Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
16 October 2018