On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist
Journalist Support Committee: the number of Palestinian Journalists in the Israeli jails increased to 29 journalists.
The Journalist Support Committee confirmed that the Israeli Occupation continues to target media freedoms by increasing its attacks on Palestinian journalists without any international pressure to cease its continuous violations of all international and legal agreements that promote freedom of expression.
The committee stated in a special report on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist, which occurs on 26 of September, that the violations against journalists and media personnel were deliberately committed by the Israeli Forces using excessive force, and not justified by any military necessity under the false pretext of incitement.
The committee clarified that in conjunction with the International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian journalist, the Israeli Forces arrested journalist Ragheed Tabassiya, an anchor on Al-Najah TV in the West Bank, after breaking into his home in Al-Naqqar neighborhood in Qalqilya, bringing the number of journalists held in Israeli prisons to 29 journalists and reporters.
The report monitored more than 465 Israeli violations against journalists since the beginning of the current year of 2017, noting in its report that last July witnessed the highest rate of violations, which amounted to 116 Israeli violations, most of them in occupied Jerusalem during their coverage at the Lions' Gate.
The report pointed out that the violations included arrest, detention, the extension of detention, direct assault with the aim of causing harm, such as firing live and metal bullets.
The report also recorded 73 cases of arrests and detentions since the beginning of the current year 2017, and 43 cases of extension of detention of journalists detained in Israeli jails, some of them suffered from repetitive extended detention.
As for the number of casualties among journalists and reporters, the report stated that since the beginning of the year, 154 journalists have been subjected to direct attacks, including rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, and batons, as well as cases of suffocation and poisoning due to shooting poison and pepper gas at journalists while they're performing their professional duty.
More than 39 cases were documented for prevention of coverage, confiscation of equipment and withdrawal of press cards, and 10 cases of travel ban.
In addition, 11 cases of incitement and accusation were recorded, and 16 cases of closure of institutions and websites, including the closure of Al-Jazeera's office, the banning of Palestine Today TV's website, the closure of Manbar Al-Hurriya radio station, suspension of broadcast of Al-Nawras TV, and Yabous cultural center in occupied Jerusalem.
The report pointed out 78 cases of storming and raiding many press and media institutions, accompanied with destruction and vandalism.
The occupation, not only prosecuted journalists and confiscated their cameras while performing their duty, but persisted in torturing journalist in the prisons both physically and morally by preventing family visits and even their lawyers, in addition to imposing fines. These cases amounted to 45, as recorded by the committee.
The committee stated: "We salute the press crews working in the Palestinian media and press organizations for their great efforts in serving the Palestinian cause, and we emphasize on a number of issues:
We extend our deepest appreciation to all the colleagues who continued to perform their professional duties despite the risks and obstacles and the continuing attacks on them, valuing their efforts in keeping up with the events and conveying the reality of what is happening on the ground.
We strongly condemn the violations of the occupation on journalists performing their basic right and duty and consider these attacks as a failed attempt to obliterate the truth.
We alert against the escalation of the occupation's crimes against Palestinian journalists. We also call for the embodiment of genuine international solidarity with the Palestinian journalist through various forms to stop attacks on them.
We call on the international institutions concerned with the rights of journalists to act and to exercise necessary pressure on the occupation to stop its aggression against Palestinian journalists, especially that all international conventions and covenants allows freedom of movement, coverage and to report news freely without any pressure, emphasizing that article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights protect freedom of expression on the basis that everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference.
We appeal to all parties to take responsibility, especially the international and local media, by highlighting the continuous terrorism against the Palestinian media in their press work.
We call on the social media activists and all media platforms to support the Palestinian journalist and to shed light on the gravity of the violations and their great impact on journalists, media freedoms and freedom of expression.
At the end, we deplore all harassment made by the security services against journalists and media institutions, and criminalizing them by the illegal cybercrime law, which we demand to be repealed".
Journalist Support Committee
24 September 2017