The head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) has called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to condemn attacks on media and to send a commission to investigate the crimes against journalists in Palestine. The call came during a special session of the HRC on the situation on situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem held on 27 May 2021.
The International Federation of Journalists welcomed the call and demanded an end to impunity for attacks carried out against journalists and media in Palestine.
In recent weeks Israeli forces have bombed and destroyed three buildings housing 33 media companies, dozens of journalists have been arrested, beaten and more than 500 cases of internet blocks and violations of digital rights were recorded in Palestine between 6 and 29 May.
Naser Abubaker, President of the PJS said: “In clear violation of International law, the Fourth Geneva Convention and United Nations resolutions to protect journalists in times of war, the Israeli occupation forces committed a crime against humanity by bombing buildings holding press and media offices, which led to the destruction of international media institutions offices such as Al-Jazeera and the Associated Press. 33 media institutions were completely destroyed and 4 institutions were partially destroyed, in addition dozens of journalists' homes were bombarded and destroyed, which led to the killing of Al-Aqsa radio broadcaster Yusef Abu Hussein and the wounding of dozens of journalists."
In 2020 the PJS documented 608 attacks on journalists and media, including 490 violations by the Israeli army and security forces.
In December last year the IFJ submitted formal complaints to the UN about the systematic targeting of journalists by Israel and called for action to end the impunity with which those attacks are carried out.