Syndicate of Journalists: 490 Israeli violations against journalists in 2020

The Syndicate of Journalists, Nasser Abu Bakr, said that the Syndicate has monitored 490 Israeli violations against journalists in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, during the year 2020.

Abu Bakr added during a press conference held today, Monday, in Ramallah, to review the eighth annual report on media freedoms issued by the Freedom Committee in the Syndicate, that the city of Jerusalem recorded 106 violations, which indicates direct targeting to prevent coverage in the capital.

Abu Bakr pointed out that the photographers were the most exposed to the crimes of the occupation, with 164 violations, and correspondents by 90 violations, and 63 violations against Palestinian journalists. Which carries out its crimes at the instigation of the Israeli media.

He emphasized that since 2012 the number of violations against journalists has reached 4,200, that is, an average of 500 violations annually.

Abu Bakr thanked the Palestinian News and Information Agency "Wafa" that provided the Syndicate with a report that monitors the Israeli media incitement and its impact on the increase in the volume and seriousness of crimes against Palestinian journalists.

He pointed out that these days are witnessing the 19th anniversary of the occupation forces' bombing of the headquarters of the Radio and Television Corporation in Ramallah, in order to silence the Palestinian voice and silence the voices. He noted the decision of the occupation authorities to close the Palestine TV office in Jerusalem.

He added that the Syndicate filed a complaint in May and December to the International Criminal Court, and the United Nations special rapporteurs for human rights, against Israeli violations against journalists, prepared by international lawyers specializing in these crimes.

For his part, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Yusef Al-Mahmoud, said that the ministry is moving towards developing laws, based on the principle of freedom and defending it, including the draft media policies, and that there are some reforms in terms of substance and content in line with the ceiling of freedom, and Palestinian laws.

He stressed that the government adheres to the principle of defending freedoms and allocates a special space for that.

In turn, the head of the Freedoms Committee in the Syndicate, a member of its General Secretariat, Muhammad al-Lahham, said that 15 journalists were injured by bullets of the Israeli occupation forces, including 12 direct hits to the body with gas, sound and live bullets, with the aim of inflicting higher damage, and 89 cases of suffocation as a result of inhaling tear gas. While the number of cases that required treatment in the hospital reached 25 cases, and 72 other cases were treated in the field.

Al-Lahham indicated that there is an increase in the rate of arrests of journalists, as 36 journalists were arrested and arrested, while 44 journalists were brought before the unfair courts of the occupation, in addition to fines and bail, as this year was the highest in terms of detention of journalist staff and preventing them from working.

Al-Lahham touched on the internal violations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as the violations in Gaza reached 76 violations, and 42 in the West Bank, indicating that there is a decrease in the volume of these violations compared to previous years, "where we see the government's efforts in this aspect, to raise the ceiling of freedoms." .

He explained that more than 200 violations were monitored on the "Facebook" website against the press situation, between blocking, banning and closing the pages, stressing that there is collusion between the occupation system, "Facebook" and other sites, and this collusion is the result of persistent and institutional work from that system. With its official dimension, through public meetings, in addition to civil and security institutions.

He pointed out that the Palestinian market spent more than two million dollars on advertisements during the year 2017 only, stressing the need to join hands to try to highlight the Palestinian identity through these platforms and stop the violations it commits against the press case.

In this context, the head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Ammar Dweik, explained that the commission, in strategic partnership with the Syndicate of Journalists, is working to expose the occupation’s crimes and violations against journalists, and to document and follow up all crimes.

For his part, the President of the International Federation of Journalists, Yunus Mujahid, considered, through "video conference," that these violations against journalists, which aim to prevent them from fulfilling their duty and convey the suffering of the Palestinian people to the world, cannot be accepted.


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