Israel’s violations of Palestinian journalists’ civil rights have continued over last month, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Information, with over 40 cases recorded in March 2021 alone.
Such violations were recorded in the Occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem, otherwise known as Al-Quds) and the Gaza Strip. The majority were committed by the forces of the Israeli occupation force. Three were committed by Palestinian security services.
Occupation forces have arrested, detained, or temporarily removed thirteen journalists over the last month. In one such incident, a television crew of three journalists was removed from the vicinity of Al-Aqsa mosque. Such violations have occurred in the same period that extremist Israeli groups have persistently attempted to occupy the grounds of the mosque.
Abuses against Palestinian and other journalists working in occupied Palestine are recorded by the Information Ministry’s Monitoring and Inquiries unit. The unit recorded five incidents of assault on Palestinian journalists from Israeli settlers within the West Bank. Such settlements are illegal under international law.
On 16 March, an Israeli court issued a ruling against the journalist Tamer Barghouti, from the town of Kober in Ramallah to 10 months in prison, in addition to a substantial fine. The journalist Barghouti was arrested on December 10 last year, while covering events at the “Ofer” military prison in the West Bank. His trial was postponed six times prior to his sentencing to 10 months of incarceration.
Several journalists and media workers’ ability to publish work online was curtailed, the Ministry of Information’s monthly report continued.
In mid-January of this year, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate reported that Palestinian journalists suffered almost 500 violations of their civil rights in 2020. 25 Palestinian journalists are currently detained in Israeli prisons.
Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK has recently called for the creation of “an international court, focusing on crimes against journalists”.