The Palestinian Youth Media Association has said that serious violations against journalists by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities continued during May. The organisation called for an end to restrictions on freedom of speech and violence against media personnel.
In its monthly report released on Tuesday, the association said that May witnessed a serious escalation in rights’ violations by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian journalists and photographers in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem; at least 16 serious incidents were recorded.
The report noted that Palestinian press crews were subjected to direct assault by the occupation forces, including 6 arrests, while dozens were “assaulted” and even “tortured”. The Israelis were recorded firing stun grenades and tear gas at journalists trying to cover clashes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The association also touched upon the escalation of violations against journalists by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where 13 incidents were monitored. One journalist was killed; three media organisations were closed down; three journalists were arrested; and media professionals have been threatened and banned from access to events.
At least 14 Palestinian journalists are being held in Israeli prisons, claims the association. It called for their cases to be highlighted and demanded international support for their release.
Calling on all media institutions to provide protection for their Palestinian colleagues who are exposed to danger on a daily basis, particularly by Israeli occupation forces, the association directed its comments directly at the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the Federation of Arab Journalists. At the same time, it called on the international community to intervene to end the impunity with which Israel is allowed to abuse human rights.
The association also requested all relevant security agencies to monitor and take all severe violations against journalists seriously, particularly death threats.