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Continued detention of Palestinian journalists condemned

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

The Palestinian Institute for Communication and Development has condemned Israel’s continued detention of Palestinian journalists and attacks on media organizations. In a press release, the PICD called on the international community, especially the United Nations and international press associations and unions, to condemn Israeli violations of Palestinians’ press freedom and the rights of Palestinian journalists.

The PICD noted that the Israeli military court has extended the detention of Al Jazeera’s Afghanistan Bureau Director Samer Allawi, 46, a day after the arrest of other journalists in the West Bank. The arrest of Allawi came after a visit to his family near Nablus. The Institute also pointed to the detention of Osayed Amarnah, 26, a journalist who works for the Aqsa satellite channel. Israeli forces arrested him after storming his house in the Dheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem. Israeli occupation forces arrested the correspondent of the Shehab news agency, Amer Abu Arafa, on Monday, 23 August, in his Hebron home.

The arrests of Amarnah, Abu Arafa, and Allawi take the number of journalists arrested by Israel in the past few weeks to five. Mohamed Basharat was arrested in Tubus in July, and Nawaf Al Amer, an Al Quds satellite channel producer, was placed in “administrative detention” in June.

In the Gaza Strip, the latest heavy Israeli bombardment of civilian buildings caused severe damage to a number of government and private institutions, including the Gaza bureau of the Chinese news agency Xinhau.