A human rights researcher has claimed that the Israeli authorities have escalated their crackdown on Palestinian journalists order to "hide the truth about Israel's crimes". Abdel Nasser Ferwana said that the crackdown includes "assaults on journalists, arrests and detentions".
Mr. Ferwana is a researcher specialising in prisoners' issues. He has accused the Israelis of detaining a number of journalists without charge or any form of due process. He cited as evidence the arrests of Al Jazeera television's Afghanistan bureau director Samer Allaw, who is a Palestinian; Al Quds TV programme coordinator Nawwaf Amer; Shehab news agency's correspondent Amr Abu Arafa; Al Aqsa TV's Asid Amarna; and Mohamed Bosharat from the governorate of Tobas.
"This is intended to terrorise and intimidate journalists," he said. "They are being more or less blackmailed into not publishing details of the crimes against humanity committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories." Nevertheless, he stressed, "the journalists' cameras don't lie."
Ferwana denounced the silence of the international community and international media. He also criticised Rapporteurs Sans Frontières/Reporters Without Borders for not defending Palestinian journalists detained by Israel. "This encourages the Israelis to persist with this policy and continue to breach international humanitarian law," he added.