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Report reveals shocking reality of media restrictions in Palestine

Image of a journalist after a tear gas attack was carried out by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on October 2015 [file photo]
Image of a journalist after a tear gas attack was carried out by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on October 2015 [file photo]

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has documented 66 new Israeli violations of media freedoms in the Palestinian occupied territories during the first quarter of 2017.

In a statement issued on Wednesday to mark the Press Freedom Day, the Syndicate said the Israeli authorities continue to detain 28 journalists including six administrative detainees; held without a charge or trial.

According to the statement, the Israeli attacks on journalists included shooting with bullets and gas bombs, beatings, denial of press coverage and restrictions of freedom of movement, such as preventing them from entering the city of Jerusalem and traveling abroad.

Read: International call for Israel to release Palestinian journalists

The statement called on the United Nations and its various organisations as well as international human rights institutions to increase their efforts to pressure the Israeli authorities to stop their attacks against journalists.

The Syndicate also referred to 31 violations conducted by Palestinian entities against media freedoms in the West Bank during the same period.

Coordinator of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), Musa Al-Rimawi, said the freedom of expression in Palestine is “worrying” in light of the complex political situation with both the Israeli and the Palestinian internal violations against this right.

Read: 51 violations against media freedoms in West Bank

Al-Rimawi said in an interview with Quds Press that Israel continues to commit the most severe violations against Palestinian journalists where 40 journalists were killed since 2000, including three foreign journalists.

He stressed that Israel acts as a state above the law, often committing further violations to conceal its daily crimes from the world.

Al-Rimawi remarked on the Palestinian security services violations against the journalists explaining that last year there were 383 violations of media freedoms in the Palestinian territories, 35 per cent were committed by the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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