Israel continued targeting Palestinian journalists and media outlets who were covering mass protests around Al-Aqsa Mosque last week, local media organisations have said.
Overnight raids targeted media production companies in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday while a number of journalists were attacked while covering the protests in occupied East Jerusalem last week.
In a predawn raid Saturday, Israeli forces broke into the headquarters of PalMedia, a media production company that provides broadcast services to several media outlets, including Russia Today, Al-Mayadeen, Al-Manar, and Al-Quds news, ransacked the offices, and destroyed equipment over accusations of alleged “incitement”.
Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi denounced the raid. “Israel’s policies of violence and repression are a blatant attempt to break the steadfastness of the Palestinian people” and represent a violation of international human rights law regarding freedom of expression, she said.
Clearly, Israel is engaging in an ongoing policy that deliberately targets media institutions and journalists in Palestine who courageously work to represent the Palestinian human narrative and report on Israel’s military occupation and its persistent policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
“Such Israeli policies of violence and repression, as well as the recent attacks against Palestinian members of the press in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are a blatant attempt to break the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.”
She urged the international community to take immediate action “to curb Israel’s ongoing breach of international law and conventions and to support our nonviolent and diplomatic efforts to seek justice and protection for the Palestinian people in all international legal venues.”
Reporters Without Borders also condemned Israeli forces’ obstruction of media coverage during the Al-Aqsa crisis, which had already been widely denounced by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Palestinian Ministry of Information, the Committee to Protect Journalists and others.
In a statement released on Friday, the international press freedoms organisation accused Israeli forces of using “intimidation, denial of access, violence and arrests to limit or prevent media coverage of the demonstrations and clashes sparked by the introduction of additional security measures around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem.”