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Rights group documents 84 violations against Palestinian media in August

Image of Palestinian journalist injured by Israeli soldiers at the Erez crossing in Gaza [file photo]
Image of Palestinian journalist injured by Israeli soldiers in Gaza [file photo]

The Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists said it had documented 84 attacks against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during August.

The Committee pointed out that 40 attacks were committed by the Israeli authorities and 44 violations were committed by Palestinian parties in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The committee said in its report that “suppression of media freedoms in the Palestinian territories increased at a high rate after the Palestinian Authority issued the cybercrime law”.

“The state of division has clearly affected press freedoms and contributed to the increase in violations against Palestinian journalists” the report said, calling for an end to all violations against journalists and that they should not be used for political clashes.

The committee called for the cessation of the cybercrimes law and to amend its articles, describing it as “a sword on the necks of all journalists”.

The report pointed out that the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank have arrested ten journalists, and extended the detention of four others, and called another four journalists for questioning.

According to the report, the Palestinian security forces’ violations included eight cases of storming the houses of journalists, confiscating telephones and personal belongings of nine journalists and forcing five journalists to pay a fine.

The cybercrime law entered into force on 11 July, after the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ratified it at the end of last month.

Meanwhile, the Israeli violations against media freedoms in the Palestinian territories included the arrest, detention and summoning of six journalists.

The Israeli authorities have renewed the detention of journalist Nidal Abu ‘Akkar from Bethlehem for six months and extended the detention and sentencing of six journalists.

Three journalists were fined before releasing them.

The Palestinian Committee documented six cases of storming, raiding and destruction of six local TV channels and a radio station.

The report also documented three cases in which journalists were removed from the city of Jerusalem and Israel, in addition to cases where journalists were prevented from covering the trial of Sheikh Raed Salah.

Read: Israel re-arrests Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel

Poster of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel

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