The number of Palestinian journalists held in Israeli prisons has risen to 28 detainees following the arrest of three journalists over the past few days, the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists announced yesterday.
In a statement, the Committee condemned what it described as the "barbaric and arbitrary" Israeli arrests of Palestinian journalists.
"The Israeli occupation tries to muzzle the Palestinian journalists' mouths and to prevent them from unmasking its barbaric practices in the occupied Palestinian territories to the international media," the Committee added.
The Israeli forces, the Committee pointed out, recently arrested the Director of Information at the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, Thaer Shartih, after they had stormed his house in Ramallah's northern village of Al-Mazraa Al-Gharbia.
Last Saturday, Israeli forces arrested Bakr Abdel Haqq, a correspondent for the Palestinian Authority's broadcaster Palestine TV, at the Al-Karama border crossing between Israel and Jordan as he was returning after receiving a reporting award in Cairo. He was then interrogated at Al-Maskobia police station in Jerusalem.
Earlier in the month, the occupation forces arrested 21-year-old Ola Marshoud from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, after she was summoned for interrogation which lasted several hours.
The Committee also pointed to the extension of the detention of the six Palestinian journalists, Mahmoud Issa, Salah Awad, Ahmed El-Saifi, Hamam Atili, Yousef Shalabi and Munzer Khalaf Mufleh, all of whom were handed prison sentences in previous years.
There are another six journalists who have been held under administrative detention in Israeli jails on incitement charges. They are Nidal Abu Akkar, Hammam Hantash, Mohammed Shukri Awad, Abdullah Shatat, Estabruq Tamimi and Beshra Al Tawil, according to the Committee statement.