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Israel military censor banned, partially redacted more than 3,000 news items in 2018

Israeli forces telling journalists to leave after shooting a Palestinian dead in Ramallah, West Bank on 31st October 2016 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces telling journalists to leave after shooting a Palestinian dead in Ramallah, West Bank on 31st October 2016 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s military censor “prohibited the publication of 363 news articles in 2018” in addition to “partially or fully redacting a total of 2,712 news items submitted to it for prior review”, reported +972 Magazine, a significant spike in “censor intervention”.

According to the news site, “the censor barred more news stories from publication in 2018 than in almost any other year this decade”. With respect to articles published after partial redaction, only 2014 saw “similarly substantial censorship of the press”.

+972 Magazine reported that “the spike in censorship compared to 2017 is significant: in the last year, the IDF Censor prevented the publication of 92 more articles than it did in the year prior, while it partially or fully redacted an additional 625 stories.”

Overall, “over the past eight years, the censor has prohibited a total of 2,661 news stories from seeing the light of day,” the article added.

READ: Israel journalist facing trial for calling soldiers who beat Palestinians ‘animals’ 

As +972 Magazine explained, “all media outlets in Israel are required to submit articles relating to security and foreign relations to the IDF Censor for review prior to publication.”

Israel is unique in the so-called “democratic world” in compelling journalists and publications to “submit their reporting for review prior to publication”, and the only country “where that censorship can be criminally enforced”.

In addition, “the Israeli military censor’s powers extend beyond news outlets to include authority to review before publication and censor books and items in the State Archives.”

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