Citing the flagrant violations of journalists and media staff in Jerusalem and Gaza, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights labelled Israel as the prime enemy of journalism and the media in 2021, a statement said yesterday.
The organisation cited Israeli occupation forces’ violent detention of Al Jazeera correspondent Givara Budeiri while she was covering its abuses in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on Saturday.
According to the statement, Israeli occupation soldiers kicked and beat the journalist violently during her detention. She was released a couple of hours later and appeared the next day in a protest in Ramallah with her hand in a cast after it was broken during her detention.
The statement also pointed to the Israeli aggression on another TV reporter and cameraman, adding that several journalists and media groups were denied access to Sheikh Jarrah and other Jerusalem neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, the statement stated that the Israeli occupation also targeted journalists and the media in the Gaza Strip, citing the demolition of buildings which included offices of local and international news corporations Al Jazeera and AP.
The statement said that during its 11-day offensive on Gaza the Israeli occupation targeted 23 media offices, destroyed four media firms which supply media material to scores of media institutions and TV channels around the world, in addition to killing a journalist and wounding three others.
In the statement, the rights group reiterated that international law offers journalists and members of the media special protection during wars and armed conflicts, stressing that they should not be targeted.
“Targeting journalists and mass media is a systematic crime aimed to suppress their voice and preventing them from covering the occupation’s crimes against civilians and occupied Palestinian lands,” the statement said.