The Gaza-based Forum of Palestinian Journalists criticised, on Thursday, the “arbitrary” dismissal of cartoonist in the official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper, Mohammad Sabaaneh, saying it reflects the Palestinian Authority’s “strange insistence” on suppressing freedom of opinion and expression.
The Forum considered, in a statement, the dismissal decision a “stab in the side of Palestinian media” which, at the same time, is being fiercely targeted by the Israeli Occupation.
The Forum has expressed its full solidarity with Sabaaneh, calling to reverse the decision to dismiss him, and not to encroach on the rights of journalists in various forms and images.
It also called on journalists to show solidarity with Sabaneh so that this blatant attack on freedom of opinion and expression by the Palestinian Authority would not be repeated, especially since arbitrary dismissal would strengthen self-censorship among journalists and prevent them from enjoying their right to freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work.
The Palestinian Media Forum appealed to the General Federation of Arab Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists to protect the Palestinian journalist, and prevent the suppression of freedom of opinion and expression in violation of international and local laws, especially in light of the Palestinian security services’ practices that pursue and arrest journalists and restrict their journalistic work without the slightest justification.
According to the Forum’s statement, Sabaaneh was dismissed after he had published a cartoon criticising the Palestinian Authority’s lack of response towards the Israeli crimes in the Occupied West Bank.