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Israel has arrested 66 journalists in occupied West Bank since 7 October

April 4, 2024 at 11:51 am

Israeli forces vehicles drive past reporters on a road during a raid in Hebron city in the occupied West Bank, early on January 21, 2024 [MOSAB SHAWER/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has said that the Israeli occupation army has detained 66 journalists since the start of its military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on 7 October. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PPS confirmed that a total of 45 journalists are still held in Israeli jails.

It pointed out that there are now four female journalists being held by the occupation state, one of whom is being held under administrative detention with neither charge nor trial. The most recent detention was that of 32-year-old journalist Asma Noah Harish, 32, whose home in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah was raided. Her father and brother Ahmed have been detained for some time.

The PPS noted that this escalation comes within the framework of the large-scale arrest campaigns carried out by the Israeli occupation army against Palestinians, including the detention of women. The latter has escalated significantly.

Twenty-three journalists altogether are being held under administrative detention on the pretext of “secret files”, including Ikhlas Sawalha and Bushra Al-Taweel. Most, though, are being held on charges of “incitement” on social media.

The society confirmed that most detained journalists are subjected to severe beatings and torture, especially those detained since 7 October. Today, journalists face all sorts of unprecedented retaliatory measures imposed by the Israeli prison authorities. Moreover, 138 journalists have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October.

“The occupation state arrests journalists and violates their rights in its ongoing efforts to silence them and stop the Palestinian narrative being shared,” said the PPS. It renewed its demand for international human rights institutions to “assume their responsibilities in light of the genocide against our people in Gaza and the targeting of all sectors of Palestinian society through wide and systematic arrest campaigns.”

According to the PPS, the total number of Palestinian prisoners held by Israeli prisons at the end of March was at least 9,400, including 3,661 administrative detainees.

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