Israel holding 17 Palestinian journalists, says rights group

Journalists protest outside the UN office in Ramallah (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 2, 2022

The Israeli occupation forces are currently holding seventeen Palestinian journalists in detention, the Journalists’ Support Committee (JSC) announced yesterday. According to the committee, the latest to be arrested was 56-year-old former prisoner Nidal Abu Akar, after Israeli forces stormed into his home in Bethlehem.

Abu Aker was only released in May after just under two years in prison. Altogether, he has been held by Israel for 18 years, most of the time under the administrative detention system which means that he was imprisoned with neither charge nor trial.

The rights group pointed out that the occupation army also banned two Palestinian journalists from traveling during July. “The travel ban and arrests have come as part of the occupation’s attempt to restrict the transmission of the truth and the exposure of its crimes to the world,” noted the JSC. “Israel is imposing repressive measures to prevent journalists from performing their job, including travelling to carry out their professional duties.”

The occupation state, reiterated the committee, is violating journalists’ “freedom of expression and movement”. It described such measures as “collective punishment and a violation of the journalists’ fundamental international and humanitarian rights.”

The committee called on the International Federation of Journalists to intervene to stop the occupation’s acts of restricting the free movement of journalists. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli authorities on the JSC’s statements.

Rights organizations point out that around 4,650 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons.