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Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory


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Multiple journalists have been assaulted, threatened, and censored in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in recent months. 

Despite the immense differences between the Israeli government, Fatah, and Hamas, they shared a common trait in 2013: a consistent and troublesome record of silencing journalists who reported dissenting perspectives. The revolving door on Israeli prisons continued to spin, as the government arrested multiple Palestinian journalists while releasing others. Palestinian journalists are often held under administrative detention, which effectively allows the Israeli government to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge. Israeli security forces sought to constrict coverage of Palestinian demonstrations, with journalists under threat of injury and detention. Local human rights organizations reported that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank also obstructed coverage of protests, especially those in support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Hamas also restricted coverage of protests and opposition movements in Gaza. Hamas authorities shut down several media offices, including the Ramallah-based Ma'an and Al-Arabiya. In March, President Mahmoud Abbas pardoned a journalist who had been convicted of insulting him. Israeli journalists, however, enjoy greater freedom than any other press corps in the region, even as they face government censorship for articles concerning national security.

Journalists ride in an army soldiers' carrier to the front line during clashes between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters on August 24, 2013. (Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri)

In recent years, Arab journalists have been taking great risks to report important stories in a region where war and civil unrest remain an ever-present threat. Many are operating without proper equipment or safety training in how to recognize and mitigate the various risks they face.

New York, December 12, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Lebanese Court of Cassation to overturn the conviction of Rami Aysha, a Lebanese-Palestinian freelance journalist charged with purchasing firearms while he was investigating arms trafficking from Lebanon to Syria.

Israeli border police throw tear gas during clashes after a funeral in the Qalandiya refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 29, 2013. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

New York, December 2, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the reported targeting of journalists covering protests in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Israeli authorities released Palestinian journalist Amer Abu Arafa, a correspondent for Shihab News Agency, on August 5, 2013, after holding him in administrative detention for nearly two years, according to news reports.

New York, July 26, 2013--The Hamas-led government in Gaza on Thursday shut down the local offices of Al-Arabiya and the Palestinian news agency Maan after accusing the outlets of publishing "false" news, according to news reports.

New York, July 9, 2013--Israeli authorities should immediately release a Palestinian freelance journalist who was arrested in a nighttime raid last week, and drop the charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Israeli forces shot Palestinian freelance photographer Mohammed al-Azza, 23, in the face with a rubber-coated bullet on April 8, 2013, in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, according to local news reports. Al-Azza was taken to a local hospital, where he underwent several surgeries to repair the broken bones in his face.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pardoned Al-Quds TV journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh on March 28, 2013, the same day that a West Bank appeals court upheld his one-year sentence for insulting the presidency, according to news reports.

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Killed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

12 journalists killed since 1992

1 journalist murdered

1 murdered with impunity

Attacks on the Press 2012

2 Journalists killed in Gaza by targeted Israeli airstrikes.

Country data, analysis »

Contact

Middle East
and North Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sherif Mansour

Research Associate:
Jason Stern

smansour@cpj.org
jstern@cpj.org

Tel: +1 (212) 300-9018,
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فيسبوك : لجنة حماية الصحفيين بالعربية

Blog: Sherif Mansour
Blog: Jason Stern