Israeli Occupation Forces have committed 56 violations against Palestinian journalists in the occupied Jerusalem since the beginning of the current year, says a non-governmental organization representing writers, photographers, media workers and online journalists from Arab countries.
The Britain-based Journalists Support Committee (JSC) stated that among the instances of violation Israeli troops had expelled four journalists from the sacred city during the mentioned period. They have also arrested seven and summoned another 14 to investigation centers.
In May, the committee said, Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan extended for six more months an earlier decision to close Palestine TV’s office in East Jerusalem and ban the network’s activities in the city and across the occupied territories.
Erdan first issued the closure in November 2019, under the pretext that Palestine TV is affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, banning its crew members from working in Jerusalem.
The JSC highlighted that Israeli forces have also fined six Palestinian journalists, confiscated four items of media equipment, raided the homes of six journalists, threatened and beat six others and slapped jail term against one.
Over the weekend, hundreds of Latin American journalists and media organizations called on the United Nations to immediately intervene and ensure the release of their Palestinian counterparts, currently held in Israeli detention centers.
The Journalist Support Committee, in partnership with media outlets, issued a statement, highlighting the suffering of jailed Palestinian journalists, noting in a memorandum that 20 journalists are currently being held in Israeli prisons under administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israeli authorities to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, which could be extended for an infinite number of times.
On April 20, more than a dozen press institutions appealed to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to pressure Israel to release Palestinian journalists being held in Israeli prisons amid the corona virus pandemic.
The eighteen institutions, in a letter addressed to the 68-year-old Chilean politician, expressed great concern over the increasing cases of infection with the novel corona virus in Israel and the occupied territories, warning that they fear the deadly disease could afflict thousands of Palestinian inmates, including journalists, in Israeli prisons.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.