Stephen Lendman

More About: Israel - Palestine

Israeli Crackdown on East Jerusalem Journalists

Israeli Crackdown on East Jerusalem Journalists

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Occupied Palestinians are denied speech, media and assembly rights - along with most other fundamental freedoms, living under oppressive Israeli militarized rule.

On July 30, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reported widespread Israeli attacks on East Jerusalem journalists, covering state-sponsored violence against Palestinians, protesting against unacceptable security measures, obstructing their freedom of worship at the Al Aqsa mosque.

Palestinian media offices were raided, ransacked, vandalized and looted, valuable equipment confiscated.

From July 14 - 28, "MADA monitored dozens of violations committed by the Israeli occupation police against journalists while covering the events in Jerusalem. These attacks varied but included arrests, beatings, threats, confiscation and destruction of equipment, prevention from covering events, interrogation and targeting journalists with live ammunition and (toxic tear) gas canister(s)," along with other oppressive actions.

Journalists doing their jobs were attacked, brutalized and arrested. Abu Rumaila explained his ordeal as follows:

On July 25 "(a)t approximately 10:30 am, after the evening prayers, and at the gathering of journalists in the area of Lions Gate, members of the Israeli police assaulted us, pushed us and beat us. I was arrested and taken to the Lions Gate police station where my ID and camera memory card were both confiscated." 

"Due to an argument that erupted between me and the policeman, he attacked me and threatened me that he I was going to break my head if I spoke in a bad way." 

"I was then transferred to the Qashla detention center. I was beaten, insulted and cursed during transition." 

"I was detained in the center from 11 pm until 3 am. I was handcuffed and seated on a chair and police kept on beating me up from time to time."

Numerous other Palestinians experienced similar harshness, brutal treatment for reporting on what Israel wants suppressed.

Israeli crimes against Palestinians go unpunished, their fundamental rights systematically ignored.

Separately on July 30, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned Israel's High Court, "demanding that it stop restricting press coverage in the Old City of Jerusalem and harming journalists' ability to perform their public duties."

During 15 days of Israeli state terror at Al Aqsa, Jews and tourists had free access to the area, Palestinians alone severely restricted, their religious freedoms flagrantly violated.

Speech, assembly, media and academic freedoms are fundamental rights. Without them, all others are threatened.

ACRI called the conduct of Israeli security forces "worrisome and contrary to all the basic principles of democracy" - banned in Israel the way it is in America and other Western societies.

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