Stephen Lendman

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Israel-s War on Palestinian Journalists

Israel's War on Palestinian Journalists

by Stephen Lendman ( - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Israel wants views different from its official narrative suppressed, especially truth-telling by Palestinian journalists.

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) publishes monthly reports on Israeli free expression violations - its practice since the Jewish state's establishment.

During protests against Trump's Jerusalem declaration, at least 15 Palestinian journalists were injured, targeted by repressive Israeli forces for doing their jobs.

According to MADA, "(s)ome of them were wounded with metal bullets, sound and gas bombs, as well as beatings and injuring dozens of them, some of which posed a real threat to their lives."

Journalist Ali Dar Ali was seriously wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets, one striking the back of his head.

Nearly all Palestinian journalists suffered harmful effects of toxic tear gas inhalation. 

MADA "condemned these attacks…reassur(ing) impunity enjoyed by (Israeli) perpetrators," acting extrajudicially, stressing the importance of "international action to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes" not forthcoming.

On Friday, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) reported a disturbing 909 violations against Palestinian journalists in 2017.

Israel committed over 80% of them, most others by PA security forces serving as its enforcer, brutalizing their own people.

PSJ president Nasser Abu Baker noted the "sharp escalation in the Israeli violations against our journalists," adding "it is shameful to see increase in violations by local authorities."

He condemned Facebook for colluding with Israeli officials, outrageously closing down 158 Palestinian pages on orders by the Netanyahu regime.

Independent Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) president Ammar Dowik praised Palestinian journalists for courageously doing their jobs, despite state-sponsored repression against them.

Head of PJS' freedoms committee Mohammed Allaham said "the nature of violations in 2017 was different." 

"October witnessed Israeli closure (of) eight (Palestinian) offices, (belonging to) three media production companies."

Two radio stations were raided and closed, "two journalists…sentenced (to) two years (in prison) because of their professional activities."

"Financial penalties (were imposed on) 25 journalists, (another) 28 journalists still in Israeli jails."

Violations against Palestinian journalists were 37% greater than in 2016.

Separately, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Trump administration wants the status of Jerusalem and diaspora Palestinians excluded from future (no-peace) peace talks.

"This is something our people, who will remain steadfast in their country, will never accept," he said. "We will have nothing left as Arabs without Jerusalem," adding:

"If we do not help ourselves, no one will help us. Our reconciliation is the base and Hamas must be aware of this and be part of the Central Council meeting due to convene on January 14 in Ramallah."

More bad news came from Israel's Channel Two news, saying Israel is set to give final approval for 1,829 new settlement units on stolen Palestinian land.

Trump's Jerusalem declaration effectively green-lighted Israel to do whatever it pleases, no matter how unlawful or harmful to fundamental Palestinian rights.

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