Skyline calls on the international community to play a more active role and protect Palestinian journalists from the escalating Israeli attacks
Stockholm- Skyline International for Human Rights expresses its deep concern over the escalation of attacks against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli army, stressing that the policy of restriction and persecution pursued by Israel seriously violates a wide range of international conventions guaranteeing the special protection of journalists. Thus, its calls on the international community to act and play a more effective role in this regard.
In a statement released today (Thursday), Skyline strongly condemns the 46 shocking Israeli attacks on Palestinian journalists documented in January of this year, according to the report of the Journalists' Support Committee, an Arab organization dedicated to monitoring violations of the right to media freedom in the Palestinian territories.
Skyline points out that according to the human rights organisation's report, these violations varied between arrest, extortion and direct field assault” of media personnel among other forms of harassment.. According to the report, the Israeli army arrested and detained 4 journalists last month who were covering various events in the West Bank.
It noted that the Israeli army and settlers committed “17 cases of assault and injury against journalists” during their coverage of the demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and rallies in the West Bank. The army also used rubber bullets and gas bombs against journalists.
In its report, the human rights organization pointed out that the Israeli army prevented 10 journalists from covering and being present at the demolition of Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood. The NGO also documented 18 cases of journalists being blocked from covering Israeli violations against the Palestinians.
According to the report, Israeli forces raided the house of one journalist, threatened two female journalists, while restricting the social media accounts of four others for “violating publishing instructions."
Skyline stresses that the unjustified numbers and attacks that have been observed are a blatant violation of the legal provisions that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work, and stresses that the competent international bodies must play their role in monitoring the violations committed by the Israeli army.
Skyline further indicates that the international community's negative role toward the Israeli authorities' practices against freedom of opinion, expression, and journalistic work- particularly attacks on journalists- and the lack of legal oversight of their work provided tacit cover for Israel's continued violations, without regard to the blatant legal violations of the rules of international law that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression and the protection of journalists from persecution and attack.
At the end of the statement, Skyline calls on the Israeli authorities to stop their constant attacks on Palestinian journalists, to work for the release of all detainees, and to ensure that the security and military services respect members of the press in their work when covering events in the Palestinian territories.