Skyline urges international protection for journalists in the Palestinian Territories in light of ongoing attacks on press freedom
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human is deeply concerned about the increasing violations of Palestinian journalists and media freedom by the Israeli authorities, social media and internal Palestinian parties. It stresses that the policies of restriction and persecution it observes violate a wide range of international conventions that guarantee special protection for journalists, and calls on the international community to move and play a more effective role in this area.
In a statement released today, Saturday, Skyline expresses astonishment and condemnation at the shocking number of media freedom violations documented in March 2023, which amounted to 50 violations, according to the report of the "Journalists Support Committee", an Arab organization that monitors media freedom violations in the Palestinian territories.
In addition to identifying more than (9) violations by social media firms, "Skyline" reported that these violations also include (36) Israeli violations, (5) violations by internal Palestinian parties, and more than (36). to the persistent Israeli transgressions.
Skyline points out that in the Israeli attacks in April, more than (11) journalists were injured and attacked by the Israeli army with the participation of settlers, attacking them with live and rubber bullets, poison and incendiary gas bombs, hitting them with sticks, kicking them and knocking them to the ground, trying to run over some of them, and attempting to suffocate one journalist When hey reported on the violations committed by the occupiers and their settlers against the citizens of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
Moreover, the Israeli army detained five journalists and summoned them for questioning in order to prevent them from reporting on the army's abuses. They detained photographer Wahba Makiya, journalist Raeda Al-Julani, and writer Osama Al-Aissa, as well as journalist Mohammed Badr, who was released on the terms of house arrest and a communication and social media ban.
In one case, the trial of Jerusalem journalist Lama Ghosheh was postponed until the thirteenth of June next year.
"Skyline" continued to keep track of violations on social media. It details Meta's violations against Palestinian content that is continuously deleted and restricted. More than (9) cases were observed, including the deletion and restriction of (4) Facebook accounts and the restriction of a page called "Ultra Palestine" from Ramallah for two weeks. Sskyline lso monitors also an instance of Instagram blocking and an Israeli court's decision to block four Palestinian websites on the grounds that they support terrorism.
Regarding internal Palestinian violations, five cases were noted of April 2023, including one instance of breaking into the home of Hebron-based journalist "Jawad Abu Shamsiyya" and another that involved a pepper-spray assault on family members.
Additionally, Abdul Hakim Abu Riyash, a photojournalist for the daily "Al-Araby Al-Jadeed," is the subject of one violation in the Gaza Strip, according to Skyline. In the northern Gaza Strip, inside the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, security guards attacked Abu Riyash, destroying his camera and prevented him from recording the events.
Skyline stresses that the unjustified figures and attacks that have been observed are a blatant violation of the legal provisions that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work. It further emphasis that the relevant international bodies must play their role in monitoring the violations of the Israeli army, social network sites and internal authorities.
In this context, Skyline points out that the negative role of the international community toward the practices of the Israeli apparatus with respect to the right to freedom of opinion, expression, and journalistic work-particularly the attacks on journalists-and the lack of legal oversight of its work provides implicit cover for Israel's continuation of its violations.
At the end of its statement, the human rights foundation ‘’Skyline’’ calls on the Israeli authorities to stop their constant attacks on Palestinian journalists, to work for the release of all those detained, and to ensure that the security and military services respect members of the press. It also calls social media networking sites to cease their restrictive practices against Palestinian content and to respect the rules of freedom of opinion and expression enshrined in international law.