Israeli police officers detained a news crew from Palestine TV and seized their equipment on Friday morning, December 6, in the latest attack against Palestinian media outlets in occupied East Jerusalem.
Nader Bibars, a producer with Palestine TV, said that Israeli police officers broke onto the scene during the live broadcast of “Good Morning Jerusalem” on the Mount of Olives, and detained the show’s producer, Dana Abu Shamsiya, cameraman Ameer Abed-Rabbu, and former security prisoner Mohammad al-Abbasi, who was being hosted on the show. The officers seized the crew’s video and broadcasting equipment.
Bibars added that, in a separate incident, Israeli police detained Palestine TV reporter Christine Rinawi and cameraman Ali Yassin in the vicinity of Bab al-Amoud (The Damascus Gate).
On November 20, Israeli police raided the Jerusalem offices of Palestine TV, among other institutions, and posted a notice issued by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, closing the workplace for six months purportedly for planning to hold activities under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.
Last week, delegates to the International Federation of journalists (IFJ) Executive Committee meeting in Tangiers, Morocco, agreed to send a formal appeal to Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to open an immediate investigation into the serious Israeli military attacks against Palestinian journalists. The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries.
The IFJ expressed its deep concern about repeated Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists, the most recent being the shooting of cameraman Moath Amarneh. As a result, the victim lost his sight in the left eye. Moath is the third Palestinian journalist to lose the sight in an eye due to Israeli police violence. His wounding follows that of journalists Atiyeh Darwish in 2019, and Ahmad Allaoh in 2014.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) has recorded more than 650 Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists since the beginning of 2019, including 150 injuries caused by firearms. In 2018, PJS reported 813 attacks, including the killing of journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein in the Gaza Strip.
International humanitarian law, as defined by Article 4 of the 1949 Third Geneva Agreement and Article 79 of the Additional Protocol I to the Fourth Geneva Convention, guarantees full protection to journalists from any armed attack, as they are civilians who seek to provide the public with reliable information.
The UN General Assembly Resolution No. 2673 issued on December 1970 affirms this international protection for journalists in times of war and calls on member states to respect the rights of journalists and media institutions, considering that any attack against them is contrary to international conventions, specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Protocol attached to them.
The IFJ and its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) urge the international community to immediately enact appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of Palestinian journalists. In particular, the IFJ: (1) calls on the Director General of UNESCO to condemn Israel’s serious attacks against journalists, including the shooting of Moath Amarneh; (2) demands that the UN Human Rights Council visit Palestine and Israel to investigate all attacks against journalists; and (3) requests that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, undertake an official visit to Palestine.