Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced the press freedom violations that prevent journalists from reporting the news in Palestine. The organization said that journalists are caught between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian security forces, who both ignore their right to work freely and safely.
According to RSF, Israeli occupation soldiers have harassed more than a dozen reporters in the West Bank in the past three months. Some of the incidents include arresting journalists, seizing their phones and deleting their footage, and firing live rounds at their cameras and equipment.
RSF cited the case of Basel Adra, a reporter for the +972 Magazine website, who was covering clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the hills south of Hebron on 15 July. He was arrested by Israeli soldiers, who deleted his video of an attack carried out by an Israel occupation forces coordinator. He was released a few hours later.
Another example was the attack on Alaraby TV reporter Amjad Shahada and cameraman Rabih Munir, who were broadcasting live from the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on 3 July. An Israeli armoured vehicle stopped near them and soldiers inside began shooting at their camera and broadcasting equipment.
“Security forces are there to protect journalists, not hamper their work,” Jonathan Dagher, the Head of RSF’s Middle East desk, said in a statement. “This climate of violence and impunity for press freedom violations must end immediately. We call on the Israeli occupation authorities and the Palestinian security forces to ensure the safety of journalists who just do their job, and to guarantee their right to practice their profession freely.”
RSF is an international non-governmental organization that defends and promotes freedom of information and freedom of the press. It ranks Palestine 137th out of 180 countries in its 2023 World Press Freedom Index.