Israeli occupation forces have committed more than 561 violations against Palestinian journalists in occupied Palestine during the year 2020, the Governmental Media Office in Gaza revealed on Thursday.
In a report for 2020, the Governmental Media Office in Gaza said that the month of February witnessed the highest percentage of violations against journalists, most of which were represented by an increase in the number of attacks, injuries, and arrests against journalists while they covered activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
It stressed the use of direct and excessive force to suppress journalists and the media in order to prevent coverage by arresting them, raiding their homes and institutions, and confiscate their press equipment, which made journalists and photographers pay high prices to be able to continue carrying out their professional work and convey the truth.
The report also said the Israeli department of prosecutions, arrests, and trials of journalists has expanded, against the backdrop of their writings on social media after the adoption of the Israeli draft law on "Facebook" that obliges social networks to monitor and delete any publications against them.
According to the report the number of arrests and prosecutions reached 132, while the cases of prevention from coverage and work reached 122 as well as insults, pushing, kicking, and beating with batons.
It also pointed out that the Israeli occupation used the methods of pressure in a systematic manner to scare and silence journalists, which included more than 91 cases of incitement, accusation, and conspiracy with the administrations of social media platforms, which varied between closing down and disturb media institutions, websites, accounts, and pages in the context of fighting Palestinian content.
The report mentioned that the Israeli occupation also used the method of revoking journalists' identity cards, preventing travel, and confiscating property or equipment in which they practice their work, with the aim of disrupting them and preventing them from fulfilling their mission and documenting the occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
The Media Office warned of the danger of continuing the Israeli occupation’s violation of the right of journalists without any international or Arab deterrence and without accountability for their crimes against media freedoms.
The United Nations Human Rights Council called for the speedy formation of an investigation committee to record and document violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The report also appealed to the World Health Organization and the International Red Cross Foundation to follow up on the health conditions of the prisoners of war, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, to introduce a Palestinian medical staff and to appoint a neutral medical committee to oversee the giving of the coronavirus vaccine to the prisoners.
It also stressed accountability and the prosecution of the Israeli occupation crimes it commits against Palestinian journalists while they do their duties and profession, the pursuit of the Israeli occupation that violates the laws, and the failure to implement Security Council resolutions (2222), which guarantees protection for journalists and forcing them to implement the 1949 Geneva Convention to protect civilians in military conflicts.
The report mentioned that the day of the Loyalty of Palestinian Journalists came in a catastrophic situation as the conditions of journalists have become, due to the increase in the phenomenon of attacks on them in quantity and quality during their coverage and practice of their professional work by the Israeli occupation and its settlers, using live bullets and poison gas bombs, and attacking them with fierce dogs to prevent them from documenting and publishing the truth of their crimes.
The Media Office condemned the exploitation of the Israeli occupation and imposed a new detention reality since the coronavirus outbreak last March, represented by denying them the priority of vaccination against the epidemic, preventing them from being given preventive means and sterilizers, and other such measures and penalties that are practiced against Palestinian prisoners and their right of treatment, and the continuation of the medical negligence policy pursued by the occupation over the past years.