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Palestinian journalists protest Israeli violations on World Press Freedom Day

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 16 Comments
May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Photographer escapes tear gas and sound bombs thrown by Israeli forces during peaceful demonstration of Palestinian journalists on World Press Freedom Day May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed) 

On Saturday, May 3, Israeli forces broke up a peaceful demonstration of Palestinian journalists at the checkpoint of Beit El near Ramallah on World Press Freedom Day. That same day, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights  (PCRH) released a report stating violations against Palestinian journalists include being shot at, killed, wounded, beaten, home invasions, confiscation of press badges and equipment, arrests, and being thrown in prison.  

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Palestinian journalist demonstrate for freedom of movement May 3, World Press Freedom Day 2014 (screenshot: PressTV)

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Palestinian journalists escapes sound bomb thrown by Israeli forces during peaceful demonstration on World Press Freedom Day May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed) (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

As Palestinian journalists gathered to protested restrictions on their freedom of movement across the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli military proceeded to throw sound grenades and tear gas into the crowd.

Israel frequently prevents Palestinian journalists from doing their jobs by not allowing them to reach towns and neighborhoods where violations are taking place (such as house demolitions; Israeli forces surround the home preventing press from documenting events as they occur , video 1:10).

Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA)  World Press Freedom Day event, May 4, 2014, Al Manara Square, Ramallah (photo: MADA)

Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) World Press Freedom Day event, May 4, 2014, Al Manara Square, Ramallah (photo: MADA)

In commemoration of World Press Freedom Day 2014 the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) organized events in Ramallah and  Gaza City on Sunday calling for “accountability for the 22 Palestinian journalists killed since 2000” also using the occasion to launch a campaign “Towards Reform of Media laws in Palestine”, to advancement a “media law draft” to help Palestinian journalists “achieve their ambitions.”

MADA, There is now a real opportunity for a substantial change in media freedoms,

The general director of MADA, Mr. Mousa  Rimawi, declared that this day was the occasion to commemorate media workers killed by the Israeli occupation forces in Palestine while performing their professional duty, adding that the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes were not held accountable contributed to the continuous violation of journalists’ rights.

This year witnessed a rise in violations against journalists, while last year saw the largest number of Israeli violations since 2008 [partially documented here – ed.]in the West Bank, with  151 cases. MADA calls the international community to  show solidarity with Palestinian journalists and exert real pressure on the Israeli Occupation Authorities so that they end their violations of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA) reports the Arab Press Sport Union condemned Israeli actions against Palestinian journalists, as well as violations against Palestinian athletes.

More screenshots from video of Saturdays’ peaceful demonstration by Palestinian journalists outside Ramallah: 

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Palestinian journalist demonstrate for freedom of movement May 3, World Press Freedom Day 2014 (screenshot: PressTV)

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Screenshot: Palestinian Journalists protest May3,2014

 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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16 Responses

  1. Kay24
    May 5, 2014, 10:32 am

    This article from the Committee to Protect Journalists shows just how brutal the “only” democracy in the Middle East can be. Democracy? What a joke!

    http://cpj.org/2014/03/journalists-under-fire-in-israel-and-the-occupied.php

  2. amigo
    May 5, 2014, 10:33 am

    Maybe those Palestinian Terro-eeeeests have bombs hidden in the those signs and represent an existential threat to Apartheid Israel.

  3. LeaNder
    May 5, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Important topic, Annie. Now maybe Allison could tell us something about restrictions for journalist generally reporting from Israel. No? I’d be interested. ;)

    My top question would be, does she have an Israeli allowance to report for us? Does something like that exists at all? Is it needed at all? I am trying to understand media one-sidedness on the issue. Does Israel except Western journalists credentials? No restrictions at all?

    I have no idea really, but it looks to me as if she is reporting from the ground. Although, yes, admittedly I am occasionally wondering, if she by now relies on the ground Palestinian connections occasionally or works from the States partly. In any case her recent cooperation with Alex suggested to me they were both over there at that point. And yes it feels she is over there for a long time now. But I don’t really know.

    Informed comments appreciated. ;)

    • Annie Robbins
      May 5, 2014, 1:41 pm

      allison lives in ramallah and reports from there. she does have press credentials thru some gov ministry in israel. you can write her and ask for details, not sure how much she will disclose. wrt your question about her ‘allowance’, she is a professional journalist, our foreign correspondent for MW and not a volunteer.

      this is part of what reader donations to MW pay for.

      from my perspective we’re very lucky to have allison on the ground there. it’s very different than me writing a report like this which is gleaned from news stories off the internet available to anyone thru googling. there’s really no replacement for being there. this report is not ‘journalism’ per se.

      allison wasn’t at this protest (obviously she can’t be at all places at all times) but she heard about it. there was very little news about it on the internet. i found out about it because a reader sent me a tip on a fashion show in ramallah from AP that was part of a series of photos. i scrolled thru the photos and found one of this protest w/a short description and then googled the event and found a bit more info. i thought it was important to bring the experience of these journalist here because they risk their lives to expose the occupation, for us.

      allison’s reporting… sometimes it’s really scary thinking of where she’s been to get those photos and those stories. and sometimes just harrowing.

      • LeaNder
        May 5, 2014, 10:04 pm

        Thanks, Annie. The topic is much more important than fashion. I like your contributions here a lot. Good you spotted this.

        But yes, it’s great to have Allison’s reports. Although I only responded with one minor reservation. ;)

        she does have press credentials thru some gov ministry in israel. you can write her and ask for details, not sure how much she will disclose.

        Max didn’t have creds, I suddenly remember. Didn’t he need David Sheen’s help in this context? But strictly this means you need special Israeli credentials. I have to ask friends who may know. Hmm? Maybe I ask a lady in a Israeli ministry, she still owes me a favor. :)

        No, she should definitively not write about that. Who knows? I am just a curious nitwit.

  4. Citizen
    May 5, 2014, 12:37 pm

    “The only democracy in the Middle East.”

    • Talkback
      May 6, 2014, 8:16 am

      “The only democracy in the Middle East.”

      This kind of “democracy” is the only one in the world.

    • Ecru
      May 6, 2014, 9:42 am

      “The only democracy in the Middle East…”

      but first, I mean obviously, we had to drive off people who might not vote for Jewish Zionists or what was the point, and then naturally enough we had to make life as difficult as possible for the few we didn’t manage to expel so they might leave of their own accord and it was also necessary to make sure their votes counted for nothing. And it’s obvious that we couldn’t let the pesky natives in the OT vote – why they might succeed in stopping land seizures and demolitions which are after all designed to make sure only Jewish votes count and there’s never any risk of people not voting for Jewish Zionists.

      See this is what a Zionist “democracy” is, doesn’t everyone know that the only “demos” that counts is the Jewish one? We thought that would be obvious, after all everyone else is lower than donkeys – our Rabbis told us so……..

      Oh and “anti-semitism!” “jew-hatred!” and “Holocaust!” (just in case).

  5. Jackdaw
    May 5, 2014, 2:20 pm

    Have Palestinian journalists protested Palestine Authority or Hamas violations against freedom of the press?

    Just curious.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 5, 2014, 2:40 pm

      “Just curious.”

      No you’re not, liar.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 5, 2014, 2:49 pm

      jack, if you link to some sources of the violations you’re referencing i can research that. off the top of my head i’m not really recalling the pa preventing journalists from documenting the occupation but i’m sure there are some other things they don’t want reported. if you’re curious, google is a good place to start.

    • Donald
      May 5, 2014, 2:55 pm

      “Have Palestinian journalists protested Palestine Authority or Hamas violations against freedom of the press?”

      The Palestinian Center for Human Rights is regularly critical of both the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas government for their violations of human rights. I’m not going to search for examples concerning press freedom, but yes, there are Palestinians who are critical of the two Palestinian “governments” or whatever one wishes to call them.

      Link to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights

    • eljay
      May 5, 2014, 3:06 pm

      >> Have Palestinian journalists protested Palestine Authority or Hamas violations against freedom of the press?

      Irrelevant. Israel claims to be a “moral beacon” (as per King Bibi), so it should act like a “moral beacon”.

      Zio-supremacists are like people who believe that defending an active serial rapist by pointing out that “Hey, at least he’s not a serial killer!” somehow makes the serial rapist a good and moral person, on par with the actions of a law-abiding citizen.

  6. Kathleen
    May 5, 2014, 11:25 pm

    Tonight (Monday) Chris Matthews did quite a segment on Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice pulling out of the Rutgers commencement (David Corn reported that she still was paid 35,ooo), Iraq, the run up to the invasion, how Israel played a role etc. Great segment

    Rice withdraws as commencement speaker
    http://www.msnbc.com/hardball

    • Ellen
      May 6, 2014, 6:51 am

      Kathleen, with all the shouting and speaking over each other it is practically impossible for the average listener/viewer to come away with anything. Most Americans have shows like that droning in the background and do not listen to what is said.

      Chris Matthews is noise TV. Not information, not dialogue. For example, Matthews asks a question, but never let’s his guest answer. He shouts over them. The show is unbearable and is just one reason why he has relatively poor ratings for his time slot.

      When the comments made during that shout fest are a subject of real discussion on pop media like Meet the Press, Charlie Rose or a documentary…..we have progress on the road to truth.

      Thanks for your media watch.

      • Kathleen
        May 6, 2014, 2:07 pm

        At times CM allows folks to finish. There were some important comments that made it through that segment

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