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.
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).
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.”
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: