EU lawmakers condemn Israel’s treatment of Palestinian journalists
Twenty Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have jointly condemned the regime’s repressive measures against members of the press in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The MEPs expressed serious concern over Israel’s use of arbitrary restrictions, such as travel bans, detentions or home break-ins, against Palestinian reporters and correspondents.
The legislators co-signed a petition organized by independent and Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (commonly known as Euro-Med Monitor) as well as Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
“Such measures pose a serious threat to the independence of Palestinian journalism and to freedom of speech and expression in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the petition read.
The MEPs called on Israel to abolish all arbitrary travel bans against Palestinian journalists in the besieged Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, and “cease any other forms of harassment, intimidation, or blackmail against them.”
The petition comes after Euro-Med Monitor released a report last November entitled “Punishing Journalists: Israel's Restrictions on Freedom of Movement.”
The report documented Palestinian journalists’ assertions that Israeli authorities had heavily restricted their freedom of movement between the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East al-Quds as a form of punishment or bargaining chip.
It also exposed how Israeli troops have used travel bans to force Palestinian journalists into collaborating against fellow Palestinians or to refrain from working with certain media outlets or reporting on certain topics.
Some journalists said that they endured various forms of intimidation and harassment, including home raids, arbitrary detention and harsh interrogations, after refusing to accommodate Israeli authorities' demands.
On January 22, a non-profit organization representing journalists, writers and broadcasters said more than a dozen Palestinian journalists were being held in harsh conditions in Israeli jails in contradiction to international law, denouncing the regime for practicing “organized terrorism” to silence Palestinian media.