Date: May 03, 2022
Original language: Arabic
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day
ICSPR calls for providing protection for Palestinian journalists and stopping the Israeli occupation crimes against them.
The third of May marks that World Press Freedom Day, where the United Nations General Assembly declared World Press Freedom Day in December 1993, and since then, the day has been celebrated all over the world as a World Press Freedom Day, to ensure reminding the governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom, assess the state of press freedom around the world, and defend the independence of media.
This occasion takes place at a time when violations against journalists and media professionals and their institutions are escalating. ICSPR has monitored nearly 300 violations since the beginning of this year by the Israeli occupation forces, which turned journalists into a direct target during their journalistic work and coverage, which took multiple patterns: murder, injuries, burn, suffocation, physical abuse and smashing their press equipment, or arbitrarily arresting without charges, or obstructing their access to the areas of events, or raiding press headquarters and destroying and confiscating their contents, with the aim of preventing them From press coverage, in an attempt to silence them and prevent the documentation of the continuous crimes against Palestinian civilians, especially in the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the Israeli occupation forces deliberately attack journalists to prevent them from covering the crimes of the Israeli occupation forces, despite the clarity of their identities and the press badge that distinguishes them from others, in a grave violation to the international humanitarian law and human rights charters.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) salutes journalists around the world and the Palestinians in particular on their international day, and stresses that the targeting of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli occupation forces constituted a serious violation of human rights and the rules of international humanitarian law, especially those related to condemning the deliberate attacks against journalists working in the media and individuals associated with them during the armed conflicts, and stresses that the continuation of the Palestinian division has created environments for attacks on the rights of journalists, whether by detaining or attacking them and preventing them from covering, or by the repeated security summons for some journalists in the West Bank, or by requiring prior approval for work and press coverage and impeding the work of journalists in any way, or through the issuance of many laws and decrees that limit the freedom of journalistic work in light of the disruption of the Legislative Council and the dominance of the executive authority over the rest of the authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. ICSPR condemns the social media platforms continued violations of freedom of the press and expression in the context of restricting Palestinian content. Therefore:
- ICSPR calls on the international community to protect journalists and press institutions operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, by holding the perpetrators of these grave violations accountable, ensuring respect for media freedoms and freedom of opinion and expression, and stopping the policies of double standards on social media platforms towards Palestinian content.
- ICSPR calls on the International Federation of Journalists and all Arab and international press and media institutions and unions to activate solidarity with Palestinian journalists in a way that contributes to stopping violations of their rights and supporting media freedoms in Palestine.
- ICSPR calls on the official Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to ensure practicing the right to freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work without any restrictions, in line with national standards and the international obligations of the State of Palestine under its accession to relevant international covenants.
- ICSPR calls on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to work hard to expedite the investigation of the crimes of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian journalists in a way that ensures accountability of the leaders and soldiers of the Israeli occupation responsible for the grave violations against Palestinian journalists.