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PCHR Publishes the 14th Report on Silencing the Press


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
issued the 12th in a series of reports titled “Silencing the
Press – Documentation of Israeli Attacks against Media Personnel in the
OPT.

 

The report addresses attacks launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on local and international media personnel working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). It covers the period from 01 November 2010 to 31 July 2011. It includes detailed accounts of all Israeli attacks on journalists and media institutions, as documented by PCHR. This documentation is supported by testimonies by victims and eyewitnesses and by field investigations. 

PCHR’s investigations refute many IOF’s claims regarding certain crimes, including opening fire at journalists.  PCHR believes that these crimes were committed willfully using excessive lethal force, without taking into consideration the principles of distinction and proportionality, and that these crimes were not justified by security necessity. 

 The reporting period witnessed 112 attacks by IOF against local and international media personnel and institutions, including: violations of media personnel’s right to life and right to safety and security of person; beating media personnel and subjecting them to other means of violence and humiliating and degrading treatment; arresting and holding media personnel; denying media personnel access to certain areas and preventing them from covering certain incidents; confiscation of media equipment and devices; preventing media personnel from traveling abroad; raiding media personnel’s houses; and destroying equipment and cars of media personnel while on duty.  

 The reporting period also witnessed approximately 35 attacks against media personnel while professionally covering peaceful demonstrations organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists in protest against the confiscation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank for the construction of the annexation wall or expansion of Israeli settlements. In many of the documented incidents, media personnel sustained serious wounds despite the protection ensured for them by the international law.

The report concludes that the majority of the crimes committed by IOF against local and international media personnel were intentional and part of a systematic Israeli policy aimed at isolating the OPT and attempting to hide crimes of killing and maltreatment committed against unarmed civilians.

In the report, PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to intervene promptly and immediately, fulfill their obligation and provide protection to Palestinians and to their property. PCHR calls also upon international media institutions to continue to cover crimes committed against media personnel in the OPT, and make all possible efforts at the international level to exert of pressure on the government of Israel and compel it to put an end to crimes committed against Palestinians and their property in general, and against media personnel in particular.

 

 

 

 

For more information, please contact the
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights at pchr@pchrgaza.org
or +972-(0)8-
282