Israel Blackmails Palestinian Journalists and Bans Their Travel

Israeli authorities deliberately blackmail Palestinian journalists and restrict their right to freedom of movement, in a punitive policy based on their work.

Some journalists told our organisation that Israeli officers told them that the travel ban could be removed in one case only, that is, if they cooperated with them in providing security information about the Palestinians or if they worked for Israel. In other cases, the Israeli officers promised journalists to grant them the right to movement and travel if they stopped their journalistic work or stopped working for certain media organisations.

According to testimonies; if journalists refused the offers, they would be subjected to physical and psychological torture, through beatings, detention, home invasions and threats of continuous prosecution, direct targeting, arrest, intimidation, destruction of equipment, and others, but in recent years travel ban was added to the list.

According to the statements of journalists to our organisation, the processes of issuing travel and movement bans are administrative decisions issued by the Israeli authorities, without following legal or judicial procedures, and without informing journalists of the decision at the time of its issuance or informing them of the authority that issued the decision and the reasons that caused it, and journalists are not informed of how to remove this decision or appeal against it.

For decades, the Israeli authorities have severely restricted freedom of the press and expression of opinion in the Palestinian territories.

Official Palestinian statistics provide that Israel has arrested more than 20 Palestinian journalists, of more than 4,000 prisoners it held in its prisons for different periods.

In our organisation, we affirm that Israel is obligated to grant Palestinian journalists their right of movement within and outside the Palestinian territories without hindrance or restrictions, under international human rights and humanitarian law.

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