Palestine: Israeli forces detained Palestinian TV journalists in Jerusalem

Israeli intelligence officers detained two Palestinian TV crews on 6 December in Jerusalem. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) strongly condemn on-going repression of Palestinian media.

Palestinian journalist Christine Rinawi detained by Israeli security forces. Credit: Screenshot from Palestine TV

On the morning of 6 December , Israeli security forces detained a Palestinian TV  crew during the shooting of a live broadcast of “Good Morning Jerusalem,” on the Mount of Olives. Amongst the detained were the show’s producer Dana Abu Shamsiya and cameraman Ameer Abed-Rabuu. Their equipment was also seized. According to Mohammad Barhouti, Palestine TV’s general news manager, the journalists were released after being held for four hours.

At the same time, Palestine TV reporter Christine Rinawi and cameraman Ali Yassin were also arrested near Damascus Gate. It remains unclear whether they have been released.

The arrests came in the light of a decision of 20 November by the Israeli authorities to close several Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem , which are funded by the Palestinian Authority. This includes the office of Palestine TV in East Jerusalem, which was ordered to shut down for six months. According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, in a response to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.:  "The journalists were detained in connection with illegal activity by (the) Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem.”

 At its executive meeting at Tangiers last week, the IFJ adopted a motion condemning  attacks against Palestinian journalists by Israeli military. This includes an appeal to the international community to immediately enact appropriate measures to ensure the safety of Palestinian journalists.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "Israel must respect the internationally  recognised rights of Palestinian journalists to work in East Jerusalem without being subjected to arrest, fear and intimidation. The international community of journalists is united in supporting our colleagues in Palestine. Israeli authorities must release the journalists and allow them to work freely."




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