A free and courageous journalist

Lama Khater as seen by Palestinian journalists

Lama Khater journalist

Israel continues its criminal policy of repressing the truth and silencing voices that reject its policies in occupied Palestine. It is trying to throw all free voices of writers, academics, politicians and journalists into its prisons in an effort to silence their voices.

On Friday, the Israeli occupation forces arrested journalist Lama Khater from her house in Hebron, snatching her from her husband and children at night in an attempt to silence her voice and break down her strong pen.

The Palestinian Information Center spoke to Palestinian press people, and prepared the following report:

Silencing the truth 
The head of Palestinian Journalists Union Ahmed Zughbur stressed that the arrest of Lama Khater is a miserable Israeli attempt to mix the cards and silence the truth and suppress all free voices, noting that journalist Khater highlighted in her writings the plight of the Palestinian people everywhere and their right to resistance.

Zughbur notes that the arrest comes in line with the decision to ban Al-Quds Satellite TV Channel by the occupation to silence the truth and to continue the Judaization and settlement and the annexation of Palestinian lands.

“Her detention is completely devoid of all human meanings by extracting her from among her children. It contradicts all principles of human rights and protection of journalists,” Zughbur said, urging all concerned Arab, local and international institutions to intervene to stop this Israeli arrogance.

He called on all Palestinian journalists, press bodies and institutions to raise their voice in solidarity with their colleague Khater, indicating that his group will begin today sending several letters to various bodies urging them to pressure the occupation to release her.

Increased attacks
By arresting journalist Lama Khater, the Israeli occupation raises the degree of attacks on journalists and media in an unprecedented manner. The head of the Palestinian Government Information Office in the Gaza Strip, Salama Maarouf, said that last month saw an increase in the frequency of attacks against Palestinian journalists.

He noted that by arresting Khater, the number of Palestinian journalists held in Israeli jails increased to 24, 6 of whom are sentenced, 5 are placed under administrative detention and 12 journalists are held in custody, including five female journalists.

He stressed that this escalation by the occupation towards the press movement makes everyone face a serious challenge and responsibility, calling for the formation of the largest pressure group including local, Arab and international bodies, against the Israeli occupation to release these journalists, and to establish a lobbying advocacy and popular group to exert pressure in favor of journalists.

She disturbed the occupation
The head of the Palestinian Media Forum, Imad Al-Efrangi, believes that Palestinian journalist and activist Lama Khater has disturbed the occupation by her writings and her free voice, pointing out that her arrest comes as part of a campaign against Palestinian journalists and writers.

Al-Efrangi added, “The occupation arrested Lama Khater after demolishing her house a while ago, in a new attempt to silence her free voice. The scene of Khater giving her son a farewell hug is supposed to be used as an icon in the Arab, Palestinian and international media to show the suffering of the Palestinians.”

He noted that the arrest of Khater comes in the context of a campaign to silence voices, which includes banning Al-Quds channel and the arrest of journalists, stressing that this will not silence their voices, and that Palestinian journalists will remain armed with their pens and cameras and free voices.

The head of the Palestinian Media Forum paid tribute to the captive journalist Khater, pointing out that this arrest will not diminish her determination and will make her raise her head high, shattering the arrogance of the Israeli occupation.

He called on the Palestinian media to shed light on the practices of the occupation against writers, journalists and intellectuals, calling for organizing campaigns of solidarity with journalists and writers, and adopting a strong Arab position to expose the crimes of the Israeli occupation against journalists.

The arrest of a mother and a journalist
According to journalist Nayla Khalil, the Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn the Palestinian writer and mother Lama Khater, who never got tired of writing and resisting. She noted that “Lama would build up on hope line and would start putting down her words that sharpen the will and increase the determination of the Palestinian people.”

She noted, “In April, the Palestinian security forces arrested her husband for several hours. The charge against him was that his wife was using incitement. They said to him: How do you call yourself a man and you cannot force your wife to remain silent and not write?” Her husband Hazem al-Fakhouri replied by saying: “I respect her freedom of opinion. Writing about public affairs is a matter that concerns her.”

She added: “Throughout the past years, Lama has been silently suffering from incitement against her and repeated summoning of her husband and preventing her from traveling. Today, she was detained by the Israeli occupation, and her crime is writing what is going on in her mind.”

Activist Ola Juma wrote on her Facebook page: “It is a critical moment that is full of feelings of pain and oppression, which will take Lama and her son years and even a lifetime trying to forget why she was arrested and how she was arrested, hugging her son before being taken to prison.”

Activist Mona Mahmoud wrote commenting on the image of Khater embracing her child Yahya: “She is trying at that difficult moment to assure her sweetheart, holding him with all her strength and holding her tears back, hiding her heartache and trying not to break up so that her son gets the strength to be able to wait for her and to cope with the separation, which may be long or short depending on the mood of the intelligence officers of the Israeli occupation.”

(Source / 25.07.2018)

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