13 Palestinian journalists held in Israeli jails for covering Israeli violations, says PPS

‘Israel’ is currently holding 13 Palestinian journalists in its jails, said the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) on Sunday.

The PPS said that two of the journalists, Zaina Halawani and Wahbi Makkia, were arrested on Friday and today an Israeli occupation court refused an appeal to release the journalists, and a new trial will be held.

Halawani and Makkia were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem on May 28 and were placed in administrative detention.

The two were arrested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah where they were covering and documenting Israeli forces and settlers violence against Palestinian residents who are facing imminent Israeli threat of eviction in the neighborhood.

Alaa Al-Rimawi, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and head of the online news agency J-Media, is also among journalists as he has been held in jails since 22 April without any official charge being brought against him.

A court initially ordered three months of administrative detention for Rimawi but reduced it to 45 days after he went on hunger strike for 16 days.

A week ago, on 21 May, an Israeli judge ordered an 11-day extension to the administrative detention of another Palestinian journalist, Alghad TV cameraman Hazem Nasser, who was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint at the entrance to the West Bank town of Tlkarm on 12 May as he was returning from Nablus, where he had been filming Israeli forces attacking Palestinians.

Ahmad Azaizeh, a blogger who freelances for various outlets including Bokra.net, a local news site, was also arrested at his home on 12 May after covering Israeli forces attacking Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, and was placed in administrative detention for “inciting hatred.”

A subsequent order was issued extending his detention until 17 May, but he was not released when that order expired.

Another Palestinian woman journalist is also currently detained, Bushra Al-Taweel, who has been held since 8 November 2020, when she was arrested on the road from Ramallah to Nablus.

Although no charge has been brought against her, her administrative detention was extended for another four months on 7 March. She was previously held without any charge for a total of 230 days, from December 2019 to July 2020.

Recently, the Israeli occupation forces have amplified their targeting of Palestinian journalists in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, in an attempt to silence their voices and to close their eyes.

According to groups concerned with the affairs of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, Israel has imprisoned around 4,400 Palestinians, including 39 women, 155 children, and 350 administrative detainees held without any charges.

(Source / 31.05.2021)

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