Journalists covering Israel’s daily crimes against Palestinians were prevented from performing their duties while being subjected to numerous violations.
Israel carried out 1,003 violations against the press in Palestine in 2022, including the killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian Journalists Support Committee revealed on Sunday.
Cited by Qatar’s news agency (QNA), the findings highlighted an alarming rise of what the rights entity described as “deliberate” Israeli attacks on media freedoms in occupied Palestinian lands.
The violations include killings, 85 cases of arrest, four cases of deportation as well as the targeting and humiliation of press members covering Israel’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians.
The report added that Israeli forces had also used journalists as human shields and highlighted at least 44 raids targeting journalists press, both in their homes and at their company offices.
Other attacks on the press include restricting tens of Palestinian media entities and their social media accounts, most recently the suspension of Al-Quds’ page by Meta. There were also 242 cases in which journalists were prevented from carrying out their duties and had their equipment confiscated.
In total, the report recorded 215 cases of direct targeting with live ammunition and physical assaults that led to severe injuries, in addition to suffocation caused by poisonous gas thrown by Israeli occupation forces (IOF).
This year saw the harrowing murder of Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed by the IOF on 11 May while covering a raid in Jenin.
Witnesses at the scene said Abu Akleh was deliberately targeted in an area not covered by the helmet she wore at the time, which had also identified her as a member of the press. She was also clearly wearing her blue press vest at the time of the killing.
Qatar had condemned the killing as well as the IOF’s attacks on her funeral processions, which saw Israeli forces assault pallbearers carrying her coffin. Some Palestinians were even arrested and questioned by Israeli authorities for defending the casket.
In May, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said that Abu Akleh was denied “a dignified burial” as numerous officials from the Gulf state reiterated calls for accountability.
Speaking to Doha News in September last year, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani renewed calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for the killing of Abu Akleh.
“We hope that the international community will hold the Israeli authorities accountable for the crime that they have committed,” Sheikh Mohammed told Doha News in New York.
Seeking accountability, Al Jazeera had taken the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), at The Hague.