A group of Palestinian female journalists gave shocking testimonies that sparked widespread anger, about being physically assaulted by security men affiliated with the authority, to intimidate them and prevent them from covering the protests condemning the assassination of activist Nizar Banat.
These accounts came during a press conference today, Wednesday, where the female journalists stressed that this happened despite their holding official press business cards.
– Palestine Network for Dialogue (@paldf) June 24, 2021
Attacks on Palestinian female journalists
One of these testimonies was given by the journalist, Batoul Koussa, who told Al-Hurra that she was not surprised by the attack she was subjected to, given the previous attacks on female journalists at the Saturday march.
She pointed out that wearing a shield that showed her journalistic identity did not prevent her from being attacked.
#Israel #PalestineAt least 12 journalists were attacked by Palestinian police in the West Bank at the end of last week, while covering the demonstrations that took place after the death of activist Nizar Banat. Reporters Without Borders condemns the Palestinian Authority’s use of violence to silence journalists and conceal the reality of its dealings with demonstrators pic.twitter.com/23Frt9GY63
— Reporters Without Borders (@RSF_ar) June 28, 2021
Kosa explained that her phone was snatched from her while she was filming an assault on a young man, and she was able to retrieve it during skirmishes between a young man who came to her rescue and the person who stole her phone.
Palestinian female journalists recounted how they were subjected to physical targeting while security personnel tried to confiscate their mobile phones to prevent them from filming the violations.
For her part, journalist Najla Zaitoun revealed that she was beaten with a stick by a person in civilian clothes, despite showing her press card.
The journalist, who works in Ramallah, explained that Prime Time Zone in civilian clothes stole her phone and handed it over to a person in military uniform, adding that she had been subjected to threats of assault with “obscene” words.
In her interview with Al-Hurra, journalist Batoul also revealed that she and her colleagues called the Palestinian police to protect them, but the police did not attend.
For its part, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate demanded in a statement on Sunday, to stop covering news of the Palestinian presidency and government until the demands of journalists are met, and to dismiss the police chief due to the lack of protection for journalists.
The attacks sparked outrage among human rights and women’s organizations.
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jelena Porter revealed that the United States is deeply disturbed by reports that members of the Palestinian security forces arrested and used force against demonstrators and journalists over the weekend during public demonstrations calling for accountability for those responsible for the killing of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat.
The US official called on the security forces to act in a professional manner, and the authorities to respect freedom of expression, the work of journalists, and the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully.
“We learned that the Palestinian Authority announced the establishment of an investigation committee into the killing of the Palestinian activist, and as we said previously, it is important for the authority to conduct an extensive and transparent investigation and ensure accountability in this case,” she said.
The 43-year-old Palestinian activist, Nizar Banat, and one of the fiercest critics of the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas on social media, died hours after his arrest Thursday at the hands of the Palestinian security services, according to his family, who accused the authorities of his assassination.
The West Bank witnessed widespread protests and demonstrations condemning the assassination of girls and demanding the departure of Mahmoud Abbas and his authority.
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