Israel’s Targeting of Palestinian Journalists Is Only Getting Worse

Israel’s Targeting of Palestinian Journalists Is Only Getting Worse
A journalist holds placards depicting Israeli police beating AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli in a demonstration against Israeli police attacks on Palestinian journalists, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem, May 28, 2021 (AP photo by Maya Alleruzzo).

The killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military in May turned the spotlight on the increasingly draconian restrictions imposed by Israel on Palestinian media, the freedom of movement of Palestinian journalists and the free flow of information, all of which have been exacerbating a conflict defined by asymmetric power relations for decades. Against the backdrop of rising tensions and violence in parts of the occupied West Bank, such severe constraints do nothing to help ensure Israel’s democratic image ahead of the upcoming round of parliamentary elections taking place on Nov. 1.

Sadly, Abu Akleh was not the first, or possibly the last, Palestinian journalist to be attacked and killed. While her death has been widely reported and denounced internationally and regionally, there has been little international media and public attention paid to the broader problem of intimidation, threats and targeting faced by Palestinian journalists. According to a report by the International Federation of Journalists, in the first half of 2022, the Israeli army and security forces were responsible for at least 479 violations of media and journalists’ rights in Palestine, pointing to “a clear attempt by Israel to silence media reporting on the ground.”

Such attacks have been largely ignored, as have other forms of human rights violations—arrests, destruction of equipment and physical abuse—carried out routinely by the Israeli security apparatus, but also by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority, or PA, which controls part of the West Bank, and by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Websites critical of the PA have been shut down and journalists arrested as part of a battle for legitimacy and control between the PA and its political opponents. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, journalists are often subjected to threats by both Israeli military offensives and Hamas policies that target journalists suspected of collaborating with Israel.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review