Israel attacks journalists to hide reality Palestinians face

Dragged by the head, punched in the face, kicked in the knees and pepper sprayed directly in the eyes.

These are just a few of the recent abuses of Palestinian journalists by Israeli soldiers that have been captured on video.

In other cases, Israeli snipers have shot journalists with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets even as they wore vests clearly identifying them as media workers.

In the video above, captured by journalist Diya Houshiya on 30 October and published by the human rights group Al-Haq, Israeli occupation forces assault journalists and pepper spray Houshiya as he films.

In previously published video of what appears to be the same incident in the West Bank town of al-Bireh near Ramallah, Israeli soldiers also attack Red Crescent medics who were trying to assist a youth the soldiers had just deliberately run over with a jeep.

Israeli forces committed more than 100 violations against journalists in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in October, according to the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA).

MADA says Israeli forces violently assault photojournalists, prevent them from covering incidents and even delete their material because “Israel wants to hide the reality and does not want the journalists to deliver their message to the world.”

The group has documented at least 450 violations of journalists since the beginning of the year.


Al-Haq asserts that Israel has deliberately targeted Palestinian journalists in recent weeks.

On 2 October, an Israeli sniper shot Ahmad Talat Hassan, a journalist working for several international outlets, in the thigh as he was filming the weekly peaceful demonstration in Kufr Qaddoum in the West Bank.

According to Al-Haq, Hassan was shot at a range of about 150 meters while wearing a helmet, a press vest and carrying his camera.

On 23 October, photojournalist Daoud Nimer Abu al-Kas, 23, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet east of Shujaiya in the Gaza Strip.

He was shot as he approached a young protester who was lying on the ground injured.

War crime

Al-Haq says that Israel’s deliberate attacks on journalists may amount to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

MADA has documented a 154 percent increase in Israeli assaults on journalists over the last three years.

During Israel’s assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, at least seven journalists were killed on the job.

Last year, Reporters Without Borders listed Israel as the second most lethal country in the world for journalists.

MADA notes that attacks on journalists by Palestinian Authority forces have also increased, but remain a fraction of Israeli violations.

In addition to injuring and killing them, Israel’s attacks on journalists include detention, threats and destruction of equipment.

Silencing media

On 3 November, the Israeli army raided Minbar al-Huriyya, a radio station in Hebron, claiming it was inciting listeners.

Occupation forces ordered the station shut for six months, confiscated most of its equipment and damaged its facilities.

Hisham Sharabati, a field researcher with Al-Haq, told The Electronic Intifada that Minbar al-Hurriya is one of the most popular radio stations in Hebron.

Reporters for al-Huriyya tell listeners where protests are occurring and report up-to-date information on Israeli violence against Palestinians.

Palestinians inspect damage at the Minbar al-Hurriya radio station in Hebron on 3 November after Israeli soldiers stormed it and destroyed and confiscated equipment.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

An army statement claimed Minbar al-Huriyya “broadcasts extreme incitement against the State of Israel, encourages stabbing attacks and supports violent demonstrations.”

“I believe they want to silence them and send a message to other radio stations in Hebron to self-censor,” Sharabati said.




The world is watching you Israel. The days of running you racist, military occupation of the Palestinians with immunity and with the world remaining ignorant are over. We are standing up to your terrorism, to the fact that you murdered over 581 children in just over a year, your bombings of hospitals, homes, five UN Safety Shleters, Gaza's only power plant, of schools, and ambulances. We are standing up to the fact that you've bulldozed 450,000 Palestinian homes (zero Jewish homes) and replaced them with racist, "Jewish only" colonizations which violate multiple international laws. We are watching your racist, illegal, unjustified checkpoints. We are well aware of your murder sprees of Palestinians in Gaza. We are watching and through BDS are taking massive action until you:
Stop killing children!
Stop your racist, military occupation!
Stop bombing homes, hospitals, safety shelters, ambulances, and children!
Stop bulldozing homes!
Stop your racist checkpoints!
Stop blaming the victims for their own rape and pillage

None of your ridiculous excuses in any way "justify" your reign of terror and racist, military occupation!

#FreePalestine #FreeGaza


These are the latest attacks on Palestinian Journalists *that we know about*. For every one which is filmed or made public I would suggest there are a hundred or a thousand more.


Do the majority of Israelis even care about their war crimes?


Just like any other nation on this planet and not just Israel, I ask where are the good citizens who know this occupation is WRONG? WE seldom see the good people in Israel who are not supportive of this kind of behavior in their government. If these people had more of an international exposure, the heat on Israel WOULD subside I am sure. The BALL is in Netanyahu's court, so to speak. Go on treating these people like crap - get international condemnation. Listen to their pleas in good faith and do something about it - Israel gets welcomed with open arms EVERYWHERE I am sure! The choice is theirs and any blow back from abuse of people is a result of NOT listening to pleas for fair and positive change. How many times must a person get burnt striking matches with the cover open before he realizes that the cover should be closed before striking. Even if Israel exterminated EVERY Palestinian on the face of the earth, this issue of state-sanctioned violence against other people will NEVER go away!

I want to embrace the good people of Israel like any other nation, but "their" racist fascist government makes it impossible for me to do so. Time to move into the modern ages Israelis and put these Dark Age regimes to rest once and for all. You would be far better off in a world that witnessed a sea change in Israeli politics, just like Americans would with respect to "their" government.


Of course Israel feels free to attack Palestinian reporters. Would the Nazi's have had any compunction about burying a Jewish press corps? But I think it's really more a matter of indiscriminate violence against any Arabs than a directive to eliminate Arab media personnel.
The sad truth is that violence, discrimination, degradation, humiliation and every other kind of injustice has been very effectively hidden in plain sight for a lifetime by our (US) media personnel.


IDF violence against and interference with journalists is not confined to Palestinians. Nor is it a recent development. Ask Neal Cassidy. The Israeli regime has been using those tactics, and the ubiquitous "Closed Military Area Order" for years to keep it's activities away from the bright light of day. In the past it took a good deal of capital to be able to capture what they were doing; film, processing, expensive equipment, crew. Video came along and the costs dropped, but nothing like the current media environment. Now any Palestinian with a cell phone and an email account can broadcast to the world. Zionist tyranny can no longer hide its craven face. They can jail people for their facebook posts and beat up journalists, but the days of "shining city on a hill" image control are done and over.

Charlotte Silver

Charlotte Silver's picture

Charlotte Silver is an independent journalist and regular writer for The Electronic Intifada. She is based in Oakland, California and has reported from Palestine since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @CharESilver.