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Report: Israel extorts Palestinian journalists, bans them from traveling

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Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a report released Monday that Israel indefensibly prevents dozens of Palestinian journalists from traveling. This came a punishment for their journalistic work or expression of their opinions.

Entitled “Punishing Journalists: Israel’s Restrictions on Freedom of Movement,” the report documented cases in which the Israeli intelligence service extorted Palestinian journalists over their right to travel and movement.

Journalists’ testimonies

Thus, the report is based on dozens of interviews Euro-Med Monitor‘s team conducted with Palestinian journalists who are banned from traveling in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.

Euro-Med Monitor quoted several journalists as saying that Israeli officers notified them

that they can travel only if they report security information about Palestinians to the Israeli intelligence or work for Israel.

Others said that Israeli officers promised to allow them to travel if they gave up their journalistic work. Had the journalists refused the offer, they would face physical and psychological attacks. The attacks include beatings, detentions, home break-ins, and threats of continuous prosecution, they said.

The journalists further said that travel bans come in administrative decisions issued by the Israeli authorities. However, Journalists don’t know of the ban decision, the reasons behind it, or how to remove the decision.

The report pointed out that in international law allows limited restrictions on freedom of movement, provided that these restrictions are proportionate and do not entail discriminatory measures or result in other violations that affect a wide range of civilians who do not pose a security threat to individuals or groups. However, most of the Israeli restrictions on Palestinians were disproportionate and discriminatory.

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