The International Commission (ICSPR) condemns the arrest of the Israeli journalist Bushra Al-Tawil and calls on the international community to intervene in order to protect journalists working in the occupied Palestinian territories
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) followed with great concern and condemnation the Israeli occupation arrest of the journalist Bushra Al-Tawil (27 years) from Al-Bireh in Ramallah in the West Bank, where according to the Commission’s information, on Sunday, 8 November 2020, the occupation forces arrested the journalist Al-Tawil at a checkpoint on the “Yitzhar” road, south of Nablus, and transferred her to an unknown location. This is the fifth arrest of the journalist, Al-Tawil, who was arrested the first time in 2011 and was sentenced to 11 months, and the second was in 2014 and was sentenced to 10 months in prison, the third arrest in 2017 and sentenced to 8 months, and the fourth in 2019.
This year is witnessing an increase in the index of the number of journalists detained in the occupation prisons, which reached 25 journalists; which indicates that the Israeli occupation forces have followed repressive policies towards journalists and press institutions, including arrest, detention, restrictions on movement, and prevention of journalists from traveling outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory; raiding, smashing and closing media institutions, and bombing and destroying media facilities; and banning the printing of newspapers in the occupied Palestinian territory. These violations constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes in accordance with Article 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
ICSPR condemns in the strongest possible terms the long detention of the journalist, and affirms that the Israeli occupation is pursuing a policy of arresting journalists and activists, in an attempt to undermine their societal, cultural and political role, despite the protection that journalists and news agency workers enjoy in accordance with the rules of international humanitarian law, and affirming that targeting journalists constitutes a serious violation of human rights, the rules of international humanitarian law, crimes against humanity and war crimes in accordance with Articles 7,8 of the Rome Statute. Therefore:
- ICSPR condemns the arrest of the journalist Bushra Al-Tawil by the Israeli occupation forces at a checkpoint on the “Yitzhar” road, south of Nablus.
- ICSPR calls on the Palestinian Authority to intensify its work with international human rights organizations to urge them to take immediate and serious action in terms of forcing the occupation authorities to comply with the rules of international law, including strengthening pathways for prosecution and accountability of perpetrators.
- ICSPR calls on the international community, and in particular the International Federation of Journalists, to intervene immediately and quickly, to fulfill its obligations, provide international protection for journalists, and hold accountable the leaders of the Israeli occupation for their crimes committed against local and foreign journalists, and press and media institutions.
- ICSPR calls on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations contained in Article 1 of the Convention, according to which they undertake to respect the Convention and to ensure its respect in all cases.