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Israeli forces suppress World Press Freedom Day march, detain 2 Palestinian journalists

May 3, 2017 5:42 P.M. (Updated: May 4, 2017 1:50 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march organized by Palestinian journalists on World Press Freedom Day in front of Ofer prison in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Wednesday.

Israeli forces used tear gas to suppress protesters, and detained journalists Ashraf al-Nibali and Amin Alariya during the march, which also stood in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, who entered their 17th day without food on Wednesday.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were unaware of the incidents.

On Sunday, Israeli forces injured 13 Palestinian journalists during the violent suppression of a peaceful sit-in in occupied East Jerusalem that was organized in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners.

Last month, Reporters Without Borders condemned Israeli forces for violating the rights of Palestinian and foreign journalists, particularly those that cover demonstrations, in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the international press freedoms NGO.

“Under Israel’s system of administrative detention, Palestinian journalists can be held indefinitely without trial, without formal charge, and without notifying a lawyer. They are often accused of inciting violence, cooperating with terrorist organizations, or otherwise posing a threat to Israel’s security,” the group wrote in the report, which ranked Israel 91 out of 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) documented 249 press freedoms violations committed by Israeli authorities in the group’s annual 2016 report.

Israeli violations involved the “injuring and arresting of dozens of Palestinian journalists, raiding, confiscating, and sabotaging media outlets, including the shutdown of 12 Palestinian media outlets and printing houses.”
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