Palestinian Truth-Telling Criminalized by Israel
Palestinian journalists daring to expose Israeli high crimes face extrajudicial arrest and imprisonment on the phony pretext of threatening national security.
Israeli violations against Palestinian media freedom are rampant. According to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), violations occur regularly, 62 reported in June alone – including by PA authorities acting as Israel’s enforcer.
Earlier in July, Israel shut down Al-Quds TV, banning its operations, prohibiting journalists from working with it on the phony pretext of inciting terrorism – code language for truth-telling the Netanyahu regime wants suppressed.
MADA denounced what’s going on, saying the latest “assault comes within a systematic and aggravated Israeli policy to suppress media freedoms and silencing journalism in Palestine by all forms of assaults, particularly, shutting down media institutions.”
Since 2017, Israel shut down 17 Palestinian media operations. Assaulting, arresting and otherwise abusing Palestinian journalists continues, virtually none of this reported in Israeli and Western media.
MADA “expressed its concern about the Israeli assaults against media freedoms and renews its call addressed to legal and international organizations interested with media freedoms to make a serious move and force the occupation authorities to reduce and eliminate these assaults targeting media freedoms in Palestine.”
Women are abused like men, some assaulted sexually. Palestinian journalists are beaten and arrested, some shot with live fire, others with rubber-coated steel bullets. At times, tear gas canisters are fired directly at them, risking serious injuries or death.
Military censorship prohibits publishing information about Israeli high crimes against peace.
Jewish journalists risk mistreatment if expose what the IDF wants concealed. Palestinians have most to fear.
On Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces arrested Palestinian journalist Lama Abu Khater and others in numerous West Bank raids.
Police dogs attacked a Palestinian youth’s mother while her son was abusively and unlawfully arrested.
According to the Addameer Prisoner Support group, 5,900 Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israel’s gulag, including 60 women and 291 children – for the crime of praying to the wrong god, for wanting their fundamental rights upheld, for wanting brutalizing occupation harshness ended.
Like others, journalist Lama Khater was brutally arrested pre-dawn for daring to expose important truths about Israeli high crimes the Netanyahu regime wants suppressed.
Over two dozen Israeli soldiers stormed her home in Hebron, forcefully taking her to an unknown location, according to her daughter Nizar Shehada, a former political prisoner, also detained in the raid.
Her daughter Beesan said Khater was arrested at around 1:30AM Tuesday morning, saying “we heard a loud noise outside our home.”
Soldiers stormed it violently. “My mother kissed each one of us goodbye, and advised us to take care of each other.” Trying to comfort her children, she said she’d “be back soon.”
She’s a mother of five, a journalist writing for the Arabic Noon Post website on Israeli high crimes and other abuses.
Two years ago, she was arrested a month after giving birth to her youngest daughter Yahya. At the time after grueling interrogations on her writing, she was released.
Her husband Hazem al-Fakhouri said he was interrogated days earlier, warned that Khater would be arrested if she continued writing about Israeli practices.
“I did not expect the occupation to follow through on their threats,” he said. “My children and I were surprised to see the Israelis raiding our house in the middle of the night to arrest Lama without giving a reason.”
“She is the very foundation of this household, our family, and we all rely on her. We don’t know how we will continue with our lives now.”
Days earlier, Khater criticized Israel’s repressive closure of the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing to Gaza, the main passageway for vital goods entering and exiting the Strip, further tightening blockade conditions.
On July 23, she condemned Israel’s control of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque (Islam’s third holiest site) tweeting:
“As long as they call it the Temple Mount, and as long as they constantly break into it with large numbers, and as long as the Muslims do not enjoy full freedom of access and prayers in it, in practice the Aqsa Mosque will soon to be exclusively Jewish.”
Following her arrest, Palestinian author Radwan al-Akhras tweeted: “In the darkness, like thieves, they broke into the house and kidnapped the mother from her children.”
Khater’s daughter Beesan just completed high school and was preparing to enter Birzeit University.
She’s now the young woman of her household, saying “I will not be able to stay away from home as long as my mother is not there.”
“I’ll have to stay at home and take care of my brothers and sisters. It’s all my responsibility now.”
Her mother joins thousands of other Palestinian political prisoners, victims of Israeli ruthlessness.
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