Israeli Police Arrest Pregnant Journalist in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, January 19, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli police Monday arrested a pregnant journalist as she was leaving al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, according to witnesses.

They told WAFA that israeli police arrested female journalist Joman Abu Arafeh while leaving the Mosque’s compound. She was led to a police station in the city.

Israel often targets Palestinian journalists, either through arresting them or attacking them while covering peaceful marches and clashes with Palestinians, in total contradiction with international law, which calls for the protection of journalists at times of conflict.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored an unexpected high number of very serious crimes and violations committed by Israel against Palestinian journalists and media freedoms, the most violent and dangerous of which took place in the Gaza Strip.

“Israel’s attacks against journalists and media freedoms escalated sharply since the beginning of its military aggression on Gaza, with 16 journalists and media worker, in addition to 1 media activist killed between 8 July (beginning of the attack) and 26 August 2014 (date of the truce),” it reported.

Attacks against media freedoms were not only committed in the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank, where 21 Israeli abuses were monitored by MADA.

It said that in August 2014, “the Israeli attacks and violations against Palestinian media freedoms in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem included; killing, destroying media headquarters, damaging journalists’ houses, injuring journalists by bullets and bombing, arresting, preventing free movement, threatening and preventing coverage, detention, interrogation, and beating.”

Reporters without Borders said on its website, “In the report, Palestinian Journalists Caught Between Three Sides, RWB highlighted the double vice gripping information freedom in the Territories. The strongest pressure comes from Israel and its army, which doesn’t hesitate to arrest, even to kill, news professionals.”