Corruption, military censorship and self-censorship
The Israeli media are free to be outspoken, which is rare in the Middle East. Nonetheless, despite the existence of independent media, journalists are subjected to “military censorship,” orders banning coverage of certain subjects, private-sector lawsuits designed to gag them, and open hostility from members of the government.
The Israeli parliament has begun considering a proposed amendment under which recording or disseminating photos or videos of serving Israeli soldiers with the demonstrable aim of “undermining the spirit of IDF soldiers and residents of Israel” or “intending to harm state security” would be punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. Because of self-censorship, there is little or no coverage of the reality of life in the Palestinian territories. Foreign freelancers often have difficulties in obtaining or renewing accreditation.
The Israel Defence Forces often violate the rights of Palestinian journalists, especially when they are covering demonstrations in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian journalists were killed by IDF snipers and dozens were wounded while covering the “March of Return” protests in the Gaza Strip in 2018. Under Israel’s system of administrative detention, Palestinian journalists can be held indefinitely without formal charge and without notification of a lawyer, on the grounds that they are inciting violence or cooperating with terrorist organizations. The IDF have harassed or closed many Palestian media outlets in recent years for allegedly inciting violence.
87 in 2018
30.26 in 2018