Israeli occupation forces arrested nine Palestinians across the West Bank on Tuesday, October 5, including two journalists, an action swiftly condemned by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS).
One of the journalists, Sameh Manasreh, was arrested in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarm but was later released, while another, Radi Karama, was detained in Hebron. They were accused of taking part in popular resistance. However, PJS head Naser Abu Bakr said their arrests were “a crime [intended] to muzzle speech.” The detainees joined 26 other Palestinian journalists currently in Israel jails, Abu Bakr said.
The arrests come a day after Palestinians in Bethlehem, Ramallah and occupied East Jerusalem were detained by Israeli forces, including seven in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. Israeli forces also broke into Palestinian homes in Silwan, a neighborhood just south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, whose residents are under threat of being expelled and their homes demolished. Between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Israeli forces detained 20 Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
In September, Palestinian photojournalist Nasser Ishtayeh was shot and wounded while covering a demonstration in the village of Deir al-Hatab after clashes broke out between a group of youth and the Israeli soldiers. Ishtayeh has two decades of experience in covering protests and his work has appeared in a wide range of media including AP and Le Monde. Ishtayeh has been previously targeted by Israeli soldiers’ violence in the past.
The PJS announced that it would be seeking justice for such crimes against journalists in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), who represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries has repeatedly condemned the deliberate targeting of journalists by Israel. In July 2021, the IFJ called on the UN Human Rights Council to speak out on the issue.