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Censorship & Freedom of Information

In Israel, military censorship, gag orders, state press accreditation, and more, limit and stymie an honest public democratic discourse on a range of issues, usually in the name of security. In Palestine, the — often physical — assault on free speech comes from both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and has even more dire consequences.

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  • Palestinian journalists the latest victim of Hamas-Fatah rivalry

  • Israel's empty threat to 'shut down' Al Jazeera

  • Extremist rabbi indicted for incitement against Palestinians

  • Israel expels Dutch journalist after he tweets +972 articles

  • Report: Sharp spike in repression of Palestinian journalists

  • Former IDF ethicist tapped to censor 'political speech' in Israeli universities

  • Because BDS, Israeli archeologists want West Bank work kept secret

    An Israeli court rejects a freedom of information request for the names of archeologists digging, under IDF license, in the occupied territories, and where Israel is storing the antiquities they uncover. The reason: so they don't face academic boycott. The Jerusalem District Court on Monday refused to reveal the names of archeologists performing digs at antiquities sites in the occupied West Bank, as is the practice of the Israel Antiquities Authority inside the Green Line. The reason: the archeologists' (and the State’s) fear of academic boycotts, and the difficulties it would pose for ongoing (Israeli) archeological projects in the occupied…

  • Israel's surefire way of keeping its citizens in the dark

    The Israeli establishment used to rely on the IDF Censor to make sure the media didn't ask questions. Nowadays it uses court-sanctioned gag orders. By Shuki Tausig Did you hear about…and about…or what about…how could you have missed that? After all, we are talking about newsworthy events, the kind that open the 8 o'clock news. So how come you didn't hear about them? [tmwinpost] You didn't hear about them because the police/Shin Bet/some other body rushed to ask the court to issue a gag order on the attack/investigation/affair. The courts usually serve as a rubber stamp in these cases, especially in cases when…

  • IDF Censor redacts 1 in 5 articles it reviews for publication

    The Israeli military censor has redacted, in full or in part, over 17,000 articles since 2011. While fewer articles have been censored in 2015 and 2016, the new IDF Censor is attempting to redact already-published information with alarming frequency. The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day. In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it…

  • Palestinian journalist jailed by Israel was arrested for criticizing PA, lawyer says

    Israel has been holding Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal without charge or trial for over four months. In an interview, his attorney says that is because he criticized the PA over its handling of an assassination at its embassy in Bulgaria. By Oren Persico and Nimrod Halberthal This past April, Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal set out to travel from his home in the West Bank to a conference of the European Federation of Journalists in Sarajevo. Until about a year ago, Nazzal, 53, was the head of the West Bank-based radio station “Palestine al-Youm,” but left a short while before the station was shut down…

  • Gag order extended as police refuse to release CCTV footage of Qalandiya killing

    A Palestinian mother of two and her 16-year-old brother were shot and killed by Israeli security guards at Qalandiya checkpoint in April, even though eyewitnesses say they posed no risk. The police refuse to release the CCTV footage – maybe they know something we don’t? By John Brown* More than four months after a shooting at Qalandiya checkpoint that left dead a Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother, the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court on Monday upheld Israel Police's request to extend a gag order on the details of the affair and identity of the suspects by another month. The police said that Maram…

  • How Israel is trying to enforce gag orders beyond its borders

    At Israel's request, Twitter is blocking Israelis from viewing certain tweets published overseas. Similar take-down notices have been sent to other international online platforms, the Justice Ministry confirms. Israeli authorities are taking steps to block their own citizens from reading materials published online in other countries, including the United States. The Israeli State Attorney’s Office Cyber Division has sent numerous take-down requests to Twitter and other media platforms in recent months, demanding that they remove certain content, or block Israeli users from viewing it. [tmwinpost] In an email viewed by +972, dated August 2, 2016, Twitter’s legal department notified American blogger Richard Silverstein that the Israeli…

  • Police extend gag order on deadly Qalandiya shooting — again

    Despite the fact that eye witnesses have provided versions of events that contradict the police narrative, the latter has refused to release CCTV footage of the shooting that killed two Palestinian siblings. John Brown* Nearly 70 days after Israeli security contractors shot two Palestinian siblings to death at the Qalandiya military checkpoint outside Jerusalem, a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge has extended a sweeping gag order on the case, raising more and more questions about the case. The gag order covers all details about the investigation and any information that might be used to identify the suspects — the security contractors. [tmwinpost] According…

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