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  • Israeli body that accredits journalists honored for propaganda

    The official Israeli government body that accredits journalists has just been honored by the country's PR association for enhancing Israel's image abroad. Anyone who values an independent and free press should be alarmed. The government bureau responsible for accrediting journalists in Israel was honored last month by Israel’s association of public relations professionals for its work promoting government propaganda, known cordially as “hasbara,” or “public diplomacy.” The Government Press Office, which is a division of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, was presented the certificate of appreciation at the Israel Public Relations Association’s annual “Roaring Lion” awards ceremony. [tmwinpost] In an announcement…

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  • Palestinian journalists the latest victim of Hamas-Fatah rivalry

    Fatah-affiliated security forces arrest five journalists in the West Bank; Hamas forces are holding at least one journalist in Gaza. Palestinian rights groups demand both parties keep journalists out of their political rivalry. Palestinian Authority security services arrested five Palestinian journalists in the West Bank Tuesday night in what appears to be a worrying manifestation of escalating tensions between Fatah and Hamas. [tmwinpost] Fatah-aligned PA security forces accused the five journalists of “leaking sensitive information to hostile parties,” presumably Hamas, according to a report on the official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA Wednesday. Several of the arrested journalists work for…

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

    Communications Minister Ayoub Kara held a press conference at which he promised to ‘close’ Al Jazeera. He doesn’t exactly have that type of authority, let alone the ability. By Moshe Ronen Israel’s new communications minister, Ayoub Kara, declared this week that he would act to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Kara explained that he is the only minister in the Israeli government whose mother tongue is Arabic, and therefore he is the only one who understands the channel’s Arabic-language broadcasts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time praising Kara for working…

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  • WATCH: Israeli police arrest, rough up Activestills photojournalist

    Journalists were standing off to the side of a mass prayer action that devolved into light clashes when police charged at them, singling out Faiz Abu Rmeleh, later beating and harassing him, he says. By Oren Ziv and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Israeli police roughed up and detained Activestills photojournalist Faiz Abu Rmeleh Tuesday night while he was covering a mass prayer at the Lions' Gate of the Old City in Jerusalem. The incident is one of many in recent days in which Israeli, Palestinian and foreign press have accused police of restricting their access and in some cases assaulting them.…

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  • Explained: What’s the story with Netanyahu and the media?

    The editor of Israeli media watchdog The Seventh Eye, Shuki Tausig, explains the current scandals involving Netanyahu and the media, and what they mean for journalism and democracy in Israel. The Israeli media is often lauded by outsiders as fierce and independent, often in order to demonstrate the ostensible strength of the country’s democracy. But a number of public scandals and political dramas over the past few months have exposed a far less flattering picture. [tmwinpost] Most of the story includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one way or another. The latest political showdown saw Netanyahu trying to shut down…

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  • Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians march in anti-occupation protest

    Palestinians and Israelis took to Jerusalem's streets in their thousands on Saturday night in order to protest the occupation. Meanwhile, diverse protests sprung up elsewhere in Jerusalem, as well as in Tel Aviv. By Eli Bitan A string of demonstrations saw thousands of people take to the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest the occupation; the recent Netanyahu-backed government agreement to close the news division of the new Israeli public broadcasting authority; the failure to secure the release of Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian Israeli who crossed into Gaza in September 2014 and has not been…

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  • Netanyahu: Attacking Israeli journalists on Facebook is 'fun'

    Netanyahu tells foreign journalists that using social media to attack local reporters is 'the most entertaining.' Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke honestly, perhaps for the first time, about what has been driving his recent attacks on Israeli journalists during a conference for members of the foreign press in Jerusalem Tuesday evening. During the Q&A session, one reporter asked Netanyahu about whether confrontations with local journalists are the "best strategy" to engage with media outlets critical of him. "I don't know, it's the most entertaining," Netanyahu retorted. "It's fun, I enjoy it." It used to be that there was the media, the media said…

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  • Israeli forces shoot Palestinian journalist in head with tear gas canister

    Nidal Eshtayeh, who has been attacked by Israeli troops and officers multiple times, is still recovering from the impact of the projectile that broke through his helmet. Israeli Border Police officers shot Palestinian photojournalist Nidal Eshtayeh in the head with an extended-range tear gas canister last week, which shattered his helmet and left him with a concussion from which he has yet to recover. The shooting took place during the course of a weekly protest against Israeli settlements in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum. Like almost every week, the protest devolved into clashes between Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers,…

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  • 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…

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  • 'Partly free'? The real state of Israeli press freedom is much worse

    Freedom House has downgraded its ranking of Israel's media from 'free' to 'partly free,' citing closer ties to the government and a spike in paid media content. But it has one flagrant omission: Israel's poor treatment of Palestinian journalists. By Lisa Goldman Freedom House, the U.S.-based watchdog NGO that reports on the state of civil liberties around the world, has downgraded its ranking of Israel's media from "free" to "partly free" in its 2016 Freedom of the Press Report. The authors of the report cite the influence of the free daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is owned and subsidized at…

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  • Israel's covert war against Palestinian media

    Palestinian journalists are increasingly threatened, arrested and interrogated just for doing their jobs. And for the most part, Israeli journalists remain silent.  By Noam Rotem On a Tuesday night in the beginning of April, Israeli armed forces raided a house in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. They woke up sleeping family and gave al-Hayat journalist Diala Jwehan a summons to appear for interrogation. Jwehan has been covering the uprising of recent months, primarily in East Jerusalem, and is one in a long list of Palestinian journalists who have been called in for questioning because of their media work –…

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  • IDF shoots Palestinian journalist with rubber bullet in latest assault

    Nidal Eshtayeh says he was standing away from protesters when Israeli troops shot a rubber-coated steel bullet at his eye. Two IDF officers were recently convicted for assaulting Israeli and Palestinian journalists. Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian photojournalist in the eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet on Saturday. Nidal Eshtayeh, a photographer for Chinese news agency Xinhua, arrived at the Nakba Day protest taking place at the Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus late Saturday morning. [tmwinpost] “It was a quiet protest — no rocks, and it was just starting,” Eshtayeh explained. There were around 200 protesters, and 20 or so journalists were…

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  • WATCH: IDF officer gets prison for throwing stones at journalists

    The incident is not the first time Israeli security officials have been documented attacking journalists at West Bank protests, and in the village of Nabi Saleh. An IDF officer videotaped throwing rocks at Israeli and Palestinian photojournalists last week was sentenced to two weeks in prison. A second officer was sentenced to 30 days confinement on base. In a video first published by +972 and Activestills on Friday, a deputy company commander can be seen throwing rocks at a freelance Israeli photojournalist and a Palestinian photographer who works for Agence France‑Presse (AFP). One of the officers also tackled the Israeli…

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