The Committee to Support Journalists called today, Friday, Arab and international institutions to provide the necessary support to Palestinian media institutions in light of the violations they are exposed to from the Israeli occupation and the suffocating financial crisis that has affected them as a result of the Corona pandemic.
The Geneva-based committee called, in a statement that arrived together on the occasion of World Radio Day that falls on February 13 of each year, to entrust Palestinian media institutions to continue their professional and humanitarian mission in social awareness, and to support those infected with Coronavirus by supporting them with all necessary capabilities in light of The difficult economic situation experienced by most of the local media organizations.
The UNESCO and the international and regional radio unions called for a boycott of Israeli radio stations that broadcast incitement and racism against media institutions, calling on the UN Security Council to implement its Resolution (2222) on providing protection for journalists.
She indicated that all the press crews working in the Palestinian local radio stations perform their professional role despite the difficult circumstances they face due to the ongoing violations of the occupation, the result of the Israeli blockade and the repercussions of the Palestinian division, and the suffering of local radio stations as a result of the termination of the work of some of their teams in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under the pretext of the exorbitant and heavy losses that they face. The media sector has been exposed to it with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
She emphasized that the occupation is continuing with its violations of the right of radio stations and their workers, represented by launching campaigns of repeated raids and raids, looting of equipment, piracy and interference with the air, imposing arbitrary orders to close, threatening, arresting journalists working in radio stations and extending their detention, and practicing racist incitement against the Palestinian media.
She pointed out that the occupation is still detaining in its prisons journalist Ahmed Al-Arbeed, who works for Radio Al-Hurriya, and the convicted person is in the occupation prisons for a period of 4 years, and the occupation forces arrested him in early February 2018, after raiding his house and beating him.
I also mentioned that the occupation intentionally repeated the arrest of radio directors in an attempt to curb their work. The occupation authorities arrested the director of “Hawa Nablus” radio station, journalist Muhammad Anwar Muna (39 years), several times in a row. He was an editor prisoner who spent more than 7 and a half years in the occupation prisons. On several periods, he was released from the occupation prisons on November 29, 2019 after an administrative detention that continued for 18 months, noting that the journalist Muhammad Mona was arrested several times by the Authority’s security forces, the most recent of which was in February of last year, after storming his home and confiscating tools and equipment His character, and later released.
On the side of the closure and the prohibition of the work of radio, the Committee to Support Journalists stated that the occupation is still preventing the work of the Radio Corporation “Voice of Palestine” and its crew in the 48 territories and occupied Jerusalem.
According to the committee’s annual report for the year 2020, the occupation authorities prevented the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation from operating three times in a row, for a period of six months, subject to renewal, and threatened its staff with arrest if they continued their professional work in the areas of Jerusalem and the occupied interior.
The Committee to Support Journalists considered the closures, prevention, threats and arrests committed by the occupation against local radio stations and their crews as a crime against the Palestinian media and an attempt to silence and prevent the occupation’s crimes from being exposed.
The statement reviewed part of the termination of the work of some journalists working for a number of local radio stations. Due to the financial crises that occurred after the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, the Ajyal Radio Administration from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank offered its employees to resign in exchange for receiving 90% of the end of service reward in cash, or working with half salary at the beginning of the current year 2021.
It quoted journalist Tariq Al-Sharif from “Ajyal” radio as saying that “the financial crisis that hit the radio in 2020 was not a product of the Corona pandemic, as evidenced by the administration abandoning the services of a number of employees months before the pandemic.”
Al-Sharif added, “We signed the clearances and resignations to avoid the radio terminating our services with fees based on half the salary if we enter the new year, and we have paid to resign and it was not our choice,” noting that they did not want to “enter into judicial records, and we announced the end of the contract in a manner.” Courteous, without any offense or mentioning details, out of respect for the place that formed our second home. “
In the Gaza Strip, the Committee to Support Journalists stated that the radio stations announced their suffering greatly due to the economic hardship and the decline in advertising revenues, which are the only source of continuity of their work since the outbreak of Corona, and the decline in the percentage of declared national companies, which threatens some of them to be closed.
The radio stations in Gaza complained about the continuation of the Israeli blockade for 14 years, which was reflected in the electricity supply, and the prevention of the entry of devices and equipment for radio work, as Israel argued that it was prevented by a security saleswoman.