GENEVA/RAMALLAH, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (WAFA) – Palestinians and Arabs condemned Israel’s continued ban on the work of Palestine TV in occupied East Jerusalem after extending for six more months the closure of its office in the city and demanded Israel should allow its free operation.
In letters to David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Ibrahim Khraishi, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in Geneva, said that the continued ban on Palestine TV work “is part of Israel’s policy to silence the media”, stressing that “all must call on Israel, the occupying power, to abide by its legal obligations and to put an end to its international law violations.”
He said that while the world, including Palestine, is busy fighting COVID-19 pandemic, Israel “has not for a minute ceased its illegal policies and practices,” and with extending the closure order, Israel “infringes the right to freedom of expression and press.”
“Israel, the occupying power is systematically violating the rights of freedom of expression of Palestinians and their institutions, including the ban of any event or activity, including those to curb and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, organized by the Palestinian Authority in Occupied East Jerusalem. All of this under the pretext that such events are sponsored by the Palestinian Authority,” said Khraishi in his letter to Kaye.
“The closure of Palestine TV’s office is part of Israel’s policy to silence the media and prevent awareness about Israel’s grave violations to be exposed, through a series of repression against the media and journalists,” adding, “This decision is of a political nature and was decided under flawed security pretexts by the highest level in the Israeli authorities. It is a flagrant violation of international human rights law particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights which Israel is a party to and which applies in territories under its effective control, as well as during armed conflict.”
The Palestinian ambassador stressed that “all must call on Israel, the occupying power, to abide by its legal obligations and to put an end to its international law violations and I in particularly urge the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression to condemn this decision and to call upon Israel the occupying power to immediately reverse it as it is a violation of the freedom of opinion and expression of the Palestinian people.”
In Ramallah, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told Voice of Palestine radio last night that extending the closure of Palestine TV office comes within Israel’s efforts to end any Palestinian presence in the occupied city that goes in line with its police of annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.
He accused Israel of “tearing up the signed agreements and understandings, including the letter exchanged between the foreign ministers of Norway and Israel in the 1990s that say the occupying power should maintain the work of Palestinian institutions in occupied Jerusalem.”
Arab and international journalists and s have also condemned Israel’s ban on the work of Palestine TV in Jerusalem.