Silencing the Press

01 April 2004 – 31 October 2007


“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948


 “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”


Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966


“Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians … They shall be protected as such under the Conventions and this protocol, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians…”

Article 79 – Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol 1)




Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued to attack journalists despite the protection assigned to them under international humanitarian law.  Journalists have been subjected to various kinds of attacks in apparent attempts by IOF to prevent media coverage of human rights violation those forces have perpetrated against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).[1]


In light of the attacks by IOF against journalists, PCHR has issued a series of reports, “Silencing the Press,” which document attacks by IOF against local and international journalists and media institutions in the OPT to draw the attention of the world to human rights violations perpetrated by IOF in the OPT. 


This report is the 11th in an ongoing series of reports produced by the PCHR, documenting attacks by IOF against journalists from local and international press agencies, during the current al-Aqsa Intifada.  This report is aimed at documenting the attacks by IOF against journalists in the period 1 April 2004 – 31 October 2007.  The reporting period witnessed 316 attacks by IOF against journalists and media institutions.  Such attacks included violations of the right to life and physical integrity; beating and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; detention; denial of access to areas of clashes; confiscation of media equipment; bombardment of media institutions; restrictions on the freedom of movement; and house raids. Information included in this report is based on field investigations eyewitnesses’ testimonies. Investigations conducted by PCHR into various attacks, especially killings, indicate that such attacks were deliberate and that IOF did not adhere to the principles of distinction and proportionality.  


The full report is available PDF format.