Euro-Med: Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Journalist is an Attempt to Hide Violations

Palestinian journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi

They called on Israeli authorities to release Palestinian journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi, to end its policy of administrative detention, and to stop targeting journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).At around 2:30 a.m. on April 21, an Israeli army unit of 12 fully equipped soldiers stormed the house of Al-Rimawi, 40. He was interrogated in his bedroom for a short period after being separated from his wife and children. The unit then took him for further interrogation at the Etzion detention center south of the West Bank.Alaa’s wife, Maymouna Al-Rimawi, told Euro-Med Monitor that the interrogation lasted for about four days and focused on the nature of his journalistic work. Al-Rimawi is a reporter for the Qatari Al-Jazeera Mubasher TV network and director of Jmedia, a local press agency.Al-Rimawi has been on hunger strike since his arrest, a total of nine days, amid fears that his health condition would deteriorate.According to his wife, he was able to contact his family just once since his arrest.

Particularly active in documenting and publishing Israeli violations in the West Bank, Al-Rimawi had been working in a legal manner and in accordance with the necessary licenses required.

Al-Rimawi was transferred to Ofer court on April 25, after a preliminary ruling (not upheld yet) was issued against him for administrative imprisonment of three months without an indictment. The court set the date for upholding the verdict on Thursday, May 6.

Reflecting Israeli disregard for reason, during the court hearing the judge asked Al-Rimawi’s lawyer for evidence of his journalistic activity, despite all his work being published publicly and directly by media outlets.

In turn, Euro-Med Monitor’s Chief Operations Officer, Anas Jerjawi, said: “Alaa Al-Rimawi’s detention is illegal and arbitrary. The Israeli authorities apparently want to retaliate against the journalist for exposing their violations against Palestinians, which has recently escalated in the West Bank”.

“By arresting Al-Rimawi, the Israeli authorities aim to intimidate press workers in the occupied Palestinian territories with military force and dissuade journalists from reporting on these violations against the civilian population,” Jarjawi said.

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