Israeli ministers on Sunday are set to back a bill to criminalize the filming of Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The legislation would see penalties of up to five years in jail for anyone caught filming or publishing video footage of Israeli army activity with the purpose of damaging the “soldiers’ spirit”, The Times of Israel reported.
Regional integration: "Ministers are set to back a bill that would criminalize the filming of certain Israeli military activities." https://t.co/HKE5NmaL9F
— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) June 17, 2018
Publishing video footage with the intention of “harming state security” could carry a ten-year prison sentence.
The bill was sponsored by the Yisrael Beintenu party and is backed by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
It is expected to gain the backing of other ministers at the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s meeting on Sunday.
#Israel is going to criminalize documentation of #IDF #HumanRightsViolations in illegally occupied #Palestine, yet another move to insulate #ApartheidIsrael from #accountability for its #WarCrimes & a clear violation of #InternationalLaw-we need #BDS now~!https://t.co/aWuglBbKb2
— Pauline Park (@paulinepark) June 15, 2018
The bill was first proposed in April after video footage was circulated showing an Israeli sniper cheering after shooting a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem said:
“If the government is embarrassed over the occupation, it should work to bring it to an end. In any case, visual footage of life under occupation will continue. This is a fact of life that no idiotic proposed bill will change.”
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) May 29, 2018
In recent years, several incidents of Israeli soldiers using excessive force have been captured on video.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) May 13, 2018
In 2016, Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was filmed executing a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron. The soldier was released in May after serving nine months behind bars – half his original sentence.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)