By Palestine Chronicle Staff
A US-based media freedom watchdog condemned the closure by Israeli forces of a media youth association in occupied East Jerusalem and called on the authorities to allow it to work freely.
#Israel closes #Palestinianmedia organization, Elia Youth #Media Foundation in #EastJerusalem for allegedly “inciting violence”. The Media body documents Israeli abuses against #Palestinians #Palestine #FreedomOfExpression #journalist #censorship https://t.co/A2SzeDxXuP
— Ahmed J Versi (@ahmedversi) April 20, 2018
On April 18, the Israeli internal security and police forces taped a Defense Ministry order on the door of the organization’s office that declared Elia Youth Media Foundation a ‘terrorist’ organization and ordered its immediate closure until further notice, according to Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA).
Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) recently said the closure of Elia is part of an escalating Israeli aggression against journalists and media organisations in the occupied city, and part of systematic targeting of the Palestinian voice aided by baseless accusations and justifications.
— Ariyana Love (@AmbassadorOPTV) April 28, 2018
The office was shuttered two days after the Israeli defense minister tweeted that Elia, which provides media training to Palestinian youngsters and reports on local events in Jerusalem, “recruits youths as terrorists and trains them to produce incitement videos.”
“Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has failed to produce any evidence that the Elia Youth Media Foundation is a terrorist organization,” Committee to Protect Journalists, MENA Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said in a statement.
“It is absurd to equate young reporters with terrorists. We call on the Israeli authorities to allow Elia Youth Media to resume its work and to stop harassing the press.”
An annual report by PJS recorded 909 press violations in 2017, including 740 by Israeli authorities and 169 by local authorities in the West Bank and Gaza.
Social media activists shared photos of the Elia’s office as it was ransacked by Israeli forces, according to the Palestinian Information Center.
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) December 8, 2016