Israel's Haaretz publishes heavily censored op-ed on jailing of Palestinians

Israel's Haaretz publishes heavily censored op-ed on jailing of Palestinians
The headline of the Haaretz opinion piece began 'Israel's cause for detention:', with the rest blacked out.
2 min read
31 May, 2024
The Haaretz op-ed covered the story of the administrative detention of a man from the occupied West Bank [VICTOR de SCHWANBERG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty-file photo]

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has published a censored opinion article which shows entire sections of text covering the use of administrative detention on Palestinians blacked out.  

The headline of the article by Jonathan Pollak began "Israel's cause for detention:", with the rest blacked out.

The piece was about a man from Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, held under Israel's controversial practice of administrative detention.

"Administrative detention is based on secret suspicions, secret evidence and no charges being brought," a note at the start of the op-ed read.

"To conceal its inherent absurdity, hearings are held in-camera and away from the public eye.

"As such, even the little that is revealed to the defence remains prohibited for publication."

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The article provides details of the story of Bassem Tamimi's administrative detention, but a significant portion of the text is blacked out, rendering it unreadable.

Amnesty International has said that Israel has "systematically used" the procedure as a "tool to persecute Palestinians", instead of as an "extraordinary and selectively used preventative measure".

Israel's restrictions on the media raise questions about the image it presents of itself as a democratic nation.

Earlier this month, a report in Israeli media revealed that the military prevented the publication of at least 613 articles in 2023, four times more than in 2022.

At least 2,703 other news items were also deleted, three times as much as the previous year, the report by Israeli news site Mekomit said.

According to the report, the department intervenes several times a day in information journalists convey to the public, even outside of war time, and can reach between 1,000 and 3,000 times a year.

The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2024 press freedom index ranks Israel 101st out of 180 countries.

In a profile of Israel, RSF mentions Israeli military censorship, saying that prior authorisation is from the authorities is needed for reporting on various security matters.

More than 100 Palestinian journalists have been killed since the Gaza war began.

Israel's brutal military campaign has killed at least 36,224 people in Gaza, according to the territory's health ministry.

The broadcaster Al Jazeera was shut down in Israel this month, with Israeli forces storming their offices and confiscating their equipment.