Freedom of the Press

Israeli-Occupied Territories and Palestinian Authority *

Israeli-Occupied Territories and Palestinian Authority *

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

84

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

36

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

22

Under a 1995 press law, journalists may be fined and jailed and newspapers closed for publishing "secret information" on Palestinian security forces or news that might harm national unity or incite violence. Small media outlets are pressured by authorities to provide favorable coverage of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and official Palestinian radio and television are government mouthpieces. In the heightened fighting all year, Palestinian journalists suffered a disproportionate amount of discrimination and violence, said the International Federation of Journalists. Three Palestinian journalists were killed this year, and scores injured. Journalists have repeatedly been targeted, shot, beaten, arrested and intimidated by Israeli and by Palestinian police and civilians, declared a report of the International Press Institute. Added to strict Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinian journalists were efforts by the PA, after the attack on the World Trade Center, to ban photo coverage of Palestinians celebrating the attack as a victory. International media became more dependent on local Palestinian stringers rather than Israeli journalists whose safety could no longer be assured. Palestinian reporters were directly subjected to controls by the PA. Controls which had been reduced before the latest Intifada (uprising) were increased during the year of intensified fighting. In December, the Israeli army destroyed the Palestinian radio and TV headquarters in Ramallah.