Palestinian security forces, Sunday night, arrested a Palestinian journalist after raiding his home in the village of Kafr Ein, north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.A statement issued by the union said that Aysar Barghouthi, a reporter for local TV station ‘Watan’, was taken into custody during the raid, denouncing it as a violation of press freedoms, and demanding that the PA release him immediately.
According to Ma’an News Agency, a 2013 report by Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms counted 78 violations of freedom of speech by Palestinian authorities, primarily in the Gaza Strip.
While officials have claimed that the situation in the Gaza Strip has improved, since a unity deal with signed in April, critics have raised alarm that the PA has continued with politically-motivated arrests and detentions against activists and journalists at the same pace as before.
Furthermore, 16 Palestinian journalists and an Italian photographer were killed in Gaza, this past summer, during Israel’s devastating assault on the region.
The 2013 report also found 151 violations of Palestinian freedom of speech by Israeli authorities, which still constitute the biggest threat to Palestinian journalists.
Though defacto Palestinian president and Fateh member Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that the PA will cut ties with Israel, should the heavily disputed resolution for statehood fail, the organization’s longstanding coordination with Israeli security forces remains firmly in place.