Israel: West Bank protester sentenced to prison

Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahma has been sentenced to a year in prison for incitement by an Israeli military court. He is a leading organiser of the weekly protests against the separation barrier that Israel has built in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The protests started over five years ago and the activist has already served 10 months of his sentence on remand. The events are normally non-violent, but occasionally confrontations occur. Supporters claim the barrier is necessary to keep out suicide bombers. Protesters view it as an attempted land grab. The International Court of Justice and the Israeli Supreme Court have both declared parts of the wall unlawful.

Three newspapers censored in Gaza

The Palestinian authorities have prevented three newspapers from being distributed in Gaza territories for the second day in a row. The ban comes only days after the Israeli authorities lifted their own year and a half ban on the papers. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) quoted Palestinian sources as saying that the authorities require daily newspapers printed in the West Bank to agree not to print anything critical of Hamas. The newspapers are still waiting for an official announcement as to why they have been banned. MADA strongly condemned the action and demanded that the authorities allow all journalists to work freely in the area.

West Bank: Journalists detained

Twoal-Jazeera reporters were prevented from covering a demonstration in the West Bank on Friday by the Israeli military. They were detained for four and a half hours before being released and told to never return. Cameraman Majdi Bannoura and assistant Nader Abu Zer were arrested trying to videotape the weekly protests on the separation barrier being erected in Bil’in by Israel.