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Arrests And Deportations: How The Israeli Occupation Controls Its Propaganda

In the last couple of months alone, the Israeli occupation has deported foreign nationals, arrested and tortured Palestinian activists and expelled Israeli activists from the West Bank in an attempt to have full control of the information exiting Palestine and cover up its crimes.

On April 28, Bassem Tamimi’s administrative detention was extended of another six months. Bassem, a prominent Palestinian activist and protest leader from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, was detained and arrested at the Allenby Bridge, the border with Jordan, on October 28, 2023. He was issued an administrative detention order on November 6, 2023, ordering a six months prison term from the day of his arrest. Administrative detention is based on secret evidence and is a practice that the Israeli occupation has arbitrarily used against Palestinians, including children, incarcerating them indefinitely without showing any evidence of their alleged crimes.

Artists also are not spared from the occupation’s criminalisation. Yesterday, May 13, marked six months since Mustafa Sheta, the producer of The Freedom Theatre, was taken by the Israeli forces. The Freedom theatre is a cultural place in Jenin refugee camp, a space of respite for the community and the youths which fights for Palestinian justice through art and culture. Mustafa was taken at gunpoint during a raid of the camp and of the theatre on December 13, 2023, has been held in Israeli prison without trial or charge and denied any contact except from one meeting with his lawyer.

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Israel has presented no evidence against Mustafa but suggested they do not want him outside the prison because he writes articles criticising Israel.” - the Freedom Theatre on IG.

Israel’s oppression also falls on human rights defenders who stand with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation. According to ynet, six foreign nationals human rights defenders were deported from the occupied West Bank in the past three months. In the first week of April, two international activists present in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank were arrested and deported by Israeli authorities.

The two activists were accompanying a Palestinian shepherd in an area known for regular illegal settlers attacks and harassment when settler-soldiers detained and arrested them on spurious grounds. They were then deported from the country; the whole process was conducted under fabricated testimonies and the activists were deported without charge or conviction.

This has come as the Israeli occupation held a Knesset hearing on March 12 demonising human rights activists in the West Bank, which led to the escalation of oppression against activists in the area. Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has since formed a special police force to deal with activists in the West Bank, whose legality is debated.

The Israeli apartheid has continued to try to control the information coming out from Palestine by repressing and abusing any voice which contrast its propaganda: this has meant attacks on not only activists and journalist, but also aid workers, medical staff, artists and anyone speaking out against the genocide in Gaza and the brutal occupation of Palestine. The latest move has been the shut down of Al Jazeera in the country, after a law was passed on April 1 which allows Israel to shut down foreign media if they are considered a threat to security.

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