Israel Expelling Dutch Journalist Critical of the Occupation, Cites Visa Problems

12:00 May 4 2017 Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT)

Israel Expelling Dutch Journalist Critical of the Occupation, Cites Visa Problems
Dutch journalist Derk Walters in East Jerusalem, May 3, 2017. Credit: Olivier Fitoussi. Published by Haaretz

The Government Press Office says Derk Walters knowingly worked without an updated visa, but internal correspondence tells a different story

by Ravit Hecht for Haaretz

Israel is refusing to renew the visa of a Dutch journalist who has lambasted Israeli policy toward the Palestinians in the West Bank, though the Government Press Office says he knowingly worked without a visa extension or permit.

Derk Walters has criticized Israeli policy in the Netherlands’ fourth biggest newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, though the GPO, which operates out of the Prime Minister’s Office, denies that this the reason for his expulsion.

Last year, Walters criticized Israeli actions in Hebron in the West Bank and tweeted about boycotts as political action against Israel.

Walters has been reporting from Israel since 2014. In January 2016 he ran an article describing constant friction between the Palestinians and settlers in Hebron early in the wave of stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

He wrote that because of collaboration between the Israeli army and settlers, the Palestinians did not believe that the Israeli army was actually acting against assailants. Instead, it was planting knives near the bodies of the dead.
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