A remarkable escalation in the total number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, in comparison to what was monitored in February 2016, was seeing in March 2016.
The gravest violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) were the murder of media student, Iyad Omar Sajdieh, the closure of Palestine Today TV office and “trans-media” company.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, MADA, monitored 39 violations.
36 of those 39 were committed by the IOF, whilst, 3 violations were committed by Palestinian parties (declined from 5 in February to 3 violations in March).
In February MADA monitored 35 violations, as 30 were committed by the IOF.
This remarkable escalation in violations was a result of an increase of Israeli assaults following the recent dangerous escalatory step against media freedoms, particularly, after a decision by the Israeli Prime minister to shut down Palestinian media outlets on 08/03/2016 under the pretext of “exercising incitement against Israel”, which will have serious repercussion of freedom of expression and opinion.
In conjunction with Eutelsat, a French company, that stopped the broadcasting of Al-Aqsa Channel from Gaza, alleging of “inciting terrorism”, two media institution were shutted down in Ramallah, also under the pretext of incitement.
On the other hand, the Palestinian National Authority announced on March 14 a new plan for “online-filtering.”
“[…] Which may lead to serious breaches and violations against media freedoms, freedom of expression and access to information, particularly after the usage of loose sentences and phrases as a justification as “providing safe -internet service- for families and children in order to protect civilization and guarantee civil peace,” as quoted by the Palestinian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Allam Mousa during an interview.