The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expressed its deep concern about the blocking of a number of Palestinian websites. This decision constitutes a serious violation of freedom of the press and expression and calls for the repeal of such measures and practices, which it says in this day and age of technological developments, is something of the past; and as suppression of voice and opinion is no longer possible in our day and age.
“At 5 pm on June 12, we were surprised to learn that our site had been blocked”, said Hasan Asfour, general supervisor of Amad Media (one of 11 sites affected by the ban). “We contacted internet service providers such as Mada and Hadara, and we learnt that the website had been banned and blocked within the West Bank following a decision of the Attorney General, and that the ban was limited to the West Bank with no prior alert and no clear reasons or justifications”.
Mo’az Sulaiman Al-Amour, an employee working in the production department of the Shehab News Agency, whose site was also banned and blocked in the West Bank, “Yesterday, (15/6/2017) our website was blocked suddenly without any prior legal action taken against the Agency. We were banned without any warning and without violating the Palestinian laws, we abide by the law”. “We learnt of the ban and blockage from internet service providers”, added Al-Amour “they informed us that Shehab New Agency was banned in the West Bank along with 10 other websites.
“Some of Shehab Agency employees tried to contact the Attorney General, immediately after the ban but he closed his phone when he was asked about the reasons and motives behind the decision” Al-Amour said.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), stressed the need to protect freedom of the press and freedom of opinion and expression in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law, which protects this right. MADA called on the relevant Palestinian official bodies to repeal from these procedures and to lift the blocking of all affected sites.