The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored 28 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine During October 2017, (while in was 26 violations). The Israeli occupation carried out 27 attacks, while a single Palestinian violation was monitored.
The number of violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces increased from 22 in September to 27 during October, all of which were serious attacks. They were even the most serious of all violations of media freedoms recorded combined in a single month since the beginning of 2017.
Israeliattacs included storming 10 offices and headquarters of Pal Media, Trans Media and Ramasat media companies in the cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, confiscating their property and turning 94 journalists and employees working in these institutions jobless. These media companies used to provide at least 15 local, Arab and foreign TV channels with media services.
Not only did these companies lose their work with these TV channels, but they have also endured heavy losses of equipment asaresultto the destruction and confiscation of property. In addition, these companies will be closed for the next six months, which endangers their reputation in the market and their ability to compete among other companies following this six-month-closure order. This is what the Israeli occupation forces are aiming at: preventing converge of their attacks against Palestinians.
The Israeli occupation forces arrested four journalists, two of them working for Trans Media, who were arrested during the attack on the company’s offices. These two were Amer al-Jaabari, Hebron Office Manager, Ibrahim al-Jabari, the administrative director of the same office. The Security personnel of Israeli Prime Minister have tried to subject Safadi, the European Press correspondent, to disgraceful and humiliating search while he was heading to cover the visit of Prime Minister of Australia. Because he rejected that, he couldn’t cover the event, and rather left.
Palestinian violations continued to decline, dropping from four violations in September to one single violation during October, and that was only by summoning and interrogating a media reporter in the West Bank.
This apparent decline in the number of Palestinian violations indicates that the internal political division and the resulting tension used to fuel most of these violations. The atmosphere of reconciliation and the declared intentions of both parties both had a positive impact on all aspects including media freedoms.