“MADA”: 46 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine during August 

PNN/ Ramallah/

August of 2018 has witnessed a decline in the total number of attacks (including the Israeli and the Palestinian) committed against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to July of 2018, note that the attacks remained at high and serious rates.

During August, a total of 46 attacks against media freedoms were documented.

Most of which were committed by the Israeli occupation forces and authorities (35 attacks), while a total of 11 attacks were committed by different Palestinian authorities. It should be noted that July has witnessed a record number of attacks totaled to 68 attacks, 60 of which were committed by the occupation.

It seems that the relative decline in the number of attacks recorded in August is mainly due to the decrease in the field activities, which are usually accompanied by the suppression of demonstrators and media staffs, especially in Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Attacks

During August, the occupation forces have committed a total of 35 attacks against media freedoms, most of which fall under the serious attacks against freedom of the press and freedom of journalists. Notable among these attacks are the injury of the journalist of Al-Quds Media Network, Alaa Abdelfattah Al-Namlah, by a gunshot in his right leg while he was covering the events of the return march taking place east of Rafah, in Gaza Strip, the injury of the freelance photojournalist, Mahmoud Bassam Al-Jamal, on the same day, by a fragment in his ear and head which caused him a wound that had to be stitched in the hospital with four stitches, the injury of BBC photographer by a gas bomb in his left hand while he was covering the events of the return march taking place in Malka, east of Gaza, the injury of the photojournalist of  “Rowad Al-Haqiqa” Network, Mohammad Samih Hassan Abu Sultan, by a gunshot in his knee while he was covering the events of the weekly return march taking place east of Gaza, and the injury of photojournalist of Al Aqsa TV Channel Yousif Ziad Labad with shrapnel following the bombing of Al-Mishal Cultural Center in Gaza Strip.

The shooting by the occupation soldiers at the vehicle of ROYA TV reporter, Hafeth Abu Sabra, while he was on his way home in Nablus, the West Bank, the injury of the media student, the reporter of Al-Quds News Network, Mutasem Sameer Hamdi Saqf Al-Heet, by three rubber bullets in the hand and chest while he was covering a storming process guarded by the Israeli Army in Balata Camp, in Nablus, the detention of Palestine TV staff by the occupation forces, including: the journalists, Ahmad Abdelmalek Ibrahim Shawer, Mohammad Mahmoud Hassan Enaya, Omar Ahmad Abu Awad, the journalist, Watan Bassam Balas, the drivers, Samer Asad Abu Salman and Ayman Mohammad Tahseen, while they were handcuffed and blindfolded, and while they were reporting the settlements in Jericho, their detention lasted for eight hours, including “punishing” the journalist, Omar Abu Awad, by the soldiers through detaining him under the burning sun as the area is known with its burning heat, which caused him a heatstroke that necessitated hospitalization for two days as he was in a coma-like state after they were released, the continuation of the Israeli occupation forces in the arrests of journalists this month, which affected four journalist, namely: the director of “Hawa Nablus” Radio, Muhammad Anwar Muna, who was arrested by the Israeli occupation army after his house was raided in Zawata, west of Nablus, Ibrahim Ahed Khalaf/Al-Rantisi, the reporter of TRT in Ramallah, who was arrested by the army after raiding his home in Rantis, Ramallah, and the official Palestinian TV reporter, Ali Dar Ali, who was also arrested by the occupation army after raiding his house in Barham, Ramallah, at night, and the photographer of the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Bahaa Nasr, who was arrested after being beaten by Israeli soldiers while covering Palestinian protests against settlements in Ras Karkar in Ramallah.

The Palestinian Attacks:

In August, a total of 11 Palestinian attacks against media freedoms were registered in Gaza Strip, represented mainly in targeting Palestine TV staff working in Gaza Strip for reporting on an attack against a child by persons belonging to Hamas in Gaza Strip. As a result, the security services in Khan Younis has summoned the Director of Palestine TV in Gaza Strip, Raafat Hammad Al-Qudra, the photographer, Mo’men Muhammad Hashim Al-Shubaki (a resident of Gaza City) and the producer, Yousef Muhammad Ahmad Abu Maghsib (from Deir Al-Balah) three times and subjected them to interrogation on the charge of “falsification and fabrication” pressed by Hamas. Furthermore, their colleague, Mohammad Samir Salim Al-Agha, a resident of Al-Satar Al-Gharbi in Khan Younis, was also summoned. However, when he arrived at the investigation headquarters, he was told that he was not wanted and therefore he was interrogated. This is in addition to the Investigation Office of the Ministry of  Tourism, at the Ministry of Interior in Gaza Strip which prevented the conclusion of a seminar about “the role of media in activating the Palestinian prisoners’ case”  which was decided to be held in Abdullah Al-Hawarni Center, in Gaza City, under the pretext of not obtaining a prior authorization, knowing that the seminar was to be held inside the center, which is something the Center used to do for many years without obtaining any prior authorizations.