The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) extends its best wishes to Palestinian journalists on the day of the Palestinian journalist, which is Wednesday (September 26 of each year), and praises their efforts and hard work to carry out their professional duties despite all the obstacles, risks and violations that have not stopped but have increased against them, especially the extensive deadly attacks since the beginning of the year 2018.
The most dangerous and atrocious being the two separate incidents of killing during April 2018 that witnessed the killing of two colleagues; Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, while covering the peaceful demonstrations at the border fence of the Gaza Strip. Murtaja and Abu Hussein were at a distance of 300-350 meters from the soldiers and they were clearly identifiable with their press vests.
In addition to this, the violations against media freedoms in Palestine have increased unceasingly, especially those committed by the Israeli side, which continue to constitute the biggest and most serious threat to the lives of journalists and media freedoms in general. Since the beginning of this year up until August 2018, MADA monitored and documented a total of 391 violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation carried out 303 violations, about 78% of all recorded violations, whereas the Palestinian Authority has committed 88 violations which comes to a percentage of 22% of all recorded violations.
In light of the wide range of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, and the increase in their severity, MADA reiterates, on the day of the Palestinian journalist, the need to send an international fact-finding mission to look closely at such violations on journalists and the media. And to establish facts before the international community and the competent bodies, and to work intensively to get Israel to abide by international conventions guaranteeing freedom of expression and respect for international resolutions protecting journalists, in particular Security Council resolution 2222.
MADA also affirms its on-going campaign to end the systematic policy by Israel to silence Palestinian journalists. On this regard, MADA sent a communication letter to three UN Special rapporteurs, one to the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, David Kaye. MADA will continue to coordinate its efforts with international institutions to restrict the attacks on media freedoms and demands accountability of those responsible for crimes and attacks on journalists.