Photojournalist Majdi Bannoura, was hit by a teargas grenade in the hand while covering Ramallah clashes.

“MADA”: 330 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine during the first half of 2019

Ramallah /PNN/

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) issued a report on the violations of media freedoms in Palestine during the first half of this year 2019.

The report pointed to the high number of violations that affected the media freedoms in Palestine during the first half of 2019, where “MADA” monitored and documented a total of 330 attacks compared to 277 attacks were monitored during the same period of 2018, a total increase of 53 attacks or 19%.

The Israeli occupation forces and authorities committed 150 attacks (45% of the total attacks), and 115 attacks were committed by various Palestinian sides (35% of the total attacks. Most of the Palestinian attacks took place in the Gaza Strip, and 65 violations were committed by Facebook company, which closed pages and accounts for Palestinian journalists and writers in the West Bank and Gaza under the pretext of fighting “incitement to violence and terrorism” (20% of all attacks monitored and documented in the first half of 2019).

Despite the relative decline in the number of Israeli attacks compared to the first half of 2018, the number of Israeli attacks monitored in the first six months of the year 2019 still exceeds the average number of Israeli attacks in the past eight years.

The Israeli attacks were divided into 91 attacks in the West Bank including the occupied city of Jerusalem, and 59 attacks in the Gaza Strip. 55 of the total Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip were considered serious, because most injuries were physical injuries with live bullets and direct gas bombs, in addition to the destruction of the headquarters of two media institutions in the Gaza Strip.

The total number of physical attacks committed by the occupation army against journalists in the West Bank and Gaza was 88, constituting 59% of the total Israeli attacks, while four types of serious attacks (physical injuries, arrests, destruction of institutions and the use of journalists as human shields) reached 72% of all Israeli attacks monitored.

Regarding the Palestinian violations, there was a significant increase during the first half of 2019 compared with the same period of the previous year (increased by 67%). This was due to a large increase in the number of attacks monitored in the Gaza Strip, while a significant reduction in the number of violations in the West Bank has been observed.

A total of 27 Palestinian violations were monitored in the West Bank in the first half of 2019, with a total of 88 violations by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the same period.

The number of arrests and detentions topped the list of Palestinian violations, reaching 37 cases, noting that 16 journalists who were arrested and detained were tortured or ill-treated while in detention (15 of them in Gaza and one in the West Bank), Which is considered unprecedented for the Palestinians.