July 2019 has witnessed a rise in the number of attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to June, while Facebook continued closing more pages and accounts for news agencies and journalists claiming “violation of Facebook criteria”.
The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented during July a total of 38 attacks (compared to 29 attacks documented during June).
The Israeli Occupation has committed a total of 18 attacks while 4 attacks were committed by Palestinian authorities, and 16 were committed by Facebook through closing the pages and accounts of media institutions and journalists followed by tens of thousands compared to 29 attacks against media freedoms documented during the preceding month, June.
The number of violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities and forces has decreased from 28 attacks documented during June to 18 attacks documented during July. However, these attacks have not changed in terms of type as most of which fall under the most serious attacks threatening the lives of female/male journalists and media freedoms.
The injury of journalist Sami Jamal Masran by explosive gunshot fragments the most serious and tragic injury as it caused him serious wounds and loss of vision completely in that eye, even though the journalist Sami, in a separate incident at the beginning of that month, was injured by rubber bullet without causing him any harm (he was wearing the protective vest).
Among the most prominent Israeli attacks, is the injury of Mohammad Atef Al-Arbeed (by a gunshot in his thigh), the journalist Safinaz Baker Allouh (by a rubber bullet in her shoulder), the cameraman Mahmoud Zakaria Abu Muslem (by a rubber bullet in his leg), the reporter of Al-Ghad TV Khaled Saleh Budair (by a gas bomb directly in his abdomen), the cameraman of French News Agency Jafar Zahed Ishataya (by a rubber bullet in his upper thigh), Omar Ismail Al-Amour (by a gas bomb directly in his back), Ayat Khaled Arqawi (by a gas bomb directly in her Loin), assaulting the journalist Abdelhafeeth Thiab Al-Hashlamoun the cameraman of the European News Agency, and Mashhour Hassan Al-Wahwah the cameraman of Palestinian News Agency “Wafa”, and arresting the Director of Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Tulkarem, Ahmad Juma Ba’jawi, after raiding and searching his house.
In addition to the Israeli attacks, Facebook Administration has closed no less than 16 pages belonging to journalists and media institutions following the understandings it has concluded with the Israeli Government under which Facebook has to delete and remove any post Israel deems as an “incitement”. It should be noted that Facebook has closed around 65 pages for Palestinian journalists and media institutions in May claiming of posting materials “inciting violence”.
The Palestinian violations remained at extremely low levels, and only four violations were documented this month (3 of which have taken place in the West Bank while one has taken place in Gaza Strip), namely: arresting the journalist Thaer Ziad Al-Fakhouri by the Preventive Security Services for 6 days after raiding and searching his house as well as a Press he owns, subjecting the independent journalist Sami Saed Al-Saie to a campaign of threats and smear (not by official authorities but by citizens) due to publishing a video for a group of persons who were disrupting traffic in Tulkarem by drafting in their vehicles in the streets.
This is in addition to summoning the journalist Ihab Omar Al-Fasfous by the Public Prosecution and Khan Younes Court as part of prosecuting him due to publishing a video in September, 2018 that shows his nephew being assaulted and tortured by Khan Younes Police.