August 2019 has witnessed a modest decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, which resulted from the decrease in the number of Facebook closures of Palestinian journalists and news websites claiming that “they have violated the criteria of Facebook”.
The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 attacks during August 2019 (compared to a total of 38 attacks documented during July), 17 of which were committed by the Israeli Occupation while 6 violations were committed by Palestinian Authorities. Moreover, the Facebook has closed 8 pages for Palestinian journalist and news websites during this month, noting that Facebook has closed 16 pages belonging to Palestinian journalists and news websites during July.
The Israeli violations have not witnessed any change in number or type of violations as a total of 17 Israeli attacks have been documented during August, a similar record to that witnessed in July (18 attacks). They also have not witnessed any change in type and most of them fall under the most serious attacks against media freedoms and lives of journalists.
The Israeli attacks included 6 physical injuries by live, rubber and metal bullets, and two beating assaults, one of which injured the journalist Iyad Hamad causing a fracture to his foot, three arrests, one travel ban, two cases in which media materials were deleted, summoning and questioning, this is in addition to more than one procedure of preventing coverage which included a group of journalists.
The Israeli attacks were as follows: Osama Sharif Mohammad Al-Kahlout (gunshot in his leg), Hatem Sa’di Omar (rubber bullet in both legs), Nidal Fawzi Sulaiman Abu Sharbi (rubber bullet in the hand), Ibrahim Abu Marsa (rubber bullet in the abdomen), Ali Jadallah (rubber bullet in the head), Suhaib Hijazi Hussein Salhab (metal bullet in the thigh), Iyad Nimer Hamad (assaulted causing fracture to leg), Mays Abu Ghoush (arrested), Mohammad Ali Ateeq (arrested for 12 days), Abdelmuhsen Tayseer Shalaldeh (arrested), Majdoleen Rida Hassouna (banned from travelling), Hafeth Abu Sabra (suffocated), Hisham Kamel Abu Shaqra (detained and prevented from coverage), Saleh Hamad (deleting materials), Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait (deleting materials and assaulted in two separate accidents), in addition to summoning and questioning the Head of Sports Section at Al-Quds Newspaper, Muneer Al-Ghoul, in connection to the memorial service of one of the sports characters in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian violations remained at very low rates despite a slight increase in August compared to the previous month, July, even though the increase is limited to violations committed in Gaza Strip.
The number of Palestine violations increased from 4 during July to 6 during August, 5 of which were committed in Gaza Strip while one only was committed in the West Bank, namely:
The Internal Security Service in Gaza Strip has arrested the photojournalist Mohammad Al-Arbeed, and assaulting Hani Abu Rizeq by Hamas security officers and Al-Azhar University Security while he was filming events taking place in the University.
This is in addition to detaining the journalists Amro Ahmad Tabash and Amer Al-Sultan by officers of the General Intelligence in Khan Younes, Gaza Strip, while they were preparing a report on the performance of Khan Younes Municipality, they were questioned and prevented from preparing the report, detaining the cameraman Mujahed Mohammad Sa’di by officers of the Palestinian Intelligence Service while he was filming the moment of a prisoner’s arrival to his town after being released from the Israeli Occupation prisons (Mujahed was detained to check his ID but he did not have it then).