In an exceptional and unprecedented situation, April 2020 has witnessed a very limited and very low number of violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The violations against media freedoms were limited to only 8 violations during April 2020; 7 of which were committed by different Palestinian authorities, while the Israeli occupation committed a single violation.
The reason behind this significant and unprecedented decline in the number of violations, especially Israeli violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is due to the imposition of a state of emergency, which led to the Palestinians staying in their homes, as well as the Israelis due to the spread of the Corona pandemic. Also, all the field activities and clashes disappeared, which the Israeli occupation forces used to suppress it and prevent the journalists and media outlets from covering it.
During April, a single Israeli violation was documented which included the summoning of the Palestinian journalist Christine Rinawi, Palestine TV correspondent in the occupied Jerusalem City, and investigating her, on the pretext of continuing her work with Palestine TV. It is worth mentioning that the Israeli occupation authorities had closed Palestine TV office in Jerusalem and prevented the journalists from working inside the city through a decision issued by the Israeli Minister of the Interior.
The number of Palestinian violations that were monitored and documented during April reached 7 violations; two of which occurred in the Gaza Strip, which included preventing Palestine TV staff: Mohammad Salim Abu Hatab and Mohammad Ziyad Nassar from interviewing citizens about the atmosphere of Ramadan in light of the Corona epidemic, taking them to the General Investigation headquarters, detaining them and forcing them to sign a pledge not to work without prior permission. In the West Bank, five violations were documented: detaining two journalists of Jana Media Production Company; Youssef Hassasna and Haitham Warasna after searching their vehicle by the Preventive Security Service and seizing their photography equipment. Also, The Palestinian News Agency “WAFA” issued a decision referring the journalists, Jaafar Sadaqa and Rami Samara, to an investigation committee on the pretext of “violating the state of emergency” without clarifying this. It is believed that the reason for this procedure is related to their Facebook writings.