May has witnessed a significant increase in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, as a result of the broad campaign of closures carried out by Facebook Company. The campaign targeted the pages of Palestinian journalists and media websites, which was accompanied by an increase in the number of Israeli violations that have decreased significantly in the preceding month, due to the closure and measures taken to combat the outbreak of Corona virus.
During May, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) has documented a total of 73 violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip including the Occupied City of Jerusalem. Facebook Company committed a total of 46 violations while the Israeli Occupation forces committed 18, and different Palestinian authorities committed 8 violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while the last violation committed was dismissing the journalist Iyad Hamad by the American Worldwide Agency, “Associated Press”.
Facebook Company has carried out a broad campaign of closures targeting dozens of pages of journalists and media websites claiming that “they violate the privacy standards of Facebook Community” according to messages received by a number of those affected by this campaign, which included at least 34 journalists/media websites in Gaza Strip, and 12 journalists and websites in the West Bank.
Most of these journalists did not receive any notifications on closing or restricting their pages, as reported by “MADA” researchers. They were not informed as well of the direct or specific reasons for closing their pages.
It is worth mentioning that Facebook Company has closed 16 pages for journalists as part of the campaign that targeted dozens of Palestinian citizens in March.