Report: 31 violations against media freedom during September

PNN/ Ramallah/

September has witnessed an increase in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine. The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 violations compared to 11 only documented during August.

This increase came as a result of the Israeli assaults against journalists and media outlets during their coverage of peaceful Palestinian activities, which have expanded relatively this month compared to the preceding month (despite the circumstances caused by the spread of Corona epidemic and its repercussions on various public activities). This is in addition to the increase in the number of Palestinian violations that took place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the closure of three pages of journalists and news sites by Facebook Company.

Israeli Violations:

The number of Israeli violations increased from 4 documented in August to 13 violations documented in September. All the Israeli violations fall under the grave and serious assaults against the lives of journalists and media freedoms in Palestine. They included the injury of 7 journalists with metal bullets and gas bombs or by targeting them with direct physical assaults by soldiers and settlers, arresting three other journalists, preventing press crews from coverage, and confiscating a vehicle for Palestine TV.

These violations included the injuries of journalists: Fadi Abdelraheem Yasine (assaulted), Mahmoud Fawzi Abdelghani (metal gunshot in the shoulder), Jafar Ishtayya (assaulted by settlers), Adel Ibrahim Abu Neima (assaulted by settlers+suffocated acutely in two separate incidents), Nidal Taher Ishtayya (two metal gunshots in the flank and armpit), and Nasser Ishtayya (direct gas bomb on the upper back), and the arrest of journalists: Osama Hussein Shahine (few days after he was transferred to administrative arrest for four months), Abdelmuhsen Shalaldeh and Mujahed Hamdallah Mardawi while returning from abroad. This is in addition to preventing Palestine TV staff from covering a peaceful event against the settlement, and preventing the TV staff to cover the demolition procedures of residences located in the valleys and seizing the TV vehicle.

Moreover, the Israeli Occupation Forces, at dawn (on the 1st of Oct.) have arrested the journalist Tarek Abu Zaid after raiding his house located in Nablus City.

Palestinian Violations: 

The Palestinian violations witnessed a remarkable increase during September, reaching 15 violations, compared to only 6 Palestinian violations that took place during August.

While the West Bank witnessed only one Palestinian violation during August, the number increased during July to 9 violations, while there was no significant change in the number of violations documented in Gaza, which reached 5 and 6 violations during August and September respectively.

The Palestinian violations documented during September included: subjecting the cameraman of An-Najah TV to a series of summons and questioning by the Preventive Security Services, summoning the journalist Samer Khwaira and questioning him by the Preventive Security Services in Nablus, threatening the journalist Ahmad Atef Al-Barsh by the General Investigations and Internal Security in Gaza, questioning and forcing him to delete material on his Page about the situation in Gaza Strip, preventing Kholoud Fatafta by the Palestinian Police to cover a march in Ramallah against CEDAW, preventing the media outlets by the Palestinian Police to cover a protesting sit-in by lawyers and judges in Ramallah, arresting the journalist Ameen Khaled Al-Hajeen by the Internal Security in Gaza for three days after summoning him.