For the second month in a row, Palestine witnessed, last June, a wide wave of serious attacks against journalists and media freedoms.
While a total of 169 violations against media freedoms in Palestine were recorded during the month of May, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” monitored and documented a total of 123 violations during the month of June, which is almost the same number as the previous one, noting that 39 of the total recorded violations during the month of May was committed by social media companies, which was limited to only one violation during June.
Last month (June) witnessed a dangerous and remarkable development, as the Palestinian violations, in a rare case, exceeded the Israeli attacks in terms of number, and for the most part, they were similar in danger to the lives of journalists and media freedoms in Palestine.
The 123 attacks that MADA monitored and documented during June are as follows: 69 were committed by Palestinian parties, 52 were committed by the Israeli occupation, a single violation was committed by Facebook, and another violation committed by the US authorities as blocking the website of the “Palestine Today” channel, knowing that most of the violations committed during the month of May (122 of them) were committed by the occupation forces, authorities, and settlers, while the number of Palestinian violations amounted to only 6, in addition to 39 violations committed by social media companies.
The month of June witnessed a total of 52 Israeli attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, most of which are among the most serious violations against journalists’ lives and media freedoms.
Despite the decrease in the number of Israeli violations (it decreased from 122 in May to 52 violations in June). However, it does not reflect an improvement in the Israeli practice towards freedom of the press, but rather as a direct result of the decrease in the intensity of field events witnessed in the Palestinian territories, especially the occupied city of Jerusalem during the month compared May. Thus, the possibility of clashes between the occupation forces and journalists in the field decreased.
As usual, direct physical attacks on journalists constituted the bulk of the total Israeli violations, which amounted to 38 attacks, representing 73% of the total Israeli attacks witnessed last month, noting that many of them resulted from injuries with rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters, and beating.
Over the past month, the occupation policy has emerged flagrantly in its attempt to prevent coverage, by removing the media from the venues of the event by various means (physical targeting is the most prominent one).
The occupation argued that it does not recognize Palestinian press cards, and therefore it prevented the access of many journalists working in occupied Jerusalem to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in order to obscure what the occupation authorities are working to implement in terms of displacing several families from their homes for the benefit of the settlers, and the accompanying attacks on the residents of the neighborhood and those in solidarity with them.
Through this new method of blackout operations, 8 attacks and expulsion of journalists from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were documented based on this pretext.
The assault and arrest of Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi that ended with her being expelled from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 15 days is evidence of the aforementioned (noting that she is known to the security forces and carries an Israeli press card).
The occupation police also prevented A few days later, freelance journalist Youssef Amro, who also holds an Israeli press card (and not only a Palestinian one), from entering the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to cover attacks carried out by Israeli settlers there on June 22, 2021, on the pretext that his Israeli card “is of the type that does not allow him to by entering the neighborhood”, which exposes how the Israeli occupation authorities and forces are “masterful” in inventing pretexts to keep the press away from the field to prevent coverage.