On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, MADA Center issued a report entitled “The crimes of the Israeli occupation are transient incidents or permanent policy” on physical attacks against journalists.
The report covers the last five and a half years (from the beginning of 2016 to the middle of 2021) and highlights one of the most serious Israeli violations on the lives of journalists and media freedoms in Palestine, which is the physical attacks. These attacks besides their seriousness, are more numerous compared to all types of Israeli violations which include about 20 types.
During the five and a half years covered by this report, the Israeli occupation committed a total of 1,845 violations. The number of direct physical attacks (resulting from the use of weapons and ammunition of all kinds or as a result of beatings) reached 786. i.e., 43% of the Israeli attacks against journalists fall within this type of attack, while the rest is divided into about 20 other types of Israeli violations.
The report indicates that the number of physical attacks by Palestinian parties amounted to 81 violations, which constitutes only 9% of the total physical attacks recorded during the period covered by the report, and that 91% were committed by the Israeli occupation, which shows a clear Israeli tendency towards inflicting the most severe harm on journalists. To keep them away from the field and journalistic work, which reflects a policy that aims in various ways to obscure the practices, policies, and attacks carried out by the occupation in Palestine.
The report shows that the Israeli occupation’s practice of physical attacks has led, since the beginning of the year 2000, to the killing of 46 journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 6 of them were killed during the last five and a half years. This kind of attacks also led to dozens of journalists suffering from temporary and permanent disabilities that will accompany them throughout their lives, as a result of severe and serious injuries caused by the Israeli forces, such as the Journalists: Attia Muhammad Darwish, Moaz Ibrahim Amarneh, and Sami Jamal Masran. Each of them lost one of his eyes as a result of direct injuries that targeted them during their work in the field by the occupation soldiers during the years 2018 and 2019.
The report reviews a number of cases that show that the Israeli occupation forces deliberately inflicted severe harm on journalists, through the use of live ammunition, even internationally prohibited (sometimes explosive bullets), and through the use of rubber, metal and sponge bullets, gas bombs, beatings, and other means, which caused severe injuries to journalists, given that the occupation soldiers use these means in an extreme way that aims to inflict the most harm on the targeted person (shooting gas bombs or rubber bullets at the head from close distances directly).
For example, the photojournalist Nidal Shtayyeh was hit by a gas bomb in the head, causing him internally bleeding in the head and lose consciousness, even though he was wearing a helmet. Likewise, the photographer Hanin Mahmoud Baroud was hit by a gas bomb, which caused an injury that required 8 stitches, as well as the France Press Agency photographer Jaafar Shtayyeh, who was hit in the head by a gas bomb fired by an Israeli soldier from a few meters away inside the Eastern Luban School, which caused him a fracture in the skull and concussion in the brain.
On this occasion, we demand once again the accountability of all those who committed crimes against journalists, especially the occupation forces, for killing (46) journalists since the year 2000.