Ramallah – 12th Sep. 2023 Violations against media freedoms in Palestine continued at the same high and extremely dangerous pace during August, despite a slight increase in their number compared to the previous month of July, as MADA documented 84 attacks against media freedoms compared to 80 violations committed documented during the previous month of July to increase by 5%.
The 84 documented violations were divided into 58 violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces, and 14 violations committed by various Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while 12 violations committed by social media platforms and companies were documented.
During the month of August 2023, the Israeli occupation forces and authorities committed a total of 58 attacks against media freedoms. This number represents an increase of 71% compared to what was documented during the previous month of July, which witnessed a total of 45 Israeli violations, one of which took place in Gaza Strip.
The Israeli violations documented during the past month constituted 69% of all violations committed, and their great hazard came in terms of focusing on paralyzing the movement of journalists and media crews and preventing them from covering the various events that spread in all governorates. The attacks during this month occurred in a complex manner, as some journalists and media crews were exposed to more than one violation on the same day, whether in the same event or while covering different events.
The occupation forces physically attacked 7 journalists, either with gas bombs or severe beatings. They also targeted and prevented coverage of a total of 22 journalists and media crews. Also, 10 journalists were detained in the field to prevent them from covering, while 3 journalists were arrested and later released.
In addition to the above, the occupation authorities deleted media materials for five journalists, threatened 3 other journalists in various ways, raided the house of a female journalist in Jerusalem, and banished male and female journalists from Al-Aqsa Mosque and its doors for varying periods, imposed a fine on one journalist for his release, and prevented two journalists from traveling.
Palestinian violations decreased during the month of August 2023, from 18 violations documented during July to 14 violations, a decrease of 22%, and were distributed among eight violations committed in the West Bank and six violations committed in Gaza Strip.
Despite this decline, it is not considered positive, given the many cases of harassment practiced against journalists in the West Bank, and the violations that intensified in Gaza Strip during the period they were in the field to cover the “We Want to Live” movement event, which was organized in most of the governorates of Gaza protesting against poor living conditions.
The total Palestinian violations accounted for 17% of all documented violations during the past month, and were distributed among 6 physical attacks committed against journalists in the West Bank, the detention of two journalists in Gaza Strip, the summoning of a journalist in the West Bank by the Intelligence Services in Tulkarm, the deletion of articles by journalists and the threat of two journalists, while other journalists were pursued in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Social Media Violations:
The number of violations documented by social media companies and platforms decreased during the month of August compared to the month of July, and MADA documented a total of 12 violations compared to 17 violations documented during July, a decline of 29%.
Social media violations during the month of August constituted 14% of all documented violations, represented by deleting pages and restricting others for a number of journalists on the basis of their media coverage and under the pretext of violating the standards followed by these platforms.
MADA monitored the closure of 8 accounts of journalists on applications belonging to “Meta” Company, 5 of which were deleted from “WhatsApp” Application, two accounts were deleted from “Instagram” Application, and an account that was restricted on “Facebook” Application for a period of 59 days.
While "Tik Tok" Application permanently closed 3 journalists’ accounts, and one account was temporarily closed.