July 2016 has witnessed a decrease in total number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to June, as the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, has monitored a total of 30 violations committed by both sides (Palestinians and Israelis) against media freedoms while in June 39 violations we monitered.
The decline in the overall number of violations monitored in July was a result of a significant drop in number of Palestinian violations, which fell from 27 violations in June to 7 violations during July, on the contrary to the Israeli violations that escalated significantly the double from 12 violations in June to 23 violations in July.
All Israeli violations monitored during July 2016 (increased by 92% from what it was in the previous month), it coincides with the second anniversary of Israeli aggression in Gaza (Operation Protective Edge 08/07/ 2014) that lasted for 51 days, as IOF carried out a series of crimes and systematic and serious attacks against journalists and mediaoutlets, particularly 17 journalists and media workers were killed, injuring 24 others and bombing 20 media outlets headquarters, rather than bombing and demolishing around 37 houses that belongs to journalists (for further details in this regards please check our special report on the link attached and our documentary film that was conducted and prepared by MADA during the last aggression in Gaza and all violations against media freedoms “journalists under fire” to watch the movie press on the link .
As usual, the Israeli violations against media freedoms that escalated significantly to 23 violations during July as most of the violations were the gravest against media freedoms and journalists.
In addition, IOF has issued a decision banning journalists under 30 years old from entering the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to cover events that occurs frequently; only with a special permission.
This new practice that took place in Hebron that resulted so far in expelling three journalists , a similar measures that aimed to prevent coverage in East Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosqu was applied excessively on dozens of journalists, as a deliberate and systematic practice to take decisions that intend to expel journalists frequently from East Jerusalem, as what was monitored this month with the freelance journalist Amjad Taher Arafa, who was banned through an Israeli decision to enter Al Aqsa Mosque to cover events for 18 days.
During May and June we monitored three cases of arrest against journalists in each, it continued in July to four cases of detention and arrestment against journalists by IOF, rather than expelling a journalist from East Jerusalem including threat a systematic measurement that intends to intimidate journalists and ban them from covering attacks and events.
Among the most prominent Israeli violation during July was targeting and shooting the journalist Radi Ahmad Karame/ correspondent of Oruba Network with rubber bullet that was followed with an attack against him and his colleague, the correspondent of “Al Ghad Al Arabi” TV Raed Mohammad Sharif , being heavily beaten with a baton, causing them severe injuries and bruises rather than detaining them and smashing the camera that belongs to Karame, during their coverage of events near a military checkpoint named “Mazmuria” Homs Valley area on the 1st of July, in addition to attacking the editor of Alquds Newspaper Mahmoud Awadallah as one of the soldiers deliberately bombed a stun grenade near his face while covering events at Qalandia military Checkpoint (south of Jerusalem).
July witnessed a significant decrease in total number of Palestinian violations against media freedoms, as we monitored a total of seven violations (4 in the West and 3 in Gaza Strip), as it dropped by 20 violations than it was recorded in June, which witnessed 27 violations.
Among the most prominent and gravest Palestinian violations recorded this month, was the arrest of the journalist Mohammed Khabeesah after raiding his house at night by the Preventive Security Service in Ramallah, and the confiscation of several devices and equipment and documents of his belongings, following the fact that he published the budget of Wafa Agency as posted on the official Page of the Palestinian Ministry of Finance, as well as journalist Mahmoud Naseem Abu Awad who was arrested by the internal security in Gaza Strip, confiscating his personal computer and his mobile, he is still detained till (04/08), besides the excessive campaigns that included incitement and threat against two journalists Hajar Mohammad Harb correspondent of Al Araby TV Network in Gaza Strip, and the journalist Ameed Shehada correspondent of Wafa Agency in Nablus, as a result of conducting two reports the first by Hajar Harb on “Corruption in the health conversion system- Gaza Strip” and the other conducted by Ameed Shehada on “using donkeys in constructing high areas in Nablus”.
In the context of all prosecutions and restrictions against freedom of opinion and expression operations witnessed in July, Internal Security in Gaza also arrested the author Dr. Khader Mehjez for few days due to his writings and views, and the summon and interrogation of the author Dr. Adel Samarah by the general intelligence in the West Bank, following a complaint filed against him related to his writings and opinion, which is a grave breach of freedom of expression and opinion in Palestine.