“MADA”: Escalation in the Israeli violations against media freedom during November
Ramallah- 27/12/2016- November witnessed significant escalation in total number of violations against media freedom in Palestine, where Israeli occupation committed the bulk.
The Palestinian Center for development and media freedoms monitored in November a total of 31 violations against media freedom, committed by Israeli Occupation, and different Palestinian apparatuses in West Bank and Gaza Strip, noting that total violations of Israeli Occupation topped to 27, whilst Palestinian parties committed 4 violations.
Israeli Occupation Violations:
Israeli Occupation violations monitored against media freedom during November witnessed a high escalation (27violations) compared to what was monitored in October (11 violations).
As most of the Israeli violations monitored were considered as the gravest, besides, the restrictions targeting right to movement to many journalists and media outlets, as Israeli Occupation authorities banned a total of 28 journalists (male/female) from travel, and passing through Gaza check point to the West Bank although they applied previously for permits, to enable them pass the crossing along to the West Bank to cover (Fatah 7th Conference) that took place in Ramallah for 6 days.
The most prominent of all Israeli Violations during this month was raiding 4 printing houses and media outlet, searching and confiscating its equipment, which hinders them from resuming their work, and makes it hard and costly.
On 16/11 at dawn, IOF stormed Media program for health development office in Ramallah, after bombing the front door and smashing most of the equipment and confiscating several devices, on 07/11they also stormed Taj printing house, in Al Fawar refugee camp, besides to Asayel Yafa printing house in Qaqilia and “A’lam Al-Ibdaa” printing house in Al Zawieh Governorate in Salfeet; that were stormed in the dawn of 23/11, several equipment and devices of the three printing houses causing destruction estimated to thousands of shekels.
IOF also arrested several journalists including Khaled Ma’ali from Selfeit, and cameraman at Ramsat Nidal Asmar Al-Natsheh from Hebron, they also renewed administrative detention of Omar Nazzal member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate for a period of a month.
It is remarkable that the intelligence occupation, stipulated that journalist Khalid Ma’ali, who was arrested for eight days over alleged incitement on "Facebook" not to engage in any media activity for a month after he was released on bail.
Total number of Palestinian violations recorded this month declined and was limited to four violations, two in the West Bank and two in Gaza Strip, while 11 violations (seven in the West Bank and four in Gaza Strip) were monitored during October 2016 .
Palestinian violations recorded this month in the West Bank and Gaza consisted of 3 cases of preventing from coverage including (cutting live broadcast from the field) besides, one case of detention, and one case of summoning and interrogation.
November violations in details:
(03/11)- IOF arrested the journalist and researcher on settlements Khalid Amin Ma’ali (49years) from Salfeet city (North of West Bank) after raiding his house over alleged of exercising incitement on Facebook, as his wife Afaf Ma’ali reported to MADA “IOF raided our house that is located in Salfeet at 02:00 am on Thursday 3/11 and searched and confiscated his personal mobile, arresting him and escorting him to Ara’el settlement and then to Huwara detention center and then to Mjjedo Prison”.
She also added “they interrogated Khalid on suspects of engaging in incitement exercises on Facebook, they also interrogated him regarding 4 personal photographs, and a picture of Al-Aqsa mosque, considering it as inciting photos, although Khalid refuted and ensured that he is doing is out of the norm of his work as a journalist, and it is far to consider as inciting, and that everything he publishes is legal and fells under profession standards”.
She also pointed out that “at first Majeddo prison refused to receive him, due to his health conditions (heart disease and eye problems) hence, he was transferred to Beilinson hospital after Subjected to medical examination (he was transferred again to Majeddo prison), he was relased on 14/11/2016 on parole not to engage in any media activity for a period of a month, and paying a 7000 shekels bail (1,832$), and returned his confiscated computer”.
(07/11)- IOF Stormed Press “Al Taj” printing house in Al Fawar refugee camp (south of West Bank) and confiscated many of its equipment and destructing some of it, as Mohammad Abdul Fatah Rasras (57years) father of Abdalla Rasras who owns the printing house, reported to MADA “At the dawn of 7/11 a troop of IOF stormed Al Taj printing house, in al fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron, they broke the front door of the printing house and other entrances of other shops, and started searching the place”.
He explained that he lives in a house above the shops and the printing house owned by his son, and he went to the soldiers when they stormed the shops and the printing house, they dragged me out of the printing house and began to break down all the machines and equipment before they started to confiscate and load a truck they brought, they confiscated a withdrawn machine, photocopier machine, and colored photocopier, a computer, and posters printing machine, and left after an hour” he added that “the value of the destruction in the printing house is estimated by 35-40 thousand shekels”.
(08/11)- Palestinian intelligence in Hebron summoned photographer and reporter of Al Quds News Network and Hebron Radio Musab Abdul Samad al-Tamimi, (26year), and interrogated him about his work, where Al-Tamimi reported to MADA "I was summoned on Tuesday (8/11) over the phone by Palestinian intelligence agency in Hebron to attend to the headquarters of the intelligence in the next day (Wednesday) at ten in the morning, and after communicating with the journalists' syndicate who informed me that I should comply, as they are not able on their part to solve the subject, accordingly I went on Wednesday, and stayed in the intelligence headquarters about three hours, my interrogation revolved around my work as a journalist in the network, the sources of my information, how I publish news, the way I receive my salary, and about those who I informed regarding the summon, I left around 13:00pm”.
(09/11)- Israeli occupation forces arrested Ramsat agency cameraman Nidal Asmar AlNatsheh (28 years) after raiding his house and confiscated two mobiles, he reported to MADA” Israeli occupation forces arrested me from my house that is located in the city of Hebron at dawn of 9/11 after they confiscated two mobiles, They took me to the Department of interrogation in / Petah Tikva /, and remained detained in solitary cell until 17/11 and during this period I was interrogated during the first two days and the last two days of the period of detention regarding a film I produced before a year and a half about the situation of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and forced feeding ".
He added” They focus during the investigation on / who funded the production of the film/, noting that I produced this film on a personal effort by me and my friends without any external funding. I was released after they make sure that I did not receive any funding for the production of the film, they returned my phones only my ID remained impounded and the officer informed me to take it from the Red Cross”.
(16/11)- IOF stormed Media program for health development office in Ramallah after smashing the front door of the office, and pampering destructing its contents, and confiscating some of it as reported by the financial manager of the office Walid Izat Kamel (49 years) to MADA center “ a troop of IOF consisting of eight jeeps, raided media program for health development office in the middle of Ramallah City at 02:00am of Wednesday, smashing the front door of the building and bombing the officer door, and searched the office brutally and smashed the wooden doors of the office, They also ruined the gypsum walls and confiscated three Hard-desk, two servers, and a recording device for cameras, they left after about two hours of inspections and sabotage”.
(17/11)- IOF attacked more than 9 journalists with beating and tear gas bombs and pepper spray as a try to ban them from covering a peaceful demonstration organized in Jordan valley area against settlements and demolishing Bedouin houses as AP cameraman Majdy Mohammad Ishtaieh (34 years) reported to MADA “I headed with a bunch of my colleagues including (Mohammad Turkman, Saed Hwari, photographer in Reuters, and Abbas Moumni AFP photographer, Feras Lutfi Sky News reporter, Abdulrahman Khabisa Sky Newscameraman, Hafeth Abu Sabra reporter of Roy’a TV, its cameraman Mohammad Abu Shousheh, and Khaled Sabarneh IRIB photographer) on 17/11 in the morning to the northern area of Jordan Valley to cover a peaceful demonstration against the continuity of settlements and demolishing Bedouins tents and homes, as the Committee of the Popular Resistance erected a tent named it after the village “Yaser Arafat” near the white spring close to the Bedouin area near the northern Jordan valley, noting that there were a settler near the place, afterwards the demonstrators started putting (Palestinian) flags on the settlers tents, while clashes took place between the settlers and the demonstrators, and after half an hours IOF came and started separation between the Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli settlers, they gave us (the journalists) half an hour to leave the place and threatened to oppress us if we didn’t comply, in half an hour the protestors brought lunch meals for everyone, meanwhile, IOF started shooting stun grenade and tear gas bombs towards everyone, and beating demonstrators, and when we (journalists/ photographers) distanced from the place in order to cover the clashes, IOF turned from assaulting the demonstrators to beating and hitting us and started targeting us with stun grenade and tear gas bombs to force us to stay away from the place, and pushed us out of the place and spraying us with pepper on the journalists faces, and these attacks lasted for more than half an hour”. (copy of Wattan report on the incident)
(18/11)- IOF detained freelance photojournalist Hamza Burnat (24 years) and banned him from covering the weekly peaceful demonstration in Bel’en village west of Ramallah, as he reported to MADA” while I was covering the weekly demonstration in Bel’en on Friday 18/1, and while I was filming it an Israeli soldier headed toward me banning me from covering, I demanded him to hand me an official order emphasizes the ban of covering in this area, which provoked him hence he detained me for an hour, and banned me from covering, and when the demonstration was over, I was released although I was subjected to cursing and improper words”.
(18/11)- Palestinian Police in Gaza detained the reporter of Palestine Today TV, Alaa’ Abdulaziz Salameh (33years) and cut off the live broadcast of a football game, as he reported to MADA” I was detained by Palestinian Police in Gaza on 18/11, I was stopped from live broadcasting of football game in Rafah City, and that happened based on a complaint filed by Mousa Zatma (lieutenant in the police service) accusing me of exploitation / after I interviewed him during August on the subject of municipal elections”.
Salameh clarified” I was detained following this complaint based on an arrest warrant to be presented to the public prosecutor office, when I headed to the police station, in Rafah I was detained, and released on bail through two of my colleagues, and come back to the public prosecutor’s office next Sunday, when I went back I learned that they closed the case due to waiver of the complaint”.
(20/11)- Israeli Occupation Intelligence summoned program manager of Al Quds TV, Nawaf Ibrahim Al Amer (54 years) as he reported to MADA” On 10/11at night I received a phone call by a person presented himself as Captain Jalal, from Israeli Intelligence, informed me that he was responsible of arresting my son from the house, and informed me that he wants to see me, I enquired if it’s an arrest or only interrogation/chat, he informed me that it’s just a chat, I headed the other day on 21/11 to Huwara military camp, but while I was heading to the intelligence headquarters, I received a phone call by the same captain saying that he won’t be able to meet me today, hence I returned”.
(22/11)- IOF banned a group of journalists (5 journalists) to cover the killing of a young man shot dead by the IOF at a military checkpoint near Qalandiya refugee camp, where TV correspondent of “Al- Ghad” Dia’ Ahmad Houshia (33years) reported to MADA " IOF prevented us from covering the incident of martyrdom of Jihad Khalil at Qalandiya checkpoint on 22/11, where soldiers stop us and they covered the cameras and prevented us from filming or coverage. "
He pointed out that this affected a group of journalists, including: AP photographer Imad Saeed, al-Hayat Al-Jadidah newspaper photographer Issam Rimawi, and Reuters cameraman Saed Houari, photographer of "Wafa" agency Bahaa Nasr.
(23/11)- Israeli military court in Ofer (near Ramallah) renewed administrative detention against journalist Omar Nazzal, a member of the Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate for the second time in a row for a period of one month after ending his detention period, where, his wife Marilyn Nazzal reported to MADA "On (23/11) the Ofer Israeli military court in Ofer renewed Omar administrative detention for another month, noting that he ended his detention today, he was expecting to be released. The court approved that this sentence is not subjected to renewal, hence he is supposed to be released on 24/12/2016”.
(23/11)- IOF raided Asayel Yafa printing house, smashed its front door, and searched and confiscated many of its contents and three Jordanian passports,, as the owner of Asayel Yafa company for printing and advertising, Saber Mohammad Ali (41 years) reported to MADA “at around 02:15am of 23/11 I received a phone call from the neighbors’ of the printing house (that is located in Qalqilia, Nablus street, near the interior ministry) informing me that a large troop of IOF, estimated by 13 military jeeps, stormed the printing house and broke its main four front doors, hence I headed to the place, although I stayed far as I was forbidden by the IOF from getting close to the printing house, hence they surrounded the place, imposed security prevention in the area”.
He also added” I asked the soldiers to speak with the officer in charge, 10 minutes later he did not ask for my ID or my name ever after he learned that I am the owner of the printing house”.. "
He added ”The soldiers remained in the printing house until 5:00am apparently they caused wide damages, during the inspection process, also they confiscated 5 Hard-Desks, digital photocopier machine that cost 6,000 shekels, 7 flashes business documents/ files saved on it worth 5800 NIS, and also confiscated three Jordanian passports, and when I followed up with the Palestinian liaison in order to restore what has been confiscated and the private passports they denied (IOF), confiscating or even seeing them”.
(23/11)- IOF Stormed "world of innovation" printing house in Bab Alzawieh, after smashing the front door and inspected and ruined some of its contents and confiscated many of the equipment, documents and files where the owner of the printing house Raed Othman Musleh, (41years), reported to MADA "at about 12:10 am after midnight on 23/11 a troop of IOF stormed the printing house (printing house is located in the town of Zawieh west of Salfeet), where they smashed the front door and entered the printing house”.. "
he added “I learned about the raid after an acquaintance who was passing by chance from the place, and when I went there around a quarter to one, in the morning I could not find anyone, IOF left the place. I found out that they decoded the computer device, and inspected all paper files, the photocopied the designs book that contains 100 design, I noticed after I checked the surveillance cameras and watched everything happened, they also confiscated two Hard desk, and a book of customer accounts, in addition to the memory stick 1000 GB contain about 10,000 design note that the value of each design is not less than 100 shekels”.
He also added” I filed a complaint through the Palestinian liaison office but received no reply”.
(29/11)- Palestinian security prevented crew of Al Ghad TV coverage of the Seventh Conference of the Fatah movement and distanced them twice from the venue of the conference and its surroundings, where the correspondent of Al-Ghad Diaa’ Ahmed Houshieh (33year) reported to MADA "at about 9:30 in the morning of 29/11 me and my colleague Munther al-Khatib 31years, cameraman of the channel, in order to cover Fateh seventh Conference, and before I could enter into the provincial (Mukata’a) the presidential guard came and threatened us, demanding us to stay away from the place, otherwise we will be punished, allegedly that the broadcast car is not registered within the press crews to cover the conference, as one intelligence agent came and told me that our names (me and my colleague) is not included in the media lists, and that I have to go, otherwise he will be forced to talk to me in different way.”
He added” we were distanced from the area, and parked near KFC restaurant (that is located 100-150Meters far from the provincial, after 14:00pm a force of the presidential Guards informed us to leave the entire region, and we go to Almanarah square (center of Ramallah)”
He also added” What happened targeted Al Ghad crew, where it was allowed for all other media staff, including, for example, Al-Aqsa TV as well as Israeli journalists, I also contacted the coordinator of press crews Mohammed Steih and I asked him about the reason to preventing us from covering the conference, but I did not get an answer to my question”.