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MADA Center condemns the storming of media offices and attacks on journalists

 

There has been a clear increase in attacks by the Israeli occupation forces against journalists in Jerusalem

 

Ramallah - 30/7/2017 The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the widespread attacks carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against journalists who carry out their duty in conveying news about peaceful sit-ins organized by Jerusalemites in protest of the newly applied metal detector electronic gates and the prevention of worshipers from excising their right to worship in the Al Aqsa Mosque. Additionally, the center expresses its deep concern at the Israeli occupation forces storming the office of PAL-Media in Ramallah and a number of other media agencies.

 

During the past two weeks, MADA monitored dozens of violations committed by the Israeli occupation police against journalists while covering the events in Jerusalem. These attacks varied but included arrests, beatings, threats, confiscation and destruction of equipment, prevention from covering events, interrogation and targeting journalists with live ammunition and gas canister.

 

On 25 July, 2017, The Israeli Occupation Police in the city of Jerusalem arrested Active Steel Group and the (+972) magazine photographer, Faiz Hamza Abu Rumaila, and subjected him to two interrogation sessions; after beating him up near Lions’ Gate.

 

"At approximately 10:30 am, after the evening prayers, and at the gathering of journalists in the area of Lions Gate, members of the Israeli police assaulted us, pushed us and beat us. I was arrested and taken to the Lions Gate police station where my ID and camera memory card were both confiscated. Due to an argument that erupted between me and the policeman, he attacked me and threatened me that he I was going to break my head if I spoke in a bad way. I was then transferred to the Qashla detention center. I was beaten, insulted and cursed during transition. I was detained in the center from 11 pm until 3 am. I was handcuffed and seated on a chair and police kept on beating me up from time to time”. – reported Abu Rumaila to MADA.

 

Amongst those journalists who were attacked by the Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem were the following colleagues: Muhammad Musa Abu Hadwan, a cameraman for Sky News Arabia, Ali Mohammed Dwayani, a cameraman for the Ru'ya channel in Jerusalem, Diala Juyehan, reporter and photographer of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper in Jerusalem, Sinan Abdullah Abu Mizar, a Reuters cameraman in Jerusalem, Ali Sami Yassin, Palestine TV cameraman in Jerusalem, photographer, Said Abdel Nasser Rokon, Mohammed Kamel Sadiq, Director of the Jerusalem Media Center, Latifa Radwan Abdel Latif, cameraman of Al Jazeera Live Channel in Jerusalem, Dalia Jamal Numarry, Russia Today reporter, Fatima Abd Al Bakri, Correspondent and videographer of Al-Quds satellite channel,  Liwa’a Abu Rmeleh correspondent of PaltodayTv,  and many other Palestinian and foreign journalists who were attacked.

 

On the other hand, a force from the Israeli Occupation Army broke into the office of Pal-Media Company in Ramallah City on July 29, 2017 along with a number of other media agencies provided by media services and equipment by Pal-Media. During the raid, soldiers ransack, destroyed and confiscated equipment. Alaa Hasan al-Rimawi, Al-Quds satellite channel - one of the TV Channels that were raided –informed MADA center “An Israeli Force raided the Palestine Tower, where  the office of Al Quds Channel is located and started to destroy other media offices in the tower, and then entered Pal-Media company, Al Mayadeen Office, Russia Today offices and Al Quds Channel office. Soldiers broke down the doors to the Al Quds Channel office and ransack it, and confiscated a large archive of information materials and work equipment."

 

The wide range of indiscriminate violent attacks against media and journalists reaffirms the persistence of the Israeli occupation violations and attack on media freedoms through various violent means. MADA sees these incidents as means to block sending to the world a true image of what is happening on the ground and the policies it practices towards the Palestinians, and also stresses the urgent need to prosecute the perpetrators of these attacks, which are still free from punishment.

 

The MADA Center stresses on the need to hold the occupation accountable for its ongoing violations against journalists and its violations of international conventions and laws that protect journalists while covering events. MADA center further urges the international community to act fast to protect Palestinian Journalists.