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MADA: 277 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during the first half of 2018


The Israeli occupation committed 75% of them


Ramallah - (5/8/2018) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) issued its semi-annual report, which monitors and documents violations against media freedoms in Palestine during the first half of 2018.


The report points out that the first half of 2018 saw a 21% increase in the number of violations against media freedoms compared with the same period last year 2017.


This came as a direct result of a significant increase in the number of Israeli violations and an increase in the seriousness of these violations, which culminated in the killing of two journalists by Israeli soldiers during their coverage of peaceful marches in the Gaza Strip. This was accompanied by a 32% decrease in the number of Palestinian violations.


The total number of Israeli and Palestinian violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including occupied Jerusalem) amounted to 277 violations, of which 208 were committed by the Israeli occupation, which amount (75%), while a total of 69 violations were committed by Palestinian sides in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which amount 25%.


The figures and data indicate a significant and continuous increase in the scope of attacks targeting media freedoms in Palestine, especially since the first half of last year 2017 which has also witnessed a rise of 15%.


The number of Israeli violations in the first half of 2018 rose by 64% compared to the 127 Israeli violations in the same period in 2017.

A total of 200 journalists (168 male and 32 female journalists) have been targeted by (Israeli and Palestinian) violations. Other attacks targeted other groups of journalists, as well as further attacks on media organizations or those which were not directly targeting specific individuals.


Over the past years, Israeli violations have accounted for about two-thirds of the total registered violations, but have escalated during the first half of this year to constitute three-quarters of the total violations (75%), that is, three out of every four violations against media freedoms occurred in Palestine during the first half of the year 2018 were committed by the Israeli occupation.


A total of 128 Israeli violations have occurred in the West Bank and 80 in the Gaza Strip. Violations by the Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip have been the deadliest, most serious and most dangerous as most of the journalists who fell victims by those violations were seriously injured and two of them were killed.


Undoubtedly, the killings of the two journalists; Yasser Abdel Rahman Mortaja, 31, a photographer for the agency “Ein Media”, and Ahmad Hassan Abu Hussein, 26, a journalist for the “Voice of the People” and a freelance photographer, by Israeli snipers in Gaza were the most serious and dangerous violations of all. Especially given evidenced -by various data and testimonies- were committed deliberately with an aim to kill. The two journalists; Mortaja and Abu Hussein, were killed in two separate incidents by being targeted by occupation’s explosive bullets.


Physical assaults comprised the most committed of the Israeli violations -which were grouped into 11 different kinds- and which accounted for 57% of all Israeli violations monitored and documented by the MADA Center during the first half of 2018.


As highlighted in the report, despite the decrease in Palestinian violations, still, it did not come far from the general rate monitored during the past seven years. Majority of the violations occurred in the West Bank (54 violations), compared to 15 violations monitored in the Gaza Strip, (these statistics do not assume that media freedoms is better in the Gaza Strip). Additionally, in a rare scenario, physical violations surpassed all the other types of Palestinian violations recorded in the first half of this year 2018.


MADA Center condemns all attacks against media freedom and freedom of expression in Palestine, which resulted in the killing of two journalists. We further reiterate the call on the international community to take serious action to hold accountable the perpetrators of these crimes and violations, particularly the murder of journalists Ahmed Abu Hussein and Yasser Mortaja, and to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop its continuous violations of international conventions and laws that guarantee freedom of expression.


 MADA also calls on all relevant Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to respect freedom of expression guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law and international treaties ratified by the State of Palestine and to hold accountable any perpetrators of such violations.


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