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43 attacks on Media Freedoms in Palestine during December 2018

Ramallah, (8 January, 2019) – December 2018, has witnesses a decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine compared to the previous month, but it has remained at high levels, and most of them are serious attacks against the lives of journalists and media freedom in Palestine.

MADA -The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedomshas monitored a total of 43 attacks in December 2018, most of which were committed by the Israeli occupation (32 attacks), and a total of 11 attacks were committed by Palestinians. It should be noted that the previous month has witnessed 57 attacks committed by the Israeli occupation.

 

The Israeli Attacks:

The Israeli occupation forces have committed a total of 32 attacks, most of which involve serious attacks against the lives of journalists and media freedoms, including numerous attacks involving groups of journalists and complex attacks, which include several different attacks integrated altogether.

Among the most prominent and serious Israeli attacks registered during the last month of 2018, is the injury of at least 9 journalists by rubber and metal bullets and gas bombs which the occupation soldiers continue to directly and deliberately fire against the bodies of journalists. Many data also indicate to the most severe harm caused to them. Like with the journalist, Attiya Mohammed Ali Darwish, while he was covering the events of the peaceful return march on 14 Dec. 2018 in the area of "Carney" –Gaza, where he was injured by a gas bomb in the face, which penetrated the bone of his face by 7 cm, causing bleeding and damage to the jaw and left eye.

In addition to the injury of the journalist Darwish, four other journalists were injured by gas bombs fired directly at them, namely: the photojournalist, Mohammad Wael Abduljawad Al-Duwaik, injured by a gas bomb in the forehead, the photographer, Majdi George Banoura (injured by a gas bomb in the left hand and the left side of his head causing a fracture to one of his fingers), Hasan Abdulfattah Mohammad Islaih (injured by a gas bomb in the foot), Thaer Khalid Fahmi Abu Rayash (injured by a gas bomb in the abdomen), the freelance photojournalist, Ribhi Abed Al-Koubary (injured by a rubber bullet in his left hand), Musab Abdelsamad Shawer Al-Tamimi (injured by a rubber bullet in his left hand), and Mustafa Mohammad Al-Badri Hassouna (injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the leg), and Sami Jamal Taleb Masran, injured by explosive bullet fragments in the foot.

Among the most prominent Israeli attacks monitored during the past month, December, in addition to the nine injuries previously mentioned, is breaking into the main headquarters of the Official Palestinian News Agency “WAFA” by the Israeli occupation forces, detaining the staff members inside the headquarters, and throwing a gas bomb at the balcony of Al-Tahrir Hall, even though 14 staff members were inside the headquarters at the time. This is in addition breaking into Al-Noor printing shop in Ramallah by the Israeli occupation forces and bombing its doors at night as well as confiscating its equipment and printing machinery. The owner of the shop, Khaled Hussein Musfir, estimated the total price of the confiscated equipment and machines at 32,000 shekels. This is in addition to detaining and arresting four journalists this month, namely: Sameh Mahmoud Mohammad Abdullah who was arrested from his home in the village of Izbat Al-Jarad in Tulkarm, and the journalist Hussain Hashim Shuja'ia who was arrested from his home in the village of Deir Jreir, and Samer Abu Eisheh from Jerusalem (released the day after his arrest and transferred to house arrest for a week), and Mousa Sarhan ho was arrested from his house located in Alluban Al-Gharbiya.

 

The Palestinian Attacks:

The Palestinian attacks registered during December show a slight rise amounting to eleven attacks compared to eight monitored during the preceding month.

The Palestinian attacks against media freedoms during December included attacking Palestinian security forces by beating journalists  Abd Al-Muhsin Shalaldeh and Malik Al-Ja’bari while they were covering a march in Hebron, in addition to detaining Al-Ja’bari for about two hours.

This in addition to detaining the photographer, Abdelkareem Mseitef, in the headquarters of the Palestinian Intelligence, Al-Balou, for four hours and a half, while he was covering a march in Ramallah. informing the head of Tulkarem Governor Office, the freelance journalist, Sami  Saed Al-Saee, that he is prohibited to transmit any news in connection to the governor or Tulkarem Governorate, arresting the journalist, Mutasem Saqf Al-Heit, by the Palestinian Preventive Security in Nablus, summoning the journalist, Abdelmuhsen Shalaldeh, by the Palestinian Intelligence Service in Halhoul, and questioning him, summoning the programs preparer  of Palestine TV, Sameer Skaik, by the Internal Security in Gaza, twice, questioning and detaining him for long hours, seizing the money transfer of the staff salaries of the Jordanian office of “Al-Haqiqa TV” in Bethlehem by the Palestinian Intelligence Service, in addition to the injury of the journalist, Nidal Ishtaya, by stone while covering a demonstration in Kafr Qaddum.

 

Details of Attacks:

(1st Dec.) The Palestinian Intelligence Service has seized the financial transfer of the staff salaries of the Jordanian TV “Al-Haqiqa” at the TV office in Bethlehem.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, on 1st May 2015, and office for Al-Haqiqa Jordanian TV was opened in Bethlehem. The office is managed by Wael Mohammad Taqatqa (39 years old), Akram Ali Allan Deireih (40 years old) as a photographer and montage, Nour Al-Din Mohammad Banat (25 years old) a field reporter. The staff member Akram was summoned in November by the Palestinian Intelligence Service, five times, (between 6th – 22nd November 2018). Wael Taqatqa was also summoned on 20th November 2018 and on 2nd December 2018. They were questioned about their political affiliation, the nature of their work in the TV office, the political  affiliation of the TV owner (Zakaria Al-Sjeikh, who is a former deputy in the Jordanian parliament). Since the start of this team in Bethlehem office, their salaries are transferred from the administration of the TV through Abdeen Exchange. It should be noted that the Palestinian Intelligence and Preventive Security have allowed this transfer. During the previous period, the Office did not face any problems in receiving the money. On 1st Dec. 2018, the money transfer from the Administration arrived at Abdeen Exchange. As usual, Wael Taqatqa went to receive the amount. However, Abdeen told him that the money transfer has been seized by the Palestinian Intelligence (an amount of 1240 JD). On the following day, it was confiscated on the grounds that Al-Haqiqa office did not receive a permit to work in the West Bank. Wael Tqaqqa says that he sought a permit from the Palestinian Authority to operate the TV in the West Bank and began the necessary procedures after six months of starting work. He went to the Ministry of Labor in Ramallah and collected the required documents and papers, except for one file related to the tax papers. The procedures were “impossible” as he described it. He had to sign every paper in three different ministries in addition to the Jordanian embassy. The procedures cost him “about 6,000 JD”, he stated. After a long time, Wael felt he had reached a deadlock.

 

(3rd Dec.) The occupation soldiers have deleted video clips made by Al-Hadath Newspaper reporter, while he was covering the army incursion of Birzeit.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Al-Hadath Newspaper reporter, Mohammad Mohammad Ghafry (28 years old), at around 10:00 AM, on Monday, corresponding 3rd Dec. 2018, has arrived Birzeit, north Ramallah, to cover the army incursion of Birzeit. Ghafry, who was wearing the Press helmet and uniform, approached the area and stopped at a distance of 50 meters away from the soldiers. He started filming them live through the Facebook, until two soldiers approached him and started shouting at him to stop filming the events. When they arrived him, they took his phone and deleted the video clip he filmed. They threatened him with a sound bomb if he did not leave the place.

 

(6th Dec.) An occupation army force has raided Al-Noor Printing shop and seized several of its equipment and machinery. It is worth mentioning that this is the third attack against Al-Noor printing shop within 13 months.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, an occupation army force of around 25 military patrols, at around 3:00 AM, at dawn, on Tuesday, corresponding 6th Dec. 2018, has raided Al-Nahda street in central Ramallah, where Al-Noor printing shop is located. It is worth mentioning that the citizen, Khalid Hussein Musfir (44 years old) owns the shop. The soldiers bombed the main doors and raided the shop. After half an hour of staying inside, they stared seizing the files, equipment and machinery. They seized six printers of different models and a computer. Khalid Hussein Musfir, the owner of the shop, estimated the losses by about 32,000 Sheikels, as follows: Xerox with a price of 18,000 USD, cutter machine with a price of 3,000 USD, 2 Exon machines with a price of 3,200 NIS, hp machine with a price of 2000 NIS, 2 hp color machines with a price of 3500 NIS, a computer with a price of 2500 NIS. The owner, Khalid Musfir, confirmed that no decision has been issued or that he received the same to close the shop which made describe what has happened as “a sabotage without any security grounds”. It should be noted that this was the third the shop was raided and sabotaged. On 30th Dec. 2017 it was raided by the Israeli army and all of the printers and computers were seized then. It was also raided another time and around 25 printers and computers were seized and damaged on 30th Jan. 2017.

 

(8th Dec.) The programs presenter of Palestine TV, the journalist, Dana Ghazi (Mohammad Saed) Abu Shamsiya was subject to incitement and defamation with the participation of several media agencies.

According to the investigation of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Dana Ghazi (Mohammad Saed) Abu Shamsiya, (26 years old), from Jerusalem, the programs presenter of Palestine TV, has received, on Monday, corresponding 10 Dec. 2018, a message from a friend containing an article link published on MEMRI website, defaming and inciting against her. On the following day, corresponding Tuesday, 11 Dec. 2018, she found that the Magazine “Times of Israel” has published the same article. This is in addition to the tenth Israeli TV which also published the same as she was told by her friends. These articles and news reports included an episode Palestine TV has  broadcasted on Friday, 23rd Nov. 2018, in “Good Morning Jerusalem” Show, presented by Abu Shamsiya. The introduction to this episode included poems by the martyr Abdulrahman Abu Jamal, where the Israeli media agencies have translated the words of the poem in English as incitement to terrorism. “The incitement practiced by the Palestinian Authority and Fateh movement glorifying the martyrs is broadcasted from the heart if eastern Jerusalem” as they stated, in reference to Palestine TV Office in Al-Sawwanah, in occupied Jerusalem.  The journalist Dana Abu Shamsiya, as a result, contacted the Administration of Palestine TV and the lawyer. While she was initially told that she was “not subject to any kind of risk or liability”, another lawyer called her to file a defamation case, as he name was all over the social media and Facebook pages, while a third lawyer explained to her that there is a possibility of being subject to arrest in light of the campaign launched by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian Authority for arrest on the pretext of incitement[1].

 

(9th Dec.) The journalist, Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait, was subject to two separated attacks by the Army and settlers on his way back from Ramallah city to Nablus where he lives.

According to the investigations by MADA field researcher, the journalist, Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait, (29 years old), who works for “Quds News Network”, at around 10:30PM, on Monday, corresponding 9th Dec. 2018, on his way back from Ramallah City to Nablus where he lives, was surprised by the closure of the road near Ofra settlement located east of Ramallah by the army and learned that there were injuries, and immediately he started covering the events for the Network for which he works and continued about half an hour before the soldiers approached him and expel him and all Palestinian cars and forced them to return to Ramallah. Saqf Al-Haith returned and took the road of Beit El barrier, known as the DCO. Near the checkpoint, a soldier stopped him, took his car keys and held him there for more than two hours (although he told the soldiers that he was a journalist), without interrogating him or questioning him, they then released him. In a separate incident, at approximately 08:00PM on the following day (Tuesday, 10 December, 2018), on the way back from Ramallah to Nablus, the journalist saw a group of settlers assaulting Palestinian cars near Hawara checkpoint at the entrance to Nablus. He began to film it. One of the settlers attacked and beat him and broke his phone before the soldiers at the checkpoint intervened and helped the settlers. They expelled the journalist Mutasem, who went to the Israeli police station in Ariel and filed a complaint against the settler who attacked him.

 

(10th Dec.) The Israeli occupation forces, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, has arrested 26 Palestinian all around the West bank and Jerusalem after a shooting attack targeting Israeli settlers near the city of Ramallah the previous day (9th Dec. 2018). The arrests included three journalists: Sameh Mahmoud Mohammad Abdullah, who was arrested from his home in Izbat Al-Jarrad in Tulkarem, the journalist Hussein Shujaia who was arrested from his home in Deir Jreir, and the journalist Samer Abu Eisha from Jerusalem (he was released the following day).

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, the family members of the journalists, Hussein Hashim Shujaia, born on 26 January 1987, works for Quds Net as a reporter, in addition to his work at Al-Quds Legal Assistance Center, with its headquarters in Ramallah, have heard, at around 4:00AM, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, strong knocking on the door of their house located in Deir Jreir, east of Ramallah, Est Bank, as well as the sounds of soldiers asking them to open the door, shouting (open the door, its army). The father, Hashim Shujaia went and opened the door, around 20 soldiers entered the house with their weapons and detained everyone inside a single room (the father, mother, brothers, and littler sister). They arrested Hussein directly from his room, two soldiers took him, not handcuffed or blindfolded, after they were certain who he was. Then they seized two cell phones belonging to him. The journalist, Hussein Shujaia, has posted on his Facebook about three hours before his arrest, that “an Israeli drone might land on the roof of the house” indicating the intensive movement of the Israeli army that followed the shooting in an area close to Deir Jreir where he lives.

From Izbat Al-jarrad, Tulkarem, an Israeli occupation army force, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, has arrested the journalist, Sameh Mahmoud Mohammad Abdullah, an author at Quds Net, from his house.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, an Israeli occupation force, at around 02:35 AM, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, has besieged a residential building, located at the entrance of Izbat Al-Jarrad, east of Tulkarem, where the journalist Sameh Mahmoud Mohammad Abdullah lives. It should be noted that he is married, with two children, botn on 3rd July 1985, holding I.D. Card No. (946453263). Soon later, the soldiers began knocking on the door of his father’s apartment on the second floor of the building, he quickly opened the door for them, and around 12 soldiers entered the apartment (one of them masked) and asked the father about his identity and about his children. When he mentioned the name Sameh, they asked where he stays, and he told them that his apartment is on the fifth floor of the building. Around four soldiers remained in the father's apartment. The remaining soldiers went upstairs heading to the apartments of the three sons (Saed, Fadi, and Sameh) and entered their houses.  When they entered Sameh’s apartment, they asked for his ID and his cell phone, he told them that he has lost it. They searched the house and found it in a bag and seized it. They also seized another phone, and his wife’s phone. They arrested him, and left the building at around 04:00AM. During the same day, Sameh’s sister, Samah Mahmoud Mohammad Abdullah, 30 years old, received a phone call from the Israeli Intelligence Service, and was told that he brother Sameh is at the investigation center of Petah Tikva, at around 11:00PM, on Monday, and that an attorney named Jalal Mahamed was appointed for him by the Prisoner Club to follow up with his case.

At the same time, according to MADA field researcher, a force composed of the Israeli police and occupation intelligence, has raided, at around 03:00AM, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, the house of the freelance journalist, Samer Hussam Saleh Abu Eisja, 30 years old, located in Wadi Al-Jouz, Jerusalem. It searched the house under an order from the Israeli Prosecution, missed up the house, and stayed in it until 5:00AM (that is for two hours). He was arrested without even mentioning his charge. He was taken to Nahal Oz investigation center, in Sour Baher, north Jerusalem, a center dedicated to investigation with Jerusalemites only. Upon his arrival at the center, his investigation began and he was accused of carrying out activities for the Jerusalemite Movement. The interrogator asked him general questions about his political affiliation and his social and political relations with a number of Jerusalemites. The investigation continued till 9:00 Am, and he was threatened to be referred to the occupation court. At 3:00PM on that day, he was released on the condition that that he be transferred to house arrest for 5 days, and to sign a 10,000 NIS financial guarantee by the mother and father of his wife, and to be present if summoned again to the investigation center or the Israeli courts.

For his part, the Israeli Army spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, in a statement following the arrests, including the three journalists, stated “the army forces have arrested 16 wanted Palestinians in Judea and Samaria – West Bank – and the valleys on the suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities and violent riots against civilians and security forces”.

 

(10th Dec.) An occupation army force has raided the headquarters of the Official Palestinian News Agency “WAFA” in Ramallah, and fired a gas bomb at Al-Tahrir Hall balcony, and seized camera records.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the occupation soldiers have raided Ramallah, and a force was stationed near WAFA Agency, located in Al-Masayef. Furthermore, clashes have erupted in the area for several hours. At around 4:00PM, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, while the videographer of WAFA, Ihab Yousef Al-Rimawi, was filming these events from Al-Tahrir Hall balcony, on the second floor of the premises composed of five floors, one of the soldiers directed his gun at him and the soldiers fired a sound bomb and a tear gas bomb directly at him in the balcony. As a result, the staff members in the Hall were injured, totaled to 15, with severe suffocation. An army force (10 soldiers) has raided the premises, as they attempted first to break in through the roof, but could not do so. They damaged the fourth floors of the Agency where the computers section is located (the computers rooms in which there is a DVR with the surveillance camera records), asked for the personal ID cards of the staff members and questioned them there. They also forced them to open the room with the surveillance cameras around the building so they watch the situation through these cameras. They seized the video records of the period between Sunday evening and Monday evening, went downstairs to the third and second floor, to the Editors and Photograph Sections, and prevented the staff members there to leave their desks, they asked for their IDs and detained them. Not to mention that they abused them with cursing and pushing, especially the photographers, Shorouq Zaid, and Maan Yasine, while they were trying to film and document the incursion of the soldiers to Al-Tahrir Hall and the Agency offices. They took Maan’s camera and seized his phone for an hour, threatened to destroy the equipment of the headquarters. Meanwhile, they detained all of the staff members at Al-Tahrir Hall inside it, namely: Maan Yasine Ali – photographer, Mohammad Al-Omary – editor, Yazan Nidal Taha – editor, Shorouq Zaid – photographer, Khalil Rabaia, Haitham Al-Rifaei, the proof reader, Isaac Ali Al-Ammarin, Ihab Youssef Al-Rimawi, as well as the IT engineers and drivers.

 

(10th Dec.) The journalist, Mohammad Wael Abdeljawad Al-Dwaik, was injured by a gas bomb in his forehead, while he was covering the sea march organized in Gaza as part of the return marches which were launched in 30th March 2018, to protest against the ongoing siege on Gaza Strip.

According to the investigation of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Mohammad Wael Abdeljawad Al-Dwaik, (28 years old), from Al-Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, Gaza Strip, married, born on 17th April 1990, holding an ID card No. (802724294), a photographer of Al-Ittihad Press News Agency, continuously covers the events of the return marches to break the siege on Gaza Strip, at around 2:15PM, on Monday, corresponding 10th Dec. 2018, wearing the Press uniform and helmet, holding a camera, has went to cover the events of the sea march called for by the High Leadership Commission of the Return Marches, to take place at Gaza sea port, against Zikim Military site, north Beit Lahia. The land march taking place in parallel with the sea march was very crowded. The Israeli occupation forces stationed behind concrete walls and in the watchtowers located along the separating fence, started firing metal and rubber coated metal bullets, tear gas bomb intensively at the demonstrators which resulted in several injuries, including the injury of the journalist, Al-Dwaik, at around 3:10PM, by a gas bomb in his forehead, while he was 100 meters away from the separating fence. Upon his injury, some of the demonstrators took him to the ambulance, which was located 400 meters to the south of the separating fence. He was taken in the ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent to the field medical center, one kilometer away from the demonstration, where he received the first aid, and then he was taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, where his injury was imaged by the doctors, and his injury was described as minor. He was discharged from the hospital at around 4:30PM on the same day.

 

(13th Dec.) Following the shooting, near Giv'at Asaf, located in Burqa, east of Ramallah, on Thursday, corresponding 13th Dec. 2018, which resulted in killing two Israeli soldiers, and injuring others, the Israeli occupation forces have imposed military cordon and closure at all of the checkpoints and entrances of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, especially the eastern side, several journalists tried to access the operation site to cover the event but the army prevented them from even getting close to the military checkpoints and threatened them with being shot.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, a number of journalists took rough roads in the area between the villages of Deir Dibwan and Ein Yabrud east of Ramallah in order to approach the scene of the shooting to cover the incident. One of them was US Associated Press photographer Nasser Hussein Al-Shuyukhi, 51 years old. After Al-Shuyukhi finished filming the events, on his way back from the same rough road to Ramallah, at around 1:00PM, he was surprised by a military checkpoint of the soldiers near Beitin, where five soldiers put their weapons at him. They threatened to shoot him if he does not stop his vehicle. They asked him to stop the engine and put the key on the roof of the car after they forced him to block the road by his car. One of the soldiers took the car keys and put it in his pocket. They would not even talk to him. He told them that he was a journalist and photographer in an international agency, and they prevented him from leaving or using his phone. He was also held for about an hour and a half and then they returned the car key and allowed him to leave for Ramallah.

 

(14th Dec.) On Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, clashes have erupted among dozens of the Palestinians and the Israeli occupation soldiers at the entrance of Al-Bireh, West Bank, where a barrier is established for the Israeli Army, adjacent to Beit El settlement, a location that usually witnesses Palestinian demonstrations.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the Palestinian demonstrators have thrown stones at the Israeli occupation soldiers, while the soldiers have thrown tear gas bombs through launchers installed on military vehicles, and also fired rubber-coated metal bullets and reinforced sponge bullets. The freelance photojournalist, Ribhi Abed Al-Koubary, (48 years old), was also there with other journalists covering the events. At around 1:10PM, Al-Koubary, who was wearing the Press uniform, filming the events, while standing at Al-Balou conjunction, near Al-Huda gas station, 40 meters away from the (soldiers or demonstrators), was injured by a rubber bullet in his left arm fired at him by one of the soldiers. The rubber bullet first hit the ground and then bounces and injured his arm. Immediately, he was taken by some paramedics and he was given the first aid. He was told that the bullet did not cause him any fractures, only some bruises.

 

(14th Dec.) The Israeli occupation forces have arrested the journalist, Mousa Sarhan, from his house located in Alluban Al-Gharby, northwest Ramallah.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, a foot force of Israeli special units and soldiers estimated at 40 soldiers, at about 2:00PM (Friday afternoon) corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, forcibly entered the house of the freelance journalist Musa Salah Samhan, 30 years old, located in Alluban Al-Gharby, Ramallah, after they surrounded the house and smashed its main doors. They asked for the ID card of Samhan, detain him, with his wife and three children for an hour inside one of the house rooms. Meanwhile, they searched the house, handcuffed Samhan and blindfolded him. they arrested and took him to the military patrols which arrived the house fifteen minutes after surrounding the house and breaking into it. Then they went towards the settlement of Beit Aryeh, which is only hundreds of meters away from the village. Samhan was released two months ago after he served four months of administrative detention in the occupation prisons.

 

(15th Dec.) With the expiration of the deadline given by the Israeli occupation authorities (12th Dec. 2018) for the demolition of the family house of the detainee Islam Abu Humaid (arrested in May 2018) in Al-Amari camp within the boundaries of the Al-Bireh Municipality in the West Bank, dozens of foreign and Palestinian solidarity activists have gathered (including Palestinian officials, headed by the Head of the Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission, the Minister, Waleed Assaf). They pitched a tent for solidarity with Abu Humaid’s family and to prevent the planned demolition of the building composed of four floors.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, an occupation army force, composed of 30 military vehicles, accompanied by a bulldozer and infantry units, at around 1:30AM, on 15th Dec. 2018, has raided Al-Bireh city, until they arrived the building where Abu Humaid’s family live and they expelled the demonstrators to start the demolition. More than 10 journalists were in the place covering the event, including the journalist, Majdi George Banoura, Al-Jazeera photographer, born in 1969. His colleagues were on the roof of a building 150 meters away from the building where Abu Humaid’s family live, to film the demolition. All of the journalists were wearing the Press uniforms. The soldiers began firing tear gas bomb on the roof where the journalists were, they fired around 15 bombs at them, even though there were no clashes among the demonstrators and the army. This resulted in the injury of the journalist by a gas bomb in his left hand and the left side of his head, causing a fracture to one of his fingers and a deep wound in the palm of his hand, stitched by the doctors with four stitches, in addition to the swelling of the left side of his head. He was taken by a group of journalists and volunteers to an ambulance. Later, he took a private car to the Arab Society Hospital in Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank where he stayed for about 3 hours. The doctors imaged his head and dressed his wound and placed special bandages around his hand and finger. They recommended him not to do any effort for ten days due to the fracture in his finger.

The journalists who were there as well, namely: the journalist, Monther Mohammad Al-Khateeb, the photographer of Al-Ghad News TV, Ashraf Al-Nabali, the photographer of ROYA TV, Ismail Khader, the photographer of Reuters, Hisham Abu Shaqra, the photographer of Anatolia News Agency, Saed Howary, the photographer of Reuters, Faleh Faleh, Palestine TV reporter, the freelance photographer, Ayat Arqawi, and Ali Sawafta, Reuters journalist, have tried to find a shelter behind a wall on the roof of the building due to the heavy shooting of the bombs.

 

(14th Dec.) The journalist, Musab Shawer, was injured by a rubber bullet fired by one of the soldiers at him while he was covering events in Hebron.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Al-Hadath Newspaper reporter, Musab Abdelsamad Shawer Al-Tamimi, (27 years old), married with two children, lives in Hebron, has arrived, on Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, to Bab Al-Zawiya, central Hebron, to cover the events of throwing stones at the soldiers by the Palestinian demonstrators. He was wearing the Press uniform, and at around 2:00PM, while he was filming and broadcasting the events through his phone to Al-Hadath Newspaper, he was injured by a rubber bullet in his left hand finger, fired at him by one of the Israeli army snipers “deliberately” as stated Musab to MADA researcher, especially he was relatively far away from the demonstrators who were throwing stones at the army and he was wearing the Press uniform.

 

(14th Dec.) The journalist, Mustafa Hasouna, was injured by a rubber bullet in his leg while he was covering a demonstration organized by the separating fence, east of Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Mustafa Mohammad Al-Badri Hassouna, (37 years old), married, born on 29th September 1981, holding ID Card No. (906769328), a photographer of Anatolia Agency, at around 3:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, took his Canon D5 Mark 4 Camera (2), and went to cover the return march to break the siege, called for by the High Leadership Commission of the Return Marches, east of Gaza. The occupation forces on the other side of the separating fence started firing metal bullets and rubber coated metal bullets as well as gas bombs which resulted in the injury of a number of citizens, including the journalist, Hasouna, injured by a rubber bullet in the right leg, at around 3:15PM, on that day, while he was at a distance of 200 meters away from the separating fence. He was then taken by ambulances to the Al-Shifa Medical Complex where he received the necessary first aid and treatment. He was discharged at around 7:00PM.

 

(14th Dec. 2018) The Journalist Hassan Islaih was injured by a gas bomb in his right leg fired at him by one of the Israeli occupation soldiers, while he was covering the events of the peaceful return march taking place in “Sarij” northwest of Khan Younes.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Hassan Abdelfattah Mohammad Islahi (29 years old), married with three children, a photographer of Al-Quds TV, has arrived, at around 2:10PM, Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, to Al-Awda Camp, near the separating fence (the border fence with Israel), northeast Khan Younes “Sarij” to cover the events of the return peaceful marches organized each Friday. It should be noted that he was wearing the PRESS helmet and uniform. There were crowds of citizens, with thousands of unarmed Palestinians taking part in the return marches that have been held near the border fence with Israel since March 30 this year. Since his arrival, Islaih began his work in the field by covering the events and broadcasting the news via Al-Quds TV. He was watching the demonstrators walking towards the border fence, and the occupation soldiers were firing gas bombs, rubber coated metal bullets, and live bullets at the demonstrators, randomly and intensively, which resulted in the injury of 25 demonstrators with various wounds, in Khan Younes, some of them were injured by live bullets. At around 4:10PM, near “Jakar” street, 100 meters away from the border fence, a gas bomb injured the journalist, Islaih, in his right foot, which made him fall and resulted in the swelling of his foot without any fracture. He was then transferred by an ambulance to the field hospital in the area, where he received the necessary treatment and then he was discharged to his house. Before his injury, Islaih received field treatment five times due to inhaling tear gas fired by the occupation soldiers intensively at the demonstrators. 

 

(14th Dec.) The journalist, Attiya Darwsih, was injured by a gas bomb directly fired at his face by one of the Israeli occupation soldiers while he was covering the events of the return peaceful march taking place in “Karni” east of Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Attiya Mohammad Ali Darwish (27 years old), a single man, works as a photographer for Al-Ray Agency, has arrived at 2:20PM, on Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, to Al-Awda Camp, near the separating fence (the border fence with Israel), east of Gaza, to cover the events of the peaceful return march organized each Friday. It is worth mentioning that he was wearing the PRESS helmet and uniform, and that there were dozens of citizens. Since his arrival, Darwish began his work by transmitting the details of the events, where thousands of the defenseless Palestinians were taking part in the return marches right across from the border fence with Israel since 30 March. The occupation soldiers were firing gas bombs, metal bullets, rubber coated metal bullets and live bullets at the demonstrators, intensively and randomly, which resulted in the injury of a number of demonstrators with various wounds, some of whom were injured by live bullet. Among these injuries is the injury of the Turkish Agency Anatolia journalist, Mustafa Hasouna. At around 3:20PM, at a distance of 400 meters, in a high area behind the demonstrators approaching the border fence, where the journalist Darwish and the rest of his fellow journalists were present covering the events, a direct gas bomb fired by an Israeli soldier injured him in the left cheek and made him fall to the ground, wearing his helmet and carrying his equipment. His colleagues and the medical staff ran quickly and took him to the ambulance which transferred him to Al-Shifa Hospital directly given the seriousness of his condition as the bomb caused him severe bleeding in the place of injury. When he arrived Al-Shifa Hospital, downtown Gaza, Darwish was taken to the ICU. According to the medical report, he was diagnosed that the gas bomb has penetrated 7cm of the face bones which resulted in causing him damage to the jaw, left eye and ear. After his condition stabilized, he was taken to one of the hospital wards waiting for a date for his surgery which he underwent on Sunday, December 16, 2018, in which platinum was placed to his face to set the injury, with the need to undergo a cosmetic surgery later. The journalist, Darwish, has done other tests in hospitals specialized in ophthalmology (Saint John Eye Hospital Group) in Gaza City, and the tests showed that Darwish situation requires an operation for the eye due to his injury. He is suffering from temporary loss of hearing and sight in the left side of the head and difficulty in speech as a result of injuring the jaw.

 

(14th Dec.) The occupation soldiers have seized the equipment of three journalists, and deleted the material, and prevented them from covering raids implemented by the Israeli Army in Hebron, at dawn, on 14 Dec. 2018.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, a force of several military jeeps entered Hebron, at dawn, on Friday, 14th Dec. 2018, and it raided and searched several houses and arrested Bilal Salhab from his house. At approximately 02:00PM, the journalists: Ra’ed Al-Sharif, the reporter of Al-Ghad TV, Thaer Al-Fakhouri, the reporter of Space Media and Al-Jazeera, and the freelance journalist Musab Shawer, were filming the arrest events. In the meantime, in Ein Sara Street in the center of Hebron, the Israeli soldiers stopped Al-Ghad TV vehicle carrying the three journalists, which was marked “TV press”. An Israeli intelligence officer seized 4 phones, including a camera for the journalist Thaer Al-Fakhouri, and another camera for the journalist, Musab Shawer. The officer threatened them to leave the place immediately, and informed them that it is prohibited to photograph the soldiers, and for this reason “he seized their cameras and phones”.  Due to seizing the equipment, the three journalists continued following the soldiers as they moved to recover their confiscated equipment, and soon the soldiers stopped again, and another officer approached the journalists and asked them why they were following the soldiers. He informed them again that the law punishes filming the soldiers on their duty and allows arrest, and in order to give them back their equipment, he asked them to readjust the cameras (that is, to delete the material on the camera). The journalists indeed did that before taking back the cameras. The officer made sure that the cell phones do not contain any photos of the soldiers, and the entire filmed material was deleted from the camera memory.

 

(14th Dec.) On Friday, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, a peace march was launched from Al-Hussein Mosque, central Hebron, to revive the 31st anniversary of Hamas movement. Immediately after the march, the Palestinian security forces were alert and prevented the citizens from going to Ibn Rushd square as planned in the announcement of the march. The freelance journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh, 26 years old, was next to journalists who were told by the security forces that it was forbidden to photograph the march. A few minutes later, the security forces began to circle around the citizens, knocking with the sticks at their shields (the security elements). Demonstrators were determined to launch the march, and as a result there were attacks by the security forces against some of the demonstrators. The journalist, Abdul Mohsen, approached more to photograph the events by his cell phone, and then he was severely beaten on the back, neck and stomach, and pulled by three masked members of the special forces to Al-Hussein Stadium (10 meters away from the events of the march) and left him there.

Meanwhile, the trainee journalist of “Alam” Radio, Malek Al-Jabari, was surprised with the events after he finished Friday Prayers, he approached to film the events by his cell phone, and then three security officers approached him and pulled him to their jeep. One of them punched him with his hand on the shoulder and neck. He told them that he was a journalist and his name; they stopped beating him, arrested him and took him to the province. About two hours later, he was released.

 

(14th Dec.) The Palestinian Security has arrested the reporter and photographer of AltraPalestine Website, Abdelkareem Mseitef Mseitef, while he was covering a march that took place on the evening of 14th Dec. 2018, following the death of the child by the Israeli Occupation bullets.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, and following the announcement  at the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah of the death of the child Mahmoud Yousef Mahmoud Nakhla (16 years old) from Jalazoun camp on Friday evening, corresponding 14th Dec. 2018, who was shot by the occupation, hundreds of demonstrators marched in the streets of the city towards the headquarters of the Palestinian Presidency. The journalist Abdelkareem Mseitef Mseitef, born in 1984, a photographer and reporter of AltraPAlestine, went to cover the march where the demonstrators were throwing stones at the Palestinian security and the security officers prevented them from reaching the Presidency Headquarters and dispersed them by sound and gas bombs. After the march was dispersed at around 5:30PM, the journalist Mseitef continued filming and live broadcasting through the Facebook page of the organization. He also continued following the demonstrators in the march who returned towards the city center after they were dispersed. When they arrived Al-Bakri building, 30 meters away from Ramallah center, while he kept filing the events, a group of young men approached him and asked to stop filming and informed him that he has no right to do so. He replied that did not capture anyone’s face in the march, and stopped the broadcast. He took a taxi and went to the place where he parked his vehicle near the tomb of the President, Yasser Arafat (where the march had arrived). Once he placed his photography equipment in the vehicle to go home, four security officers in civilian clothing approached and asked him that they were from the intelligence service and that he is under arrest. They took him to the intelligence headquarters, in Al-Balou, Al-Bireh, in a dark blue civilian vehicle. When he arrived the headquarters, at around 6:30PM, they seized his cell phone and put it in the safes. after an hour of waiting in one of the rooms, two investigators approached and asked him to open his phone so they can see the electronic messages between him and his organization where he works (AltraPalestine). The investigation was about the nature of his work, the location of his work, and the person managing the work. He remained in detention in the headquarters until 11:00PM, and he was released on the same night.

 

(16th Dec.) The occupation soldiers have detained ROYA Staff while they were preparing a report on a Palestinian family that was assaulted by settlers and prevented them from filming the event.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, dozens of settlers have attacked Al-Harini family house, which is about 100 meters away from the Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance of Al-Bireh, known as Beit El checkpoint, named after the settlement of Beit El established there, where the headquarters of the Israeli Civil Administration (responsible for the administration of the West Bank) is located and smashed some of its windows. The attack, one of the most frequent attacks by settlers on this family, constituted a news material as ROYA staff, composed of the report at the West Bank, the journalist, Hafeth Mahmoud Abu Sabra, born in 1988, and his coworker, the photographer, Ashraf Mohammad Dar Zaid, born in 1983, on the following day, corresponding 16th Dec. 2018, went to Al-Harini family house to prepare a report on the repeated attacks this family has experienced by Beit El settlers, including throwing stones and flammable glass bottles to sabotage the house, in addition to assault the family members by beating. When the staff arrived the house, they met the family at 1:15PM, and after the journalists, Sabra and Zaid, completed the interviews with Al-Harini family members on the attacks they experiences and the resulting fear, they went out to take some photos of the house from the outside. One of the soldiers who were at Beit El checkpoint, right cross from the house, started shouting at them and asking them to stop filming. Two soldiers went to them and detained Abu Sabra and Dar Zaid for 20 minutes. They searched their car (marked by ROYA TV) and seized their personal ID cards and press cards. They were asked not to film under the threat of arrest and destruction of cameras, claiming that the area was “closed by military decision, and it is forbidden for everyone to approach it”. A member of Al-Harini family, speaking in Hebrew, told the soldiers that Abu Sabra, Zaid and the staff of a Jordanian TV, ROYA, wanted to take pictures of the house from outside. The soldiers refused to allow him to do so. After about 20 minutes of their detention, they searched the vehicle and asked the staff to leave immediately”.

 

(17th Dec.) The occupation forces prevented a group of journalists to cover a demolition of a house in Tulkarem, and one of the soldiers threw sound bomb at the photojournalist, Moayad Issa Ashqar, causing damage to his car.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the photojournalist of Al-Salam Local TV, and MAAN News Agency, Moayad Issa Ashqar, (36 years old), has arrived, at around 2:00AM, at dawn, on Monday, corresponding 17h Dec. 2018, along with other journalists, Shweika block, north Tulkarem, to cover the demolition of the family house of the martyr, Ashraf Naalwah, by the occupation forces which announced that they will do so. At around 3:00AM, on the same day, the soldiers attacked the present journalists by sound bombs, gas bombs, and tear gas bomb to force them to go away from the place where dozens of demonstrators have gathered to prevent the demolition of the house. They prevented them from filming and opened high-powered flashlights at the cameras. One of the soldiers threw a sound bomb at the journalist, Moayad Ashqar. It did not injure him, but it damaged the left side of his vehicle. 

 

(17th Dec.) The journalist, Thaer Khalid Abu Rayash, was injured by a gas bomb in the abdomen while he was covering the sea march organized as part of the return marches in Gaza, in the afternoon, on 17th Dec. 2018.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Thaer Khalid Fahmi Abu Rayash, 24 years old, from Al-Manshiyeh in Beit Lahia, a single man, born on 20 March 1994, holding a personal ID card No. (804799047), a freelance journalist and regularly covers the events of the return marches in Gaza, at around 2:30PM, on Monday, corresponding 17th Dec. 2018, carrying a camera to cover the 20th sea march announced by the High Leadership Commission of the Return Marches, went to Zikim Military site, northwest of Beith Lahia, in Gaza Strip to film the events. In the meantime, the area was crowded with citizens taking part in the parallel with the march launched on land. The sea march also involved a number of fishing boats. The Israeli occupation forces, behind the cement and concrete walls and inside the watchtowers on the other side of the fence, have fired metal bullets and rubber coated metal bullets as well as gas bombs. This has resulted in the injury of a number of citizens, including the journalist, Abu Rayash, at around 3:40PM, on the same day, by a gas bomb in his abdomen, while he was at a distance of 200 meters to the south of the separating fence. He was taken by the field paramedics to the ambulance parked 400 meters away from the soldiers, where he received the necessary first aid and left the place.

It should be noted that the journalist, Aby Rayash, was injured twice previously, and in a similar circumstances somehow. The first injury occurred on 18th September 2018, with a gas bomb in the head, while he was covering the return march organized at Ezer Crossing, Beit Hanoun. While the other injury was on 15th Oct. 2018 while he was covering the tenth sea march, right across from Zikim military site, northwest Beit Lahia, by gunshot fragments in his face and left hand, even though he was working for the Turkish Agency then.

 

(18th Dec.) Tulkarm Governor's Office informed the freelance journalist Sami Said Al-Saee (37 years old) of preventing him from transmitting any news about Tulkarem governorate, even if it was issued by the governorate as a press release to the media.

Al-Saee stated to MADA “on 18th Dec., I have received a phone call from Tulkarem Governor’s office director telling me that I, specifically, is forbidden from transmitting any news about Tulkarem even if it was a press release recounted by all media agencies. This came after I, on the day before (Monday 17/12/2018) wrote a news material in the form of audio-visual (video clip) on the tongue of the governor after visiting the house of the martyr Ashraf Naalwah which was demolished in Al-Shweika block by the occupation authorities several days ago, even though many of the journalists and media agencies were also present at the site and transmitted the news, but the governor's objection was to the title chosen for that article: Tulkarm Governor: We apologize for our Arab negligence in the case of Naalwah, while the official WAFA news agency chose to publish the same news under the title “We are with the Naalwah family”.

 

(19th Dec.) the occupation soldiers and the settlers have prevented Palestine TV staff to cover the levelling operations for settlements purposes south Nablus and detained the staff for an hour.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Palestine TV staff, composed of the reporter of the TV in Nablus, Baker Abdelhaq, his coworker, the photographer, Loay Al-Samhan, have arrived the south of Aseera Town to cover the levelling done by the settlers in the Palestinian territories in that area, at around 11:00AM, on 19th Dec. 2018. They were accompanied by some of the Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission staff members, on top, the settlement file official in north of the West Bank, Murag Shteiwi, and his driver, the head of Aseera village council, and five young men from the village. While they were filming the levelling carried out by settlers, one of the settlers was armed and prevented them from filming. He even tried to seize their camera and forced them to leave the place at gunpoint. While the settler summoned the soldiers, an army patrol arrived at the site and seized the cards of the TV staff and other Palestinian persons who were with them. The soldiers held them about 100 meters away from the event for about an hour and then released them after the intervention of the Palestinian liaison.

 

(21st Dec.) The occupation forces have detained the journalist, Muatsem Saqf Al-Hait, on his way from Ramallah to Nablus, assaulted and beaten him.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Mutasem Samer Saqf Al-Hait, (29 years old), a student at Modern College, and a reporter of Quds News Network, at around 9:30PM, on 21st Dec. 2018, was on his way from Ramallah to Nablus, where he lives. He found a military checkpoint established by the Israeli soldiers at the square close to Ein Senia, north Ramallah, on the road leading to Nablus. The soldiers were stopping Palestinian vehicles for search purposes. Saqf Al-Hait was in his own vehicle marked “PRESS”. After he arrived the line of vehicles, Mutasem wanted to change his way and go back to try another road. While he was reversing his vehicle, a number of soldiers ran quickly towards him and pointed their guns at him. Then they opened the vehicle doors and pulled him to the ground, started beaten him and searching him violently and offensively. They kept him under detention on his knees for about two hours. After two hours, they ordered him to enter his car and close it and prevented him from opening the windows. In the meantime, the army was stopping about 20 other vehicles. The journalist, Saqf Al-Hait remained under detention from 9:30 PM until 5:00 AM, after which he was released and they detained others.

 

(21st Dec.) The journalist, Nidal Shafiq Taher Ishtaya, was injured by a stone in his shoulder while he was covering the clashes between the Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces in Kafr Qaddum, Qalqilya.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist, Nidal Shafiq Taher Ishtaya, (49 years old), a photographer of the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, on Friday noon, corresponding 21st Dec. 2018, has arrived Kafr Qaddum, where the weekly march against settlement was organized to protest against the closure of the village’s entrance since several years ago. While the soldiers have raided the village, and stationed on the roofs of several houses, disseminated the snipers on the roofs, the demonstrators were throwing stones at the soldiers, 100 meters away from them. On the other hand, the soldiers were throwing gas bombs and metal bullets at the demonstrators. The journalists were filing the events, and at around 2:30PM, suddenly, the soldiers started firing live bullets from various locations, the demonstrators escaped to find shelters behind the houses walls and started throwing stones at the demonstrators. In the meantime, Ishatay was injured in his right shoulder, sat on the ground due to the severe injury, and then he was transferred by the demonstrators to the ambulance which came immediately and took him away from the clashes to the village borders where he received the necessary treatment and first aid.

 

(21st Dec.) An explosive gunshot fragment has injured the photojournalist of SAFA Agency, Mohammad Asad Muhaisen, (35 years old), while he was covering a demonstration as part of the return marches taking place in Malka, east of Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, SAFA photographer, Mohammad Asad Muhaisen, married, born on 10th August 1984, from Al-Nasser Block, Gaza Strip, went on Friday, corresponding 21st Dec. 2018, to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the events of the return march organized weekly. At around 4:05PM, on that day, while he was filming the events, the Israeli soldiers deployed on the other side of the separating fence (border fence with Israel) started firing live bullets, rubber bullets and tear gas bombs at the Palestinian demonstrators. An explosive bullet injured one of the demonstrators close to the journalist, Muhaisen, in his neck (resulted in the death of the young man – Mohammad Jahjouh – 16 years old) and the fragments spread all over the place and damaged the camera of the photographer, Muhaisen, a d5 Mark 3, until the inner parts of the camera. It should be noted that at the moment, the journalist, Muhaisen was 300 meters away from the separating fence on the other side of which the soldiers were deployed.

 

(21st Dec.) The photojournalist, Sami Jamal Taleb Masran, was injured by an explosive gunshot fragment while he was covering the events of the return peaceful march taking place east of Bureij camp, Gaza Strip, on 21st Dec. 2018.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Sami Jamal Taleb Masran, from Al-Nseirat, born on 26th Jan. 1984, holding I.D. Card No. (800184160), a photojournalist of Al-Aqsa TV, has arrived, at around 2:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 21st Dec. 2018, to east of Bureij Camp, central Gaza Strip, to cover the events of the weekly return peaceful march as he used to do each Friday. But before even wearing the Press helmet and vest, and while he was at a distance of 300 meters away from the separating fence (border fence between Israel and Gaza), one of the Israeli soldiers deployed on the other side of the separating fence an explosive gunshot that hit the ground close to the journalist Masran, and its fragments spread all over the place, one of which injured his foot, directly, causing him bleeding. Immediately, the demonstrators took him to a private car as there was no ambulance at the time. Half an hour later, the injured photographer arrived Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where his foot was imaged, and the doctors found that the fragment caused (an entry and exit), but no fractures. The wound was cleaned and dressed. At around 7:00PM, he was discharged provided he shall follow up his condition two weeks later.

 

(30th Dec.) The Palestinian Intelligence Service in Halhul has summoned the freelance journalist, Abdulmuhsen Tayseer Shalaldeh (25 years old) and questioned him on the claim that he “incites” against the security services through his Facebook posts.

Shalaldeh stated to MADA that “an officer from the Palestinian Intelligence Service came to my house in Seir, Hebron, at 6:00PM, on Sunday, corresponding 30th Dec. 2018, and told me that I must go to the Intelligence headquarters in Halhul at 10:00AM on the following day, corresponding 31st Dec. 2018. Although he was holding the summons in writing, he refused to give it to me. Accordingly, I contacted Jihad Al-Qawasma, the representative of the Journalists Syndicate in Hebron, who advised me to contact Mohammad Allaham (Chairman of the freedoms committee in the Syndicate), who in turn contacted the Intelligence Service and all I could learn from him is that an arrest order was issued against me and the Syndicate does not have the authority to intervene. On Monday morning, 31 Dec. 2018, I went to the headquarters of the intelligence service in Halhul, and arrived at 10:20 AM, and there I entered the interrogation room where three officers were present and started questioning me. In the beginning the investigation was in a high-pitched, but then they started talking to me quietly. I was initially charged with incitement against security through my Facebook posts, against the background of my last post, which was after I was attacked by the security forces while covering the march of Hamas, which was organized on the occasion of its anniversary on 14th Dec. I was also asked general questions about where I studied, who my classmates were, and where I worked (I told them I was a freelance journalist). One of them told me that my file was in Jericho investigation center and not in the intelligence service of Halhul, because I/curse the security service in a polite manner/which I denied. After about an hour of my interrogation, I signed my statement and the officer told me that I was supposed to remain in detention, but he would let me go provided I come back on Wednesday, corresponding 2nd Jan. 2019 at 10:00 AM. I left the headquarters at 11:30 PM”.

 

(30th Dec.) The Preventive Security Service has arrested the journalist, Mutasem Hamdi Saqf Al-Hait (29 years old), a freelance journalist, and a student at the Modern College in Ramallah. Saqf Al-Hait was arrested at around 6:30PM, on 30th Dec. 2018, from the Martyrs square, central Nablus, after he finished covering the event of igniting revolution torch organized by “Fateh” on the occasion of its launch in the mentioned square. His family could not see him or visit him or find out the reason of his arrest so far. The Preventive Security Service did not inform the family of his arrest, and only told them that they would ask him about "something" without giving any explanation.

On Wednesday, corresponding 2nd Jan. 2019, the journalist, Saqf Al-Hait was brought before the court, in the presence of MADA attorney, Mr. Firas Karaja. The Public Prosecution demanded to extend his detention 15 days, on the claim that he is “disparaging the authority”, and the court approved as stated by MADA attorney.

 

(30th Dec.) The Internal Security of Hamas in Gaza Strip has summoned the program preparer of Palestine TV, Samer Skaik, twice, questioned and detained him for long hours.

 According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, at around 4:00PM, on Sunday, corresponding 30th Dec. 2018, one of the Internal Security officers arrived to the house of Samer Rafiq Adam Skaik, located in Al-Wihda street, in Gaza, and handed over his son a summons in his father’s name / Samer Skaik/ stating that he must immediately go to the headquarters of the Internal Security in Gaza “Qasr Al-Hakem”. Skaik (38 years old), married with two children, the programs preparer of Palestine TV, indeed went to the headquarter of the Internal Security in Gaza, and when he arrived, at around 4:30PM, the Security officers seized his personal card, and laptop and took him to the detention room they call the “bus” (with an area of 6*6 meters), without a roof. In the room, there were also 50 detainees on various backgrounds. Several hours later, he was called to the investigation room, and he was questioned about general issues (his work and family) and then he was taken back to detention until 11:00PM. Then he was released and orally notified to come on the following morning as they kept his phone with them. On the following morning, (Monday, corresponding 31st Dec. 2018), at around 8:00AM, Skaik arrived again to the Internal Security headquarters in Gaza. He was taken to the detention room “the bus” for several hours before he was called to the investigation room. He was questioned about his political affiliation to Fateh, his activity for the interest of the movement, especially, about the events of Fateh anniversary. Skaik assured them that he belonged to Fateh but was not active in any event or activity of the movement, and that he only works for the official Palestine TV and carries out the tasks entrusted to him. He was then returned to the "bus" and stayed there until 8:00 PM. He was released and his identity card and cell phone were given to him before leaving.

 

(31st Dec.) An occupation army force has raided the house of the journalist, has raided the house of the journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi (40 years old), the Head of Al-Quds TV, Ramallah, searched the house and seized cell phones and a computer, as well as an amount of money.

The journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi stated to MADA that the occupation army force (the border police) has raided, at 4:00AM, at dawn, on 31 Dec. 2018 his house located in Al-Irsal, in Ramallah, detained him and his wife as well as his children in one of the house’s rooms. Then they searched the house and caused a terrible miss around the house. The soldiers seized 4 cell phones (two of which were working). They also seized a laptop for the journalist Alaa, and an amount of 7000 NIS the family was saving as follows (4 thousand Shekels in one of the drawers and the remaining amount was in JD, equivalent to 3000 NIS in another drawer). Al-Rimawi asserted that he saw one of the soldiers, from the room where he was detained, putting the amount of four thousand Shekels in his pocket. He also stated that he told the soldier to give the money back or document it as he did with the cell phones and computers, but the later refused. The soldiers left the house after one hour.

 

 

“Attiya Darwish” Al Ray Agency photographer was hit by a tear gas fired by the Israeli occupation forces while covering peaceful return march in Karni area, east of Gaza.

 


[1] Following his incident, incitement has also affected Palestine TV, on a continuous basis, very now and then, on the ground that it incites against Israel through its programs.