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MADA: 57 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine during January, 37 of which committed by the Occupation

Ramallah (January 2019) the first month of 2019 has witnessed an increase in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine. It is worth mentioning that most of the previous months have also witnessed high rates, which reflects the continued escalation of attacks against media freedoms, especially by the Israeli occupation, which commits the greatest part of these attacks.

 

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) has monitored a total of 57 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine during January 2019. 37 of these attacks were committed by the Israeli occupation, while 20 attacks were committed by the Palestinian authorities. It should be noted that January of 2018 has witnessed 47 attacks, 32 of which were committed by the occupation and 15 by the Palestinian authorities.

 

The Israeli Attacks:

The Israeli occupation forces have committed a total of 37 attacks against media freedoms in Palestine in January 2019. Twenty-three attacks were committed in the West Bank and Jerusalem while 14 in Gaza Strip. The vast majority of which fall under the most serious attacks against the lives of journalists and their ability to do their work.

The Israeli attacks included 15 physical injuries caused by metal bullets, rubber bullets and gas bombs fired directly at the bodies of a number of journalists, causing some of them serious injuries. Moreover, the occupation soldiers used a total of 12 journalists as human shields in two separate incidents in the West Bank, not to mention the arrest of two journalists. This means that 29 of the attacks fall under the most serious injuries out of the total Israeli attacks amounting to 37.

The physical injuries caused by rubber bullets, metal bullets, and gas bombs have affected the following journalists: Baker Abdalhaq (a rubber bullet in the leg), Mohammad Zarab (a gas bomb in the chest), Ahmad Al-Halabi (a rubber bullet in the head) caused him wounds, Mohammad Al-Arbeed (a gas bomb in the thigh) caused him wounds, Mohammad Turkman (metal bullet in the leg, and another hit the muzzle he was wearing on his head), Hussein Karsou’ (gas bomb in his face) injured him below his eye and caused a wound that was trated with 5 stitches in Al-Ayun Hospital, Hassan Fuad Abu Salah (a gas bomb in the jaw) caused him bleeding and fracture in the lower jaw (the chin), he underwent a surgery to place a platinum in his chin, Jafar Ishtaya (a gas bomb in the foot), Mohammad Al-Khateeb (a metal bullet in the thigh), Mohammad Abu Qadous (a gas bomb in the leg), Mohammad Saqer (a gas bomb in the foot) caused him fractures, Ahmad Ghanem (a gas bomb in the foot), Hassan Al-Jedi (a gas bomb in the calf muscle from behind), Nidal Abu Sharbi (two rubber bullets, one in the forehead and another hit his camera and smashed parts of it).

 

Palestinian Attacks:

In January 2019, a total of 20 attacks against media freedoms committed by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were monitored during the month, including 11 in the West Bank and 9 in Gaza Strip. One of the most prominent Palestinian attacks registered during this month was the storming of a group of masked men, on Friday morning, corresponding 5th Jan. 2019, the official headquarters of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza, composed of two floors, in addition to the destruction of the equipment and machines of the headquarters. The losses were estimated around 169,000 USD. This is in addition to the arrest of 7 journalists (6 of which were arrested in the West Bank, and one in Gaza Strip) in distinct periods, namely: Zaid Abu Erra, Mohammad Nouh Harsh, Hazim Nasser, Mohammad Al-Faqih, the media student Hamza Khader, Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait who works as a reporter of Al-Quds News Network, all from the West Bank, in addition to Salah Abu Salah, who was arrested by the Internal Security in Gaza Strip.

It was noted that the security services in Gaza Strip have recently resorted to other methods in their pursuit of journalists as an alternative to the arrests. The security services have deliberately subjected some journalists to consecutive summons, accompanied by detention in the security centers for long hours as happened with Louay Nahed Al-Ghoul, who was summoned and detained for long hours on the 6th, 7th and 8th of January 2019. He was also beaten and tortured during that, and a bag was placed on his head in a private room. He was beaten with hands and whips on the shoulder and thighs, after removing his jacket. It should be noted that some bruises were seen on his body due to beatings.

 

Details of Attacks:

(1st Jan. 2019) The Preventive Security Service has arrested the journalist, Zaid Mustafa Mohammad Abu Erra, and extended his detention, as he remained 18 days in detention.

According to investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, a force from the Preventive Security Service has stormed the house of Zaid Mustafa Abu Erra (31 years old), located in the village of Aqaba in Tubas, who works as an editor at Quds Press Agency. The force searched the house claiming that it has a search warrant from the Public Prosecution. A number of military jeeps were deployed outside the house, but five members of the security forces in military uniform entered the house and searched it. They seized his cell phone, laptop and camera memory. The search lasted about an hour. The journalist Abu Erra then was arrested. Since the first day of his arrest, his detention was extended for 48 hours, then on 2nd Jan. 2019, his detention was extended again for eight days, and then on 9th Jan. 2019, his detention was extended again to 15 days. His family was allowed to visit him on 10th Jan. 2019, where his mother and children visited him, in addition to the representative of the Journalists Syndicate in Jenin, Mr. Atef Abu-Rub. Abu Erra was charged with "receiving money from abroad" but no investigation was conducted with him. He did not have a case and the court requested his file several times but the Preventive Security refused to give any files. The lawyer at Tubas Magistrate Court filed a request of release on bail several times for him, and they were all rejected repeatedly, the last of which was on 15th Jan. 2019. The testimony of Zaid Abu Erra was taken by the legal advisor of the Preventive Security Service and not by an investigator. The questions focused on the nature of his work and his relationship with some people. They told him that the reason for his arrest was part of the campaign “to respond to the arrests taking place in Gaza only”. After 18 days of his arrest, Abu Erra was released on Thursday, corresponding 17th Jan. 2019 and his laptop and cell phone are still being held by the Preventive Security Service.

 

(2nd Jan. 2019) Palestine TV reporter in Nablus, Baker Abdalhaq, was injured by a rubber bullet in his leg while he was covering the storming of the Army and settlers to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, the Israeli Occupation Army, at around 11:00PM, has raided Balata Block in Nablus, to secure the access of settlers to Joseph's Tomb, located in that area. It should be noted that the area is being continuously raided on Wednesdays, under the pretext of enabling the settlers to pray in Joseph's Tomb, which always results in the outbreak of clashes in the region. The reporter of Palestine TV in Nablus, Baker Mohammad Sabah Mamdouh Abdalhaq, (29 years old), was located in an area one kilometer far from the site of clashes that erupted after the army and settlers stormed Balata block. The army was stationed at a junction leading to the Tomb and the demonstrators were 200 meters away from the soldiers. At approximately 12:45 after midnight, some patrols approached suddenly and rapidly towards the journalists and fired rubber bullets intensively and directly at them, even though they were wearing their uniforms marked Press. Palestine TV reporter, Baker Abdalhaq, was injured by a rubber bullet in his left leg, directly below the knee. It was fired at him at point-blank range (approximately two meters). His colleague, Palestine TV cameraman Sameh Nazih Adel Darwazeh, and medics from the medical relief who were in the area, immediately took him to an ambulance nearby, while the army continued to fire. Another bullet injured Baker Abdalhaq in the protective shield he was wearing while he was being transferred to the ambulance. The firing of bullets and gas bombs continued until they reached the ambulance. During that time, the medic Yassin Omran was also injured in the face by two bullets while he was assisting the journalist Baker. The medic fell to the ground and another bullet hit the posterior side of the ambulance, and it immediately drove away from the area. He was taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he arrived at 1:00 AM. Some x-rays of the injury site were done and he was given the necessary treatment and he was discharged from the Hospital at about 5:00AM.

 

(3rd Jan. 2019) The journalist, Huda Ahmad Ali Baroud, 31 years old, a reporter at Hadf News, has received a phone call from Mr. Bader Al-Deen, who introduced himself as an officer from the Media Office of the Ministry of Interior in Gaza. He asked her to come to his office at the Ministry to “chat” in a topic that she will find out when she goes. However, she refused to go since there is no official summons by the Ministry. As a result, she received a text from the same number reaffirming her to come on Sunday, corresponding 6th Jan. 2019. Baroud has informed the Administration of Hadf News with the phone call and text she received and that she refused to respond. Consequently, the Administration of Hadf News contacted some officials at Gaza Government, who in turn contacted the Ministry of Interior, and the Administration was informed that the matter is about a report Baroud has prepared on the issue of “Incest in Gaza” which was published on the website of Hadf News on 30th Dec. 2018. The Administration was also informed that the Ministry is upset and offended and has an objection on the time of publishing the report only given that “the security and political conditions were unstable then”. The matter was closed with the Ministry of Interior following the intervention of the Administration of Hadf News and Baroud did not go to the office of the Ministry of Interior on Sunday and was not contacted later.

 

(4th Jan. 2019) The journalist, Reem Abu Amro, was injured with severe suffocation due to gas bombs fired by the Israeli occupation soldiers at the demonstrators in the peaceful return march taking place in Malka, east of Shujaiya, north Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Reem Fathi Khader Abu Amro, (23 years old), a photographer of MFU[1], has arrived, at around 02:30PM, on Friday, corresponding 4th Jan. 2019, to Al-Awda Camp, located against the separating fence (the separating border fence with Israel), east of Gaza, to cover the events of the peaceful return march. It should be noted that this march is part of the peaceful return marches, which have started on the 30th March 2018, taking place each Friday, in which thousands of Palestinians peacefully demonstrate. On the other side of the fence, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas bombs and rubber bullets at the demonstrators in the march which resulted in several demonstrators being wounded, some of whom with live bullets. At around 4:15PM, the journalist, Abu Amro, approached her colleagues towards the border fence, to document the injury of one of the demonstrators shot by the occupation soldiers, 20 meters away from the separating fence. She was wearing the helmet and vest marked Press, the occupation soldiers were heavily firing gas bombs at the location where the injury was to prevent the medics from transferring the wounded demonstrator. One of the gas bombs fired by the occupation soldiers injured the journalist Abu Amro and fell close to her which is why she inhaled great amount of gas until she fainted. As a result, she was transferred by an ambulance to the field hospital and then to Al-Quds Hospital, central Gaza. She was resuscitated after two hours of fainting. Some x-rays were done for her and they showed no fractures due to her injury. She stayed in hospital until 08:00PM under medical observation. However, she continued to suffer headache and vomiting on the following two days of her injury.

 

(4th Jan. 2019) The journalist Mohammad Zarab has suffered severe suffocation while covering the return peaceful march taking place in “Al-Farrahen”, east of Khan Younes, south Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, Mohammad Khader Abderabo Zarab, (23 years old), a reporter of the Tunisian WAFA News Agency, and the Local Handala Network, has arrived, at around 2:45PM, on Friday, corresponding 4th Jan. 2019, to Al-Farrahen, east of Khan Younes, in his Press blue vest. He went there to cover the return peaceful march, taking place each Friday. Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators have gathered in the area after the events of marches moved from Khuza'a to Al-Farrahen. On the opposite side of the demonstrators, the other side of the separating fence, the occupation soldiers were firing gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets, and live bullets at the demonstrators, which resulted in the injury of dozens of them, some of whom with live bullets. There was a tank in the area (near the soldiers) releasing heavy smoke. At approximately 16:15PM, while Zarab and a number of his colleague journalists were about 700 meters away from the Israeli soldiers, they began to retreat from the area because the soldiers were directly targeting them with gas bombs. One of the gas bombs injured the journalist Zarab in his chest after it hit the ground. The bomb’s smoke was all over his face which caused him to inhale great amount of gas which is why he fainted. He was transferred in an auto rickshaw by one of the demonstrators to the field hospital, about one kilometer away from the area. Because of the state of convulsion that accompanied his condition, he was transferred to the military hospital, where he was given the necessary medical treatment and remained in hospital until 09:00PM under medical observation. Zarab explained that until the day this report was prepared (16th Jan. 2019), he still suffers from a lack of breathing, headaches and sometimes spasms.

 

(4th Jan.) The journalist, Ahmad Al-Halabi, was injured by a rubber bullet in the back of his head, fired at him by one of the Israeli occupation soldiers, while he was covering the return peaceful march, in Malka, east of Gaza.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, the journalist Ahmad Omar Ismail Al-Halabi, (27 years old), works for Kanan News Agency, has arrived, at around 2:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 4th Jan. 2019, to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the return peaceful march, organized each Friday, since the 30th of March 2018. At around 5:00PM, after he finished filming a child who was shot by Israeli soldiers deployed on the other side of the fence, while he was about 200 meters away from the fence, he was injured by a rubber bullet in the left side of the back of his head, even though he was in his Press uniform. As a result of the injury, he fell to the ground, and some paramedics transferred him to the medical point at around 500-700 meters away from the separating fence, where he received the first aid. He was also diagnosed and his wound was dressed. He was then transferred to Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza. He arrived the hospital at about 5:30. There he underwent medical examinations, X-ray and a CT Scan. He was given the necessary treatments, stayed in the hospital and then he was discharged.

 

(4th Jan.2019) The journalist, Mohammad Al-Arbeed, was injured by a gas bomb in the left thigh, while he was covering the return peaceful march, east of Jabalia, north Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist Mohammad Atef Mohammad Al-Arbeed, (24 years old), from Al-Tawam neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip, a photographer of Shamal Online News Network, and a reporter of Shihab Agency, located northern Gaza Strip, has arrived at around 2:00PM, on 4th Jan. 2019, to the border area, east of Jabalia. He was wearing his vest marked Press, and he went there to cover the events of the return march, taking place each Friday, at around 4:00PM. While he was filming the injury of several demonstrators by bullets and gas bombs, fired by the Israeli soldiers stationed on the other side of the separating fence, he was injured by a gas bomb in the left thigh, as he was 150 meters away from the separating fence. He was transferred to the field hospital, located close to the demonstrators, where he received the first aid. Then he was taken by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital, northern Gaza Strip, as the place of injury was wounded. He underwent medical examinations and x-rays of the injury. He stayed for about an hour and then he was discharged from the hospital. On the day following the injury (Saturday 5th Jan. 2019), the injury turned to a blue bruise and pus started draining as well. He returned to the Indonesian hospital, where the wound bandage was changed and the doctor informed him that he should replace it day after day until he recovers.

 

(5th Jan. 2019) The occupation forces have prevented Palestine TV photographer, Ali Sami Yassin, from accessing Al-Khan Al-Ahmar to cover a ceremony marking on Fateh Launch Anniversary. He was arrested and pushed away from Al-Khan Al-Ahmar for five days, and he was prohibited to access it.

According to investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, Fateh movement at Jerusalem region decided to organize a ceremony marking its 45th Anniversary in Al-Khan Al-Ahmar, which is threatened with deportation by the occupation, on 5th Jan. 2019. Therefore, the Occupation Army decided to close the roads leading to Al-Khan Al-Ahmar to prevent the celebration. It even ordered the busses and vehicles to go back and threatened them with arrest and prosecution as is the case with Palestine TV cameraman in Jerusalem, Ali Sami Mousa Yassin, (26 years old). Ali was prevented by the Army to enter Al-Khan Al-Ahmar for the purpose of transmitting and broadcasting the celebration directly through “Reporters in the Field”, which is aired at 12:00PM. He was prevented under the pretext that it is a military closed area. In addition to this, the Israeli police issued him a 250-shekel-ticket for allegedly parking on a road island inside the Sonol gas station near the main street of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar. Furthermore, another 1000-NIS shekels ticket was issued to him for allegedly using the phone while driving (although he denied using it), while he was leaving the gas station. He was arrested and his ID card was seized on the grounds that he did not comply with the orders of the soldiers who asked him to move away from Al Khan Al Ahmar while he was in the nearby fuel station. He was arrested at around 1:30PM, and then he was taken to Ma'ale Adumim Investigation Center where he was questioned about the reason why he was brought by the police and did obey the orders of the army. He was also questioned about the tickets issued to him by the Israeli police for offences he did not even make. He remained in detention and investigation for two hours until he was released under a decision that prohibits him from going to Al-Khan Al-Ahmar for five days, until the tenth of the same month.

 

(5th Jan. 2019) The Internal Security Service in Khan Younes, Gaza Strip, has summoned the journalist, Mouneb Saad Abu Sadah, as part of the campaign of summons and arrests implemented in connection to Fateh Movement anniversary.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Mouneb Saad Abu Sadah, (32 years old), a reporter of Al-Sabah Newspaper, has received, at around 12:00PM, on 5th Jan. 2019, a phone call from an anonymous number, who turned out to be from the Internal Security Service in Khan Younes. One of the members of the Security Service talked to him and threatened him to stop writing, and inciting and to obey the laws. He told him to come to the Services headquarters in the eastern region at 4:00PM on the same day. Accordingly, Abu Sadah contacted some persons and friends from Hamas, who in turn, solved the summons and informed him that it was settled and that he is no longer required to go to the Internal Security headquarters.

It should be noted that Abu Sadah, on 31st Dec. 2018, the day of igniting the flame marking on Fateh anniversary, was beaten and assaulted by police elements in military clothing and others in civil clothing while he was at the place of events in Gaza City.

 

(5th Jan. 2019) The Internal Security Services of Hamas in Gaza Strip has summoned the journalist Loay Al-Goul three consecutive times, detained him for long hours each time, questioned, tortured and assaulted him.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, a security force of Hamas in Gaza Strip, composed of three military vehicles, has arrived at around 10:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 5th Jan. 2019, to the house of the journalist, Loay Nahed Mohammad Al-Ghoul, (40 years old), located in Al-Shate’ Camp, near Al-Sosi Msoque, west of Gaza City, to arrest him. When they knocked on the door, his brother (Saleh) came out and they asked him “where is Loay?”. He told them that he was out,  so they gave him a summons for his brother Loay, under which he must go to the Internal Security headquarters located near Ansar and they left. The journalist’s wife immediately contacted him and told him what had happened. She photographed the notification of summons and sent it to the Journalists Vice Chairman, Tahseen Al-Astal, who disseminated the same on the social media and among the media agencies. On the following day, (Saturday, corresponding 6th Jan. 2019), the journalist Loay Al-Ghoul, at around 9:00AM, went to the Internal Security headquarters, near Ansar, western Gaza City. Upon his arrival to the headquarters, he was taken by one of the security officers to one of the investigation rooms where an officer was waiting. The said officer checked Loay’s ID, seized his cell phone, passport and the money he had and asked him to sit on a small chair with his face against the wall. After 10 minutes, one of the security officers came and took him to wait with another 30 detainees in the “bus” room (a wide room where detainees under investigation are placed). They made him sit on a small chair and prevented him from talking with the remaining detainees in the room. At around 2:00PM, he was taken again to the investigation room, where the officer stopped him at the door and provocatively talked to him. He asked him questions about his personal information, his wife’s name, and his political affiliation, for five minutes, and then he was taken back to the “bus” room. After that, another officer came and took him to the investigation room and asked him the same questions again “your name, your wife’s name, your political affiliation, also in a provocative manner”. He was threatened to be detained for 48 hours, and then he was taken back to the “bus” room. Then, another officer named “Abu Hamza” inquired about Loay Al-Ghoul among the detainees, and took him to the investigation room. The officer was holding in his hand the summons circulated throughout the social media. He asked Al-Ghoul who published this? And Al-Ghoul responded that it was his wife who photographed it and sent it to the Journalists Vice Chairman, Dr. Tahseen Al-Astal, to contact the concerned authorities and find out the reason of summons, in his capacity as the Journalists Vice Chairman. The officer replied “you are a liar”. Then he asked him about the Journalists Syndicate statement condemning the attack on the headquarters of Palestine TV in Gaza a few days earlier and Al-Ghoul replied that he was responsible for disseminatng the statement throughout the social media and among the media agencies in his capacity as a Director at the Journalists Syndicate. The officer replied “you are lying”. He instructed some of the security officers in the room to take him and torture him. The physical assault and torture against  Al-Ghoul began here. A bag was placed on his head in a special room. He was beaten by hands and whips on the shoulders and thighs after removing his jacket. Bruises were evident on his body due to the assault. During the assault, Al-Ghoul told them that he was suffocating from the bag and asked them to remove it from his head, and that his feet were trembling due to the beatings, so they lifted the bag from his head. About fifteen minutes after the end of the assault and beating, which took about half an hour, they returned him to the officer Abu Hamza in the investigation room, and the officer repeated the same questions, and asked him about the way he visits his Facebook, he told him that he does it by an iPad at home. The officer asked him to call the house and instruct his son to bring the iPad. Al-Ghoul replied that his son is very young and cannot do that. The officer asked him to call one of his family members and bring the iPad, but it was not brought. Again, the bag was placed on his head, and he was assaulted by hands’ fists. The officer Abu Hamza addressed him threatening: “we will always bring you here to assault you” and then he instructed to transfer him to cell with an area of 2.5m/120cm, which has a bathroom in it. In the cell, there was other four detainees, and he remained in detention until one of the security officer, at around 9:00PM, came and told him that he will be released at 10:00PM, provided that he must return to the headquarters on the following morning at 09:00AM. Indeed, he was released and left the Internal Security Headquarters at around 10:00PM, on Saturday, but his belongings remained seized. At around 09:30AM, on the following morning, (Sunday, corresponding 7th Jan. 2019), Al-Ghoul returned to the headquarters, and immediately the investigation officer Abu Hamza talked to him and told him that he spoke with Dr. Tahseen Al-Astal, the Journalists Vice Chairman, and asked him about the person who disseminated the summons notification throughout the media and “in sum, you are a liar”. He also told him that he is claiming that he was assaulted and it is not true that anyone has assaulted him. Then the journalist Al-Ghoul showed his shoulders that have the bruises of assault and beatings the day before. The officer said “stop lying, this is from your nails”. He was taken to the “bus” room and there he stayed until 1:00PM. A security officer came and told him that he would be released after the Popular Front intervened in his matter, provided that he returns to the headquarters at 08:00AM on the following morning. He was indeed released around 2:00PM. On the following morning (Monday, 8th Jan. 2019), Al-Ghoul returned to the Internal Security headquarters. They took him and put him in a cell. During his detention, one of the detainees suffered a heart attack (Mazen Abu Jahel, a colonel in the Palestinian Authority) and he was transferred to the hospital. At 1:00PM, the security officers opened the gates of the cells and told all the detainees that they would be released. At about 2:00PM on that day, they handed him over his belongings which were seized, and released him.

 

(5th Jan. 2019) Several masked persons have stormed the headquarters of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City during daylight hours and smashed its equipment.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, the Director General of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in the southern governorates, Raafat Hammad Abdel Majeed Al-Qudra, (50 years old), and his Deputy Imad Jawad Mohammed Marzouk, (52 years old), have received a telephone call from the owner of the building, where the headquarters of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation is located, in Tal Al-Hawa neighborhood, southern Gaza City, at about 10:15AM, on Friday, corresponding 5th Jan. 2019. It should be noted that the building consists of two floors (fourth and fifth) with a total of six apartments, among them an apartment for the Voice of Palestine Radio, and another apartment for the TV studio. Most of the doors of the apartments are made of wood, except for the studio door, which is made of iron, where the transmitter of the TV is kept. The remaining rooms are administrative offices. The phone call informed them that persons have broken into the headquarters of the Corporation and smashed its equipment with “axes and hammers”. None of the staff members were inside the headquarters, given that most of them were in the morning hours leave, as their work is mainly covering the return marches during the evening. Accordingly, most of the staff members of the Corporation came to the headquarters from their residents within half an hour. They were shocked by the destruction and damage caused to the headquarters. The wooden doors and the equipment of the Voice of Palestine Radio were completely destroyed, and this included the studio, the voice devices (3), the montage devices, five cameras, 2 UBS chargers, in addition to the office furniture. The attackers were unable to break into the studio because of the iron doors, and when someone was asked about what happened, he said he heard loud voices and noise, and believed that the workers were doing some maintenance work. But soon left the headquarters four people, one of them was masked while the others were not, and when he asked them who they were, they replied, “We are the youth of the reformist movement” and they fled. About three hours after the attack, some police officers arrived at the site, inspected the site and left. The Administration of the Corporation has formed a committee of five engineers and specialists and it has estimated the damages by 169,000 USD, the value of the equipment which were destroyed and damaged, not to mention the destruction of the doors and furniture.

Around 330 staff members are working in the Corporation. It is worth noting that there is no guards for the headquarters, due to the split. Friday, the day on which the attack took place in the morning, is an official holiday for the staff. Usually the work is done from the main headquarters of the Corporation located in Ramallah, West Bank. The reporters and photographers in Gaza begin their work in the evening to cover the return marches. The Corporation’s service officer comes every Friday morning to supply water and equipment to the journalists and then he leaves. He was in the headquarters on the day of attack, at around 8:30PM, and then he left. Half an hour after he left, the attack took place.

The attack was denounced by various media and human rights organizations, and various agencies and organizations have called on the security services in Gaza to identify the perpetrators and try them. Later, the Ministry of Interior in Gaza announced the arrest of the five people whom it declared as the "perpetrators" who have committed the attack. It claimed that the "attackers" belong to Fatah movement, whose salaries were cut off by the Palestinian Authority. One of the five "perpetrators" who were arrested is “a staff member in the Corporation whose salary has been cut off”. But it did not reveal their names. This has raised doubts on the Ministry of the Interior's scenario on the identity of the perpetrators of the attack, and whether they actually belong to “Fateh”, as it claimed.

 

(6th Jan. 2019) The Internal Security Services in Khan Younes has arrested the journalist Salah Abu Salah after he was summoned by the Services headquarters, as part of the summons and arrests implemented by the security services in Gaza Strip in connection to the events of Fateh Launch Anniversary the Movement was planning to organize.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Salah Mohammad Musallam Abu Salah, (38 years old), from Abasan Al-Kabira, in Khan Younes, a freelance journalist, and a member at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, has received, at around 12:00PM, on 6th Jan. 2019, a phone call from the Internal Security Services in Khan Younes. He was informed to immediately come to the headquarters, western Khan Younes (the sea) to discuss a matter that will take only 5 minutes. He was informed that if he does not go, a patrol will come and arrest him. Abu Salah immediately went to the headquarters, and when he arrived, he was searched, and his personal belongings were seized. They asked him to give them his passwords for his personal accounts and the passport of his laptop as well. Then they took him to detention in a “large brick” with an area of 5x7 meters, where other seven persons from Fateh activists where detained, and the number kept increasing. On the following morning, 40 detained arrived. Abu Salah remained in detention until the following day, corresponding 7th Jan. 2019, without questioning, until he was summoned at around 2:00PM, on the following day (7th Jan. 2019) to the investigation room. He was questioned about his personal information and some of his posts on his accounts which the investigator considered “inciting” and about the events of Fateh launch anniversary and his role in the same. After that, the investigator left the room and left in it for about half an hour until one of the security officers came in and handed him over his belongings. He was released at 3:00PM on the same day. During his detention, the security officers were forcing them to sit on a chair with their faces against the wall for hours. Furthermore, during their sleep, the officers were intentionally wake them up, threat and torture them. After he was released, he found out that his laptop was connected to another computer and that they took the data in it.

 

(6th Jan. 2019) The Palestinian preventive security has arrested the Palestinian photographer, Mahmoud Noah Harish, 28 years old, from his home located in Beitunia, Ramallah, for 23 days.

According to his family (and him later), and according to the investigations of "MADA" researcher,  a group of persons, at about 11:00PM on 6 January 2019, broke into the house of Mahmoud Noah Harish, located in Beitunia, Ramallah. He is a journalism and media graduate from Abu Deis University and works as a freelance photographer. The persons who broke into the house identified themselves as officers of the Preventive Security Service, some of them were masked and armed. They searched Mahmoud's house, and missed up its contents not to mention that they damaged some of his hourse contents, they confiscated his personal cell phone and computer. One of the officers told the family that Mahmoud was wanted for 48 hours, and that there is a arrest warrant against him, and a search warrant for the house. But he did not show them to the family, and the later did not ask to see the same. Then they arrested Mahmoud and left. Later, the family learned that he had been transferred to the headquarters of the Preventive Security Service in Beitunia. Furthermore, and after his mother, sisters and his wife visited him as well as the lawyer of Al-Dameer Foundation, his family also learned that he was in the cells rather than in the prison rooms. Mahmoud was brought twice before the court on charge the of "stir up sectarian strife" and the last time he was brought before the court was on Thursday (10th January 2019), where his detention was extended by 15 days, and on (28th January 2019) he was released on bail of 500 dinars. After his release, it was found that journalist Harish remained in detention for 23 days at the Preventive Security headquarters in Beitunia, and that he was interrogated only once after his arrest directly and for a short period of no more than 10 minutes by an officer who asked him about something he posted on his Facebook page in which he is demanding the security services to protect the Palestinian people from settler attacks. He was also questioned about previous posts in 2013-2014, which, according to the officer, are considered offensive to the security services and contain insults”. The officer refused to show the journalist Harish the posts since the later denied posting such insults. The officer treated him badly during interrogation where he "intentionally raised his voice and screamed at me while questioning". He was detained for the first 19 days (of his 23-days arrest and detention), in "a very narrow cell that smells stinky and in poor conditions". He was then transferred to the prison rooms where he remained until his release on (28th January  2018) after the lawyer of "MADA" objected on the request of the Public Prosecution to extend his detention for the second time for another 15 days where the court only extended his detention for 5 days pending investigation, the court responded to the request of MADA’s lawyer for a personal bail of 500 Jordanian dinars. A week after his release, he recovered his personal phone and identity card.

 

(7th Jan. 2019) Israeli intelligence agents have kidnapped journalist Firas Debs from the street and arrested him for a day and a half on the backdrop of a comment he posted on Facebook.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, the journalist Firas Yousef Ahmad Debs, born on 19th Feb. 1985, in charge of the media and public relations in the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem, while he was walking in Nablus street in Jerusalem, specifically next the gas station, along with his colleague Rami Al-Khateeb, at around 1:00PM, on 7th Jan. 2019, some Intelligence Officers were getting in his way. He was feeling that they were following them while walking as they were entering every place they go to. They blindfolded his eyes after they got in his way near the gas station. They also handcuffed his hands with plastic ties and took him to @room 4@ for investigation. During the arrest and investigation, he was not beaten or cursed, but he was violently arrested. His cell phone was seized and its contents were accessed. They told him that he was wanted by the Israeli intelligence service "Shabak" for inciting against the Israeli officer who entered Al-Aqsa Mosque carrying a bottle of "Champagne" in September 2019, referring to a comment posted by the journalist Debs to his colleague, the journalist Ziad Abu Buhais, on Facebook, which says “may Allah takes his revenge and curse the laggards”. Debs told them that what he posts on Facebook is a personal matter, unlike the media reports he publishes in his capacity as a media official at the Endowments Department which contain nothing but facts. He was questioned in three rounds with no rest in between. The first round lasted for two hours, the second for one hour, while the last for more than three hours. He was questioned, a file was opened and photocopied for him, and his finger prints were collected. This was before transferring him to Moscobiya Detention Centre where he was questioned for another hour. Debs remained in detention there until 11:00AM on the following day, (8th Jan. 2019). In the meantime, arrived a videotape of his lawyer, Mustafa Yahya, showed the incident mentioned in the charge and confirming that it was unacceptable, he said: "Can I enter a Jewish synagogue with a pig's head?" In a legal framework, he was released on unpaid bail of NIS 5,000, payable in the event of repeated arrest, and then released at about 8:00PM on the same day (8th Jan. 2019). About a week later, on Wednesday 16 January 2019, the journalist Debs received an order to come back to investigation again in "Room 4" in connection with events that took place at Al-Aqsa Mosque during that period. He was questioned about two hours. Debs was arrested three times (other than the above mentioned arrest), all of which have taken place inside Al-Aqsa Mosque. He was also summoned two more times not to mention that he was was also alienated  from Al-Aqsa Mosque several times, the longest lasting for 6 months.

 

(7th Jan. 2019) In parallel with the campaign of summonses carried out by Hamas Government in Gaza Strip against the backdrop of Fatah movement's inauguration ceremony. At approximately 11:00AM on the morning of 7th Jan. 2019, the family of journalist Maysoun Wasfi Saleem Kuhail, 42 years old, an author at "Dunia Al-Watan", a received summons at their house located in Jaffa Street - Al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza, from the Internal Security Service, in the name of Maysoun’s brother, Mousa Wasfi Saleem Kuhail (38 years old), from Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza, who works for the electricity distribution company, under which he must go to the Service Headquarters (Al-Hakem Palace in Gaza). Thus, he was informed of the summons by his family. So Mousa indeed went to the Internal Security headquarters in Gaza at about 01:30PM on the same day. When he arrived at the headquarters, his identity card was seized and he was placed in the detention room (called the bus) with dozens of detainees from Fatah cadres and activists. After an hour and a half of detention without any questioning, Kuhail asked one of the Security Officer why he was detained clarifying he had nothing to do with Fateh or the political events and he asked to meet one of the officials for clarification. Accordingly, the investigator called him to his room, and then told him “we know you have nothing to do with Fateh, but you were summoned to deliver a message to your sister, the journalist Maysoun Kuhail, to stop writing and inciting against the government in Dunia Al-Watan newspaper or her personal accounts, and that if she continued to do so, you will be held liable before us and you will be summoned again”. Then he was taken to another room where he met another person who delivered the same message and threat to him, gave him back his ID card and released him around 3:30PM on the same day.

 

(10th Jan. 2019) On 10th Jan. 2019, an Israeli bus was subject to gunshot by anonymous persons on the bypass road adjacent to the military checkpoint "Beit El" near the entrance to the city of Al-Bireh. This resulted in raids by the occupation forces in the following wo days in that area, not to mention the seizure of recordings of cameras from homes and shops. On 10th Jan. 2019, at 5:30AM, 15 Israeli military patrols stormed Al-Masayoun neighborhood, in Ramallah and seized the camera recordings from shops there. This resulted in clashes where the Palestinians threw stones at the army patrols, while soldiers fired metal bullets and tear gas bombs at them resulting in several injuries. These clashes attracted many journalists and the media to cover the same, including “Reuters” photographer Mohammad Ali Turkman (51 years). At approximately 7:30PM, one of the soldiers fired a rubber-coated metal bullet at the journalist Turkman during his coverage of the clashes on Al-Jihad Street in Al-Maseyoun neighborhood, Ramallah, while he was about 100 meters away from the soldiers. The bullet directly injured his left leg-below the knee, even though he was wearing the Press uniform which was evident to the soldiers. He received the treatment in field, where medics described his injury as minor. After receiving the first aid, Turkman continued to film and cover the clashes, but one of the soldiers, after about 10 minutes, again targeted him with a rubber bullet fired at his head this time. The bullet hit the muzzle that he was putting on his face to protect him from gas. Which is why he was not affected or injured as the muzzle protected him from being severely harmed.

 

(11th Jan. 2019) Journalist Hussein Karsou’ was injured by a tear gas bomb fired directly at him by an Israeli soldier while covering the events of the peaceful return march in the area of "Malkaeast of Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Hussein Abdaljawad Karsou’, 44 years old, married with four children, a photographer of MFU, has arrived, at around 2:30PM, on Friday, corresponding 11th Jan. 2019, to Malka to cover the events of the peaceful return march, organized each Friday, at the separating fence with Israel, erupted since 30th March last year, in which hundreds of citizens take part. On the other side of the fence, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition at demonstrators indiscriminately, killing a woman and injuring dozens of others. At approximately 4:15 PM, the journalist Karsou’, who was wearing a helmet and a blue jacket marked "PRESS" while he was 100 meters away from the separating fence, covering the demonstration. He was injured by a direct gas bomb fired by one of the soldiers in the face (bottom left eye) causing him bleeding. Immediately, he was transferred to the field hospital in the area, where he received the first aid to stop the bleeding and then he was transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital, central Gaza, where it was found that his left eye was harmed as a result of the injury. The location of the injury swelled dramatically associated with severe redness in the left eye and lack of clarity of vision, which is why he was transferred to the specialized eye hospital, where the necessary checks were done for him to make sure of his eye’s safety. The wound was stitched 5 stitches, and then he was taken back again to Al-Shifa Hospital, where he remained under observation until 10:00PM of the same day in anticipation of the occurrence of health complications, especially that he (journalist Karsou’) suffers from diabetes. Karsou’ was injured more than once during his work.

 

(11th Jan. 2019) The French CBSP photographer (Charitable Committee for the Support of Palestine[2], Husni Salah, was injured by a gas bomb in the face while covering the events of the peaceful return march in the area of "Tal Um Husni" east of Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, journalist Husni Fuad Husni Salah, 26 years old, a photographer of the French CBSP, arrived at around 02:30PM on Friday, 11th Jan. 2019, Al-Awda Camp, located in “Tal Um Husni” against the border fence with Israel, east of Al-Bureij refugee camp, to cover the events of the peaceful return march organized every Friday, with the participation of thousands of Palestinians, since 30 March last year in areas east of Gaza Strip. On the other side of the fence, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators in a heavy and random manner. This day, a number of demonstrators were wounded, some of them with live bullets. At approximately 3:30PM, while Salah and his colleagues were at a distance of approximately 400 meters away from the border fence behind the demonstrators to cover the events, one of the soldiers apparently deliberately targeted the media group with a gas bomb that injured the journalist Salah in the face, in particular, in his chin, causing him severe bleeding, where he fell immediately to the ground. Then he was taken by an ambulance to the field hospital located close to the demonstrators. However, given his critical condition and the deep wound caused by the bomb, he was immediately transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. According to the medical report, there was a fracture of the lower jaw in the chin area. He underwent a surgery to "place a platinum plate in the chin area" and then he stayed in the hospital for a full day under medical observation before leaving for the next morning. Until the present time, he stills suffers from severe pain and difficulty in eating and drinking and cannot speak.

 

(11th Jan. 2019) The Journalist Jafar Zahid Ishtaya was injured by a gas bomb directly in his foot while covering a demonstration in Kafr Qaddum village, Qalqiliya Governorate.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the French News Agency photographer, Jafar Zahid Hussein Ishtaya, 51 years old, has arrived Kafr Qaddum at around 12:30PM, on Friday, corresponding 11th Jan. 2019,  to cover the events of the weekly march organized by the village families every Friday since seven years to demand opening the village entrance closed by the Israeli Army to serve the settlers. While the journalist Ishtaya was standing next to three of his colleague journalists, all wearing the blue uniform marked Press, and began filming the demonstration that came out of the mosque, four military patrols broke into the village and entered about 500 meters from the closed road, the soldiers went to the roofs of three houses of citizens and were stationed there. The demonstrators started throwing stones at the soldiers who were about 100 meters away from them, while the soldiers responded by firing gas and metal bullets randomly, injuring some of the demonstrators, and journalists who were covering these clashes and at about 1:45PM, while they were 20 meters away from the clashes, central the village, one of the 7 soldiers on the house roof pointed their guns directly at the journalists, and fired a gas bomb at Ishtaya injuring his foot (Metatarsal bones) which caused Ishtaya to fall to the ground immediately. Two of his colleagues (Palestine TV reporter Anal Al-Jada’ and the photographer of the Al-Masirah website, Abdullah Al-Qadumi) approached to help him reach an ambulance in the area. The ambulance staff provided him with first aid and informed him that the injury is minor and that no critical wounds were caused to go to hospital. Ishtaya ceased covering the events because of the pain he was feeling.

 

(11th Jan. 2019) The Israeli soldiers detained three of Palestine TV staff and used them as a human shield during a demonstration in Ras Karkar in Ramallah .

According to the MADA field researcher, Palestine TV staff composed of the TV reporter, Osaid Mohammad Abdul Rahim Subaih, born in 1993, the photographer Mohammad Abdul Rahman Dar Saleh (born in 1990) and the driver Ayman Mustafa Ibrahim (born in 1969), at approximately 1:30PM, on Friday, 11th Jan. 2019, arrived at Ras Karkar in Ramallah, to prepare a TV report on the closure of the main road called “Tareq Al-Enab” by the Israeli occupation army since 6th Jan. It should be noted that it is a road linking the villages western Ramallah. They also went to cover the weekly march organized in Jabal Al-Risan, where a settler seized a large area of land there. As soon as they arrived, there were clashes at the entrance to the village, where Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at the soldiers. The Israeli occupations soldiers stationed there seized the personal identity cards of the staff as well as their car keys. They seized them from 1:30PM until 3:10PM. In the meantime, the soldiers used them as human shields as they forced the staff members to stand in front of them (the soldiers) which made the staff subject to injury by the demonstrators’ stones they were throwing at the soldiers during the clashes. At approximately 3:10PM, the soldiers allowed the TV staff to leave either inside the village or return to Ramallah. The staff went to the village to complete their work. After about 15 minutes, approximately 3:25 PM, they came back and this time, the soldiers detained them ans seized the identity card of the TV reporter Osaid Subaih. One of the soldiers addressed him in Arabic that he wants to punish them claiming that they are “inciting and they should protect the army from stones”. He threatened the staff with detention if they spoke with anyone crossing the main street of the village where the soldiers were stationed, and at around 4:00PM, they were released.

 

(11th Jan. 2019) The photojournalist, Haytham Mohammad Jamal Al-Khatib was injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by an Israeli soldier while covering a military operation of Israeli units in Bil'in , Ramallah.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, the freelance photographer Haytham Al-Khatib, born in 1976, living in Bil'in, has heard at around 2:55AM, on Friday, 11th Jan. 2019 some people coming quickly and close to his house in the village. He went out and saw a white minibus and a number of people in civilian clothes were getting off of it. He immediately rode his car for a tour in the village and saw more than 10 military vehicles raiding Bil’in, from the side of the apartheid wall heading to the neighboring village Kafr Naama. He followed them to film the raiding of Kafr Naama. But at approximately 3:30, he received a phone call from his family telling him that great forces of the Israeli occupation army stormed houses surrounding his house in Bil'in, so he immediately returned to his house. He saw a military patrol parked in front of his house. About 40 minutes later, the soldiers started the flashlights of their guns at his vehicle to tell him to stop. Only then, he put on his press uniform and carried the camera, and addressed the soldiers, in Hebrew, that it was his house and he wanted to go there. The soldiers allowed him to go to his house, moved away from the house, and retreated to a place beyond the wall of Al-Khatib's house. From his house, Al-Khatib began taking pictures of a nearby house about 20 meters from his house. The soldiers were surrounding the house and heard explosions of sound bombs and loud screams by the owners of the house. It is worth noting that 10 soldiers were stationed at a distance of 30 meters away from the photojournalist Haytham Al-Khatib who was taking photos. They pointed a led laser light at his face. The moment Al-Khatib heard one of the soldiers saying to the other soldiers “we have bothered this journalist … shall I shoot him?” one of the soldiers replied “shoot”. Soon after that, Al-Khatib was injured by a metal bullet in his left thigh, fired at him by one of the soldiers. So he hid behind the wall of his house. After about 5 to 10 minutes, the army forces began moving and retreating. In the meantime, they fired more than 7 rubber bullets at Al-Khatib who was covering himself behind the house wall after his injury. He helped himself at house by placing ice on the injury.

 

(12th Jan. 2019) The Israeli occupation forces used journalists as human shields while they ere covering an Israeli army incursion into the city of Ramallah.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, an Israeli occupation army force raided the area surrounding area of Ramallah Municipality, at 7:00PM, on 12th Jan. 2019, and started seizing the camera records of some commercial shops. Dozens of young men started throwing stones at the soldiers, while the occupation soldiers were firing live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas bombs at them whcih resulted in several injuries. At around 8:00PM, after one hour of the incursion, while a group of journalists and photographers were covering the incursion and clashes near Ramallah Municipality, a group of soldiers of “Israel Border Police” approached an asked the journalists to leave the place immediately. However, the journalists refused to to leave the area surrounding Ramallah Municipality because if they do so, they will be exposed to danger. The soldiers surrounded them and used them as human shields. Then they started firing bullets at the young men throwing stones. The journalists were between the soldiers and the throwing of stones. Among these journalists: Palestine TV reporter, Ali Mohammad Dar Ali, the photographer Mohammad Al-Arouri, Al-Ghad Al-Arabi TV reporter Diaa Housheya, the photographer Monther Al-Khatib, the photographe Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait, the photographer Ramez Awad, the photographer Jihad Al-Qadi, the photographer Ashraf Al-Nabali, the journalist Imad Abu Sumaya, the journalist Ismat Mansour, the journalist Mohammad Jreir Hamdan, who works at the Public Relations Department at the Commission against the Wall and Colonization. The later stressed that they remained in this position for 15 minutes and they were threatened during this period. Saqf Al-Hait stated that they were assaulted and pushed them with their weapons not to mention that they threatened them with firing sound bombs at them. In the meantime, the 28-year-old freelance photographer Jihad Isma'il Al-Qadi was detained for about a quarter of an hour near the Royal Hotel, near Ramallah Municipality, and he was prevented from moving. A soldier fired a gas bomb at him, causing him severe suffocation.

 

(12th Jan. 2019) The Preventive Security Service arrested Al-Najah TV photographer Hazem Naser, who was abused and assaulted by some officers by beating.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, a security force, including several military jeeps and civil vehicles, arrived, at around 1:00AM, on Saturday, 12th Jan. 2019, to the house of Hazem Imad Naser, born on 4th Jan. 1990, holding I.D. Card No. (852339761 ), living with his family, in Iktaba neighborhood, in Tulkarem. It is worth mentioning that he is also a photographer of Al-Najah TV, of An-Najah National University. When they arrived, they knocked on the main door, and Hazem’s father got out. They introduced themselves as officers from the Preventive Security Service. They asked him to tell Hazem to come out and to bring with him all of his devices (cell phones, and laptops). They arrested and put him in one of the patrols, handcuffed his hands from the back. During his transfer, a member of the Preventive Security officers assaulted him verbally and threatened him. When they arrived at the headquarters, he searched him in a humiliating manner and hit Hazim's hand against the wall. He was taken to an underground cell and remained inside without being asked about anything. At around 8:00PM, on the same day, he was asked to exit the cell and he was released after An-Najah TV Director, Ghazi Murtaja, intervened in addition to other authorities, and they took him home.

On (28th Jan.2019) Hazem received a phone call from a person who identified himself as an Intelligence Officer of Ramallah headquarters and asked him to come to the intelligence headquarters in Umm Al-Sharayet, next Sunday. The call was from "private number" and he was informed to come to the Office of Colonel Jamal Jabara.

The photographer Hazem Naser was arrested by the Palestinian security services on more than one occasion, where he stayed for 25 days prior to this arrest. He was also arrested during Ramadan in Tulkarem.

 

(15th Jan. 2019) The Preventive Security Service arrested the reporter of Quds News Network Media student at the Modern College Mutasim Samir Saqf Al-Hait (29 years years old) while filming a march in Al-Bireh and took him to the headquarters of the Service, deleted the material he photographed and questioned him.

According to the investigations conducted by "MADA" researcher, Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait, the 29-year-old media student at the Modern College, a reporter for "Quds News@ Network, and while he was at about 12:30PM on the afternoon of 15th Jan. 2019 in Nablus Street, live broadcasting a march against the social security law, a person in   civilian clothing who identified himself as a member of the Preventive Security Service approached him and asked for his phone, took him and summoned a patrol to take him to the Preventive Security headquarters in Ramallah. In the headquarters, one of the officers of the headquarters asked Saqf Al-Hait to speak with him apparently to take general information from him and open a file. He was also asked to delete the video records of the march. Later, another person introduced himself as a manager and spoke with Saqf Al-Hait about incitement against the authority, but Saqf Al-Hait told him that he was not inciting. The officer handed over Saqf Al-Hait his identity and his phone. But then he was transferred to the Preventive Security headquarters in Bitunia and it was then about 2:00PM. He was transferred to the interrogation center, handed over the belongings and underwent a medical examination. He was transferred to a cell where he stayed for about half an hour. He was then summoned and released at around 4:30PM. But his cell phone remained seized as the working time has ended provided he shall come back on the following day to take his phone.

 

(15th Jan. 2019) The Preventive security and intelligence officers arrested the photographer Mohammad Karout Idkaik while filming a march against the Social Security Law in Ramallah.

According to investigations conducted by MADA researcher, Mohammad Qarout Idkaik, born December 15, 1992, lives in Al-Issawiya, works as a photographer for Al-Jazeera Direct, has arrived in Ramallah at about 11:30AM on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, to cover a march protesting against the social security law. As he was passing through the yard of the parking and the Al Bireh Cultural Center, he saw members of the Preventive Security forces, so he lifted the camera to photograph them. He noted that they were ready to take the picture, they did not object or ask him not to photograph them. But after the photograph, they stopped him and took the camera and " tripod ", his personal phone (through which he was live broadcasting) and his personal card, and detained him for about an hour and a half. He was threatened, insulted and cursed. They addressed him, "We are the Preventive Security Service, no one can photograph us" and "We will show you the Preventive Security in Jericho". The questioning also included asking him about the party he works for and whether he works for Hamas. Idkaik did not tell them that he works for "Al Jazeera" because of the “not so good relations” between them as he said. After that, a vehicle of the intelligence service arrived to arrest him. Before he was handed over, he asked the members of the Preventive Security to return back his equipment, which they denied having at first. He told them that the law does not forbid photography, and that he even films the Israeli security forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque. They told him that filming all the security services, whether police or preventive security or intelligence or other is "strictly prohibited" and when he entered the intelligence service vehicle at Al-Manara square to complete the investigation, and before going to the center, Mohammad showed his Israeli press card, only then they released him and gave him back his equipment.

 

(16th Jan. 2019) The Preventive Security Service arrested the journalist Yousef Mohammad Al-Faqih after security forces raided his house in Al-Burj village near Dura, Hebron . He is still being detained in Betunia Prison until the present day (28th Jan. 2019). his detention was extended for 15 days.

According to investigations by MADA researcher, at 1:30PM, on 16th Jan. 2019, 10 members of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, dressed in civilian clothes, raided the house of Yousef Al-Faqih in Al-Burj village in Hebron. When Yousef Al-Faqih, 38 years old, married with four children, holding ID cadrd No. 936157866, a journalist working for the local radio "Freedom Forum" in Hebron and also for Quds Press,came out to the security officers, they informed him that the Preventive Security Director in Hebron wants to have a word with him for half an hour, and after that he can go back home, so Yousef went with them. At around 9:30PM on the same day, the preventive security officers came back to Yousef’s house with a search warrant. They searched the house and seized the cell phone of Yousef’s  mother, and another one for his brother, in addition to an old computer for Yousef. During their search of the house, security officers were asking who had informed Al-Aqsa TV of Hamas that Yousef had been arrested. On 20th Jan. 2019, the journalist Yousef Al-Faqih was brought before the court and his detention was extended for a week on charges of "Stirring up sectarian strife", as his father reported. On 24th Jan. 2019, Yousef was transferred from Hebron to the Preventive Security headquarters located in Beitunia, Ramallah. His family was unable to meet him or know anything about the circumstances of his arrest. On 28 January, Yousef Al-Faqih was transferred from Dura's prosecution office to Ramallah Prosecution office. Without an investigation, a request was submitted to Ramallah Magistrate Court to extend his detention for 15 days and he was presented to the court. After presenting the defence by the lawyer of MADA Center, the court decided to detain him for 15 days and he is still in detention at the Preventive Security headquarters and prison in Beitunia.

 

(18th Jan. 2019) Mohammad Jamal Saeed Abu Qadoos, 23 years old, was injured by a gas bomb in the leg from the back while covering the events of the return march in Malka eastern Gaza .

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the photographer of Siraj Media Network, at around 2:00PM, on 18th Jan. 2019, was heading to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the events of the return march organized every Friday along the separating fence, and he was wearing the uniform marked Press (the helmet and vest). he was also carrying a camera in his hand, and while he was filming the events, at around 3:00PM, 400 meters away from the border separating fence, on the other side of which the Israeli soldiers were deployed and firing bullets and gas bombs at the Palestinian demonstrators, he saw a gas bomb coming the place where he was standing. So he turned back to avoid injury, but the bomb injured him in the back of his leg (behind the knee) and he was taken to the field point near the demonstrators, where he was given first aid and the wound was dressed (if there is a wound ... why there is no explanation of his injury, it might be a minor wound or it might require stitching?). His injury has been described as minor.

 

(18th Jan. 2019) The Journalist Mohammad Saqer was injured by a gas bomb in his right foot fired by an Israeli soldier as he was covering the events of the peaceful return march in Malka east of Shujaiya, northern Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Mohammad Jawad Adel Saqer, (28 years old), a photographer of MFU, has arrived at 3:15PM, on Friday 18th Jan. 2019, to Malka, east of Gaza, against the border separating fence with Israel, to cover the events of the return peaceful march organized every Friday. He was wearing the helmet and blue vest marked Press, and a gas mask. There were crowds of Palestinians taking part in the march as part of the marches which erupted since 30th March last year. The moment he arrived, Saqer started working by filming the events with his camera, while the soldiers were stationed on the other side of the separating fence, firing gas bombs, rubber bullets and live bullets heavily and randomly at the demonstrators which resulted in the injury of dozens with various wound, some of whom by live bullets. At approximately 4:40PM, while Saqer and a group of his colleagues were behind the demonstrators 250 meters away from the fence, the soldiers deliberately targeted the press with gas bombs to prevent them from covering. A gas bomb injured the journalist Mohammad Saqer in the right leg from the back. He fell to the ground and his camera was smashed. Immediately he was taken to the field hospital, and then transferred to Al-Shifa hospital central Gaza, where it was found through the medical diagnosis that there was fracture that had to be fixed. He was discharged at 7:30PM on that day. On the first week following his injury, Saqer suffered difficulty in movement which is why he underwent physical therapy sessions.

 

(18th Jan. 2019) The Journalist Ahmad Ghanem was injured by a gas bomb in his left foot fired by an Israeli soldier while covering the events of the peaceful return march in the area of "Malka" east of Gaza City.

According to the  investigations by "MADA" field researcher, the journalist Ahmad Nabil Mohammed Ghanem, 31 years old, a reporter for Al-Mayadeen TV, has arrived at the area of "Malka" east of Gaza to cover the events of the 43rd return march, as part of the marches organized every week near the separation fence. He arrived at around 2:30 PM on Friday, January 18, 2019, to cover the events of the 43rd return march organized every week near the separation fence. He was wearing the Press safety helmet and shield, in the area, a large crowd of Palestinian demonstrators were present in the peaceful march. The Israeli soldiers stationed on the other side of the fence fired tear gas bombs, rubber-coated bullets and live bullets at demonstrators, which led to the injury of many demonstrators, some of them were seriously injured. At approximately 03:15, while Ghanem was among the demonstrators and the journalists, about 200 to 250 meters away from the border fence, on the other side of which the soldiers were deployed, as he was covering these events, he started preparing a report for the TV on the events. He was injured by a gas bomb fired by an Israeli soldier in the left foot which caused him to fall on the ground. Immediately his colleagues who were next to him called the paramedics to move him. However, and due to the rough terrain of the area the ambulance was unable to reach that point. He was transferred by a stretcher, for a distance of 300 meters where the nearest ambulance was located. Then he was transferred to a field medical point of the Ministry of Health. He received the first aid and was taken to Dar Al-Shifa hospital, west of Gaza City. He underwent a radiograph, and it was found that he had bruises and damage to some tissues due to the strength of the gas bomb that injured him directly. At about 5:00PM, he left the hospital, provided he shall review the outpatient clinic later.

(19th January 2019) The journalists Samer Za'anin and Ahmad Qaoud were severely suffocated while covering the events of the peaceful return march in Abu Safiya area east of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip.

According to investigations conducted by "MADA" field researcher, the freelance journalist Samer Saadallah Abd Al-'Ati Al-Za'anin (29 years old), married, holding an identity card number: 801285149, arrived at approximately 2:30PM, on Friday, January 19, east of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza Strip, to cover the events of the peaceful return march. He was wearing the blue vest marked "press." Immediately after his arrival, Za'anin began taking photographs of demonstrators gathered at the separation fence, on the other side of which the occupation soldiers were deployed. The soldiers were firing tear gas bombs and metal bullets and a number of demonstrators were wounded, including Ahmed Ata Mahmoud Qaoud, a journalist in East Gaza Agency, born in 1997 and, works for "Barq Gaza" network, fainted due to inhaling the gas. He was transported by ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent to the medical point, about 700 meters away from the border fence, and he received the necessary treatment and was supplied with oxygen. At approximately 4:00PM, while Za'anin was working at a distance of approximately 400 meters away from the border fence, and next to the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance staff, the Israeli soldiers fired dozens of poisonous gas bombs directly at him and the paramedics of the Palestinian Red Crescent. This resulted in severe suffocation, the other paramedics and volunteer nurses rushed to assist and treat them, Za'anin was transported by a civilian defense vehicle to the area where the tents were located, about 700 meters away, where they received the necessary help. Za'anin left to his home, but after about two hours he felt more affected by gas inhalation. He began to feel shortness of breathing and coughing all the time. At 8:00PM that evening he went to the hospital in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, where the doctors applied the inhalation of vapor for his chest and provided him with necessary treatment and he was discharged after about hour.

 

(22nd Jan. 2019) The Palestinian Intelligence Service in Nablus summoned the photographer of "Al-Najah" TV Ameer Istaita and questioned him.

According to the investigation of "MADA" researcher, Ameer Jamal Lotfi Istaita, 25 years old, a photographer in An-Najah National University TV went on Tuesday morning 22nd Jan. 2019 to the headquarters of the Palestinian intelligence in Nablus, after being summoned by the intelligence. He was detained from 8:30AM to 7:00PM in the office of the intelligence service. He was questioned about his work, his studies and his relationship with some people. He said he was a photographer and he worked under the instructions of the organization. He was released at 7:00PM but his own phone was still seized at the intelligence service

 Journalist Nidal Abu Sharbi receives treatment in an ambulance after suffering two rubber bullets in the  area of   Malaka during the coverage of the return marches

 

(25th Jan. 2019) The Intelligence Service has arrested the media student of Birzeit University, Hamza Mahmoud Ahmad Khader, from his family house, located in Tulkarem.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, a force of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, at around 2:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 25th Jan. 2019, went to the family house of the media student, Hamza Mahmoud Ahmad Khader (18) years old, student in Birzeit University. His family reside in Shwaika neighborhood, in Tulkarem. One of the Preventive Security officers searched the house without showing an official authorization. When asked by the family members about the search warrant, he replied that it is enough to receive the order through a phone call to do it. The search continued for an hour, in which a computer was seized, as well as a laptop, 5 cell phones, SIM cards, and a number of USBs the family could not identify. They asked Hamza about his ID, and after they made sure it was him, they arrested and took him to the jeep, and went to Tulkarem Intelligence headquarters.

MADA lawyer reported that he was following up with his case and defending him. on 28th Jan. 2019, a decision was issued under which the media student, Hamza Khader, shall be brought before the Public Prosecution on Tuesday corresponding 29th Jan. 2019, after 3-days of detention without a proper legal warrant.

 

 (25th Jan. 2019) The photojournalist, Hassan Al-Jedi, was injured by burns due to a gas bomb fired at him by one of the occupation soldiers while he was covering the events of the weekly return march, east of Buraij Camp, central Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Hassan Hussein Husni Al-Jedi, from Al-Nusairat camp, born on 18th March 1993, a photographer of Shams News Agency, has arrived, at around 1:30PM, on Friday, corresponding 15th Jan. 2019, to Malka, east of Buraij Camp to cover the events of the peaceful return march. He was wearing the Press helmet and vest, as well as a muzzle to protect himself from the tear gas. Upon his arrival, he started moving between the demonstrators who gathered in the area, against the (border) separating fence between Gaza Strip and Israel. At around 3:25PM, he was at a distance of 400 meters away from the separating fence, filming the demonstrators, with his back against the fence, on the other side of which the soldiers were deployed, one of the soldiers fired gas bomb directly at him. It injured the calf muscle from behind, and he felt burns. He went to the ambulance which was in the area, and it transferred him to the field medical point established in the area. The doctors found that there were burns in the palm of his hand. They gave him the necessary first aid and dressed his burns. They told him that he will be transferred to Al-Aqsa Hospital, in Deir Balah, but he refused as he felt better after receiving the aid. At around 4:30PM, he left and went home, but at around 6:00PM on the same day, he started feeling pain. He went to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where his injury was imaged. They placed a new bandage to his wound, and some burns medications. He left the hospital in an hour.

 

 (25th Jan. 2019) The journalist, Nidal Abu Sharbi, was injured by two rubber bullets while he was covering the return peaceful march taking place in Malka, eastern Gaza.

According to the investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, the journalist Nidal Fawzi Sulaiman Abu Sharbi (31 years old), from Al-Shujaia, Gaza, married, a photojournalist at Nedaa PAL Team, carrying two cameras, arrived, at around 1:30PM, on Friday, corresponding 25th Jan. 2019, to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the events of a return peaceful march, as part of the marches organized every week since March, 2018. He was wearing the vest marked “Press”, and the moment he arrived, he started taking photos of the demonstrators. At around 3:00PM, he went to film the occupation jeeps stationed along the separating border fence. He was at a distance of 100 meters away from the separating fence on the other side of which the Israeli occupation soldiers were stationed. One of the Israeli occupation soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him but did not injure him. at around 4:20PM, the Palestinian demonstrators approached the southern gate of Malka, along the border fence. Abu Sharbi was at a distance of 50 meters away from border fence, taking photos of the demonstrators. He noticed that the Israeli soldier on the other side of the fence firing rubber bullets at demonstrators his weapon was falling down from him, so he took some photos of him. Only then, the Israeli soldier standing next to the one whose weapon fell, fired two rubber bullet at Abu Sharbi, one of them injured his forehead while the other hit the camera and crashed it. Abu Sharbi fell to the ground, and fainted for five minutes. The medical staffs immediately took him by an ambulance to the field medical point at a distance of 500-700 meters away from the separating fence. He received the necessary first aid, his wound was dressed and the medical staffs described his injury as minor. He stayed there for about half an hour, then left. 

 

Journalist Mohammed al-Arbeed after injured by a tear gas bomb in the left thigh east of Jabalya

 

 


[1]  The Media Field Unit is a network that delivers courses to the journalists, it has equipment and transmits news.

[2]  The Charitable Committee for the Support of Palestine is a French Committee with a media section.