Subscribe to Mada Center
Facebook
twitter
Mada Youtube Channel
 

MADA: 117 attacks, most of which committed by Palestinian authorities, against media freedoms in Palestine during March

Ramallah -– March has witnessed a significant rise in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine as a result of a large-scale crackdown carried out by the security services in Gaza Strip in connection to covering popular demonstrations protesting against the living conditions there, in addition to the Israeli violations which continued at the same high and violent pace.

In March, the Palestinian Center has documented a total of 117 attacks against media freedoms, most of which (80 attacks) were perpetrated by Palestinians, while the Israeli occupation committed 37 attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

This is an extremely rare occurrence that the number of Palestinian attacks exceeds the Israeli occupation attacks against media freedoms. This is the first time that this number is twice as the number of Israeli attacks.

 

Palestinian Violations:

The Palestinian violations have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number and gravity during March, with 80 attacks, most of which (72 attacks) were committed in Gaza Strip, compared to 8 attacks in the West Bank.

In addition, most of the Palestinian violations monitored this month came as part of the serious attacks against media freedoms. About 60% (48 attacks out of 80 Palestinian attacks) fall under four types, which could be described as the most serious attacks against media freedoms.

The 48 most serious Palestinian attacks monitored this month included 25 cases of arrests, 11 cases of torture during detention or detention, and 10 incidents of beatings targeting journalists during their coverage of events or during their arrest. Two cases of house arrest were imposed on two journalists, a violation that has never been practiced by any Palestinian entity, noting that all of the aforementioned attacks (except for two cases of arrest and one case of torture in the West Bank) were committed by the security services of Hamas in Gaza Strip.

These attacks have affected the following female/male journalists: Hazem Nasser (arrested for 18 days by the Palestinian Intelligence Service, and subjected to severe torture in Jericho Prison), Amer Abdelhakeem Abu Arafa (arrested for ten days by the Preventive Security Service in Hebron), Hamza Jameel Hammad (arrested by the Internal Security of Gaza, twice, and he was beaten), Noor Talal Al-Najjar (arrested for hours, and her equipment were seized), Mohammad Al-Sawafiri (assaulted with batons by masked persons belonging to Hamas, Gaza, in front of his 9-years old daughter), Bilal Ahmad Khair Al-Deen (arrested for eight days by Hamas Police and subjected to severe torture), Sami Yousef Ibrahim Issa (assaulted and beaten by Hamas officers), Ahmad Nasser Sahmoud (arrested and beaten), Muein Muein Mohsen, Fahed Faisal Al-Khaldi, and Mohammad Abdelsalam Al-Ashqar (arrested and beaten, not to mention subjecting Mohsen Al-Khaldi to severe torture and humiliating practices during detention), Khaled Nabeel Younis Sulaiman (subjected to torture while summoned and questioned by the Intelligence Service in Khan Younes), Mahmoud Al-Shafei (arrested for four days during which he was tortured and beaten, and he was under house arrest for a month after he was released), Osama Al-Kahlout (arrested for three days during which he was severely beaten and subjected to torture while he was in detention which made him unable to stand on his feet, and he was taken to the hospital), Mustafa Al-Dahdouh (arrested, beaten and tortured during his arrest and detention), Izz Al-Deen Al-Mashar (assaulted and beaten by Hamas Police Officers while covering a march in Rafah), Ihab Omar Fasfous (arrested and subjected to torture and humiliation by the Internal Security as he was forced to the clean the prison toilets), Asem Shehada (arrested and assaulted while arrested), Bashar Ahmad Taleb (arrested), the media students, Amjad Riad Hals and Osama Abu Sakran (arrested for four days on the background of Facebook posts on the protests in Gaza and were subjected during their detention to practices amounting to torture), Amer Awani Ba’lousha (arrested for ten days during which he was tortured using “Shabeh” position), the Director of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) in Gaza Strip, Rafat Al-Qidra (arrested), Dr. Saleh Al-Shafei, Adviser of PBC (detained for several hours during which he was subjected to investigation, turture, and dehumanizing practices by the Internal Security Officers in Al-Naseerat City), Amro Ahmad Tabash (arrested and beaten), Ahmad Ayman Al-Hilo (arrested), Amer Abdelmuti Sultsn (arrested), Nour Al-Din Al-Kurdi (assaulted and beaten by Hamas Officers), Sameh Younis Al-Jedi (house arrest for four days).

 

Israeli Violations:

The Israeli attacks against media freedoms have increased during March. A total of 37 Israeli attacks (18 in the West Bank and 19 in Gaza Strip) were monitored and documented, compared to 19 attacks committed in February.

As usual, most of the Israeli attacks monitored in March fall under the serious attacks against journalists' lives. These attacks included 20 injuries by live, explosive and rubber bullets, and gas bombs directly fired by Israeli soldiers at the bodies of some journalists while covering field events.

These attacks have affected the following female/male journalists: Mohammad Al-Duwaik (rubber bullet in foot), Ibrahim Abu Marsa (severe suffocation), Jamal Mohammad Mansour (fragments of a gunshot in both hands), Yasser Mamdouh Al-Fadi (gunshot through the right leg – causing an entry and exit), Hatem Saad Amr (gas bomb in the upper thigh), Hussam Saleh Al-Adlouni (gas bomb in the left thigh), Ayat Arqawi (metal bullet in the left leg), Thaer Abu Rayash (gas bomb in the neck and head), Hashem Al-Soudi (gunshot through the left thigh injuring the right knee), Ismail Abu Amr (gas bomb in the leg), Mahmoud Allouh (fragments in the back), Ahmad Allouh (bruises and fainting due to bombing of an Israeli drone), Mohammad Sameeh Abu Sultan (gunshot fragment in the chest), Mohammad abu Hayya (rubber bullet in the uppen right thigh), Mohammad Balour (rubber bullet in the left thigh), Alaa Abdelfattah Al-Namla (gas bomb destroyed the tripod and injured the left leg joint), Mohammad Omar Qindeel (gas bomb in the right thigh), Mahmoud Fawzi Abdelghani (gas bomb in the mouth and hand), Bilal Al-Darbi (gas bomb in the right side of the head near the eye), Ali Jadallah (fragments of a gunshot in the hand), in addition to arresting Ahmad Al-Safadi, the Director of Elia Media Agency, in Jerusalem,, by the Occupation Police, and another number of prohibitive violations and attacks which affected another group of journalists.

On the other hand, the Israeli occupation authorities continued to arrest the photographer of "Anatolia" Turkish Agency, Mustafa Al-Kharouf, about two and a half months ago in preparation for his deportation from Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, claiming not to have a residence or reunion with his family.

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has refused to grant Al-Kharouf a residency in the city where he has been living with his family for nearly 20 years (since he returned as a child with his family). His wife and child also have a residency in Jerusalem.

The Israeli occupation authorities invoke the existence of a "confidential security file" for not granting him a reunion with his family and his wife throughout this period, although they have never taken any security or criminal action against Al-Kharouf, and have not provided justification for the repeated refusal to grant him a reunion with his family, even though he does not hold any other nationality or residence in any other country. His wife, Tammam, says: "We are sure that Mustafa has no charge of belonging to political parties, so the biggest doubt is that the reason for this is his job as a press photographer only."

It should be noted that Al-Kharouf was arrested on 22nd Jan. 2019, one day after he submitted a challenge against the refusal of the Israeli Ministry of Interior to grant him residency, and he is still arrested.

 

Details of Violations:

(1st of March) The journalist, Mohammad Al-Dwaik, was injured by a rubber bullet while covering the peaceful return march, east of Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Mohammad Wael Abdeljawad Al-Duwaik, (28 years old), a photographer of “Etihad Press” Agency, arrived at around 3:00PM, on Friday, corresponding 1st March, 2019, to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the events of the peaceful return march, organized every Friday, at the separating fence, in the press uniform, carrying a camera. At approximately 3:00PM, wearing the press uniform, carrying his own cameras, and when a witness saw the soldiers stationed on the other side of the border fence firing gunshots and rubber bullets and tear gas bombs at the demonstrators. Al-Dwaik stopped about 250 meters away from the fence to film the demonstrators and events. While he was there, he was injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the right foot. He fell to the ground while paramedics rushed towards him. They found that he was by rubber bullet; they dressed the injury and helped to leave the location and return home.

 

(3rd March) The Palestinian Intelligence Service has arrested the journalist Hazem Nasser, from his house, located in Iktaba, Tulkarem, and transferred him to Jericho Prison where he stayed for 19 days during which he was cruelly tortured.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, at around 2:00AM, on Sunday 3rd March, 2019, and while Hazem Imad Hassan Nasser, born on 4th May 1990, holding ID. Card No. (852339761), a photographer of An-Najah TV, was sleeping at his family home, located in Iktaba, north/east Tulkarem, a force of the Palestinian National Security officers (in their military uniform) with other officers in the civil clothing, raided the house and introduced themselves as officers of the Palestinian Intelligence Service. Some of them were masked, they searched the house and seized the cell phones of Hazem, asked him about the cameras, and he informed them they were at the TV Office in Nablus. They arrested him and took him in a vehicle of H1, used by the Intelligence Service, to the headquarters of the General Intelligence in Tulkarem. While he was being arrested, at the house gate, he was beaten by hand. One of the National Security Officers addressed him “I know you …… you came a lot here, and were arrested”. At Tulkarem Intelligence headquarters, he was taken to an office inside of which there was a table and chair. He remained in detention until 7:00AM, when he was transferred to the Military Medical Services Headquarters, where the doctor examined him, and asked him to run some examinations but they were not done, and he was taken back to the same room at the Intelligence headquarters. At 12:30PM, one of the Intelligence officers gave him his belongings, and took him to a Getz, gray-civil vehicle. He was taken with four persons in civil clothing to Jericho Investigation Center, where they arrived at 2:00PM, on Sunday, 3rd March 2019. The moment the vehicle entered the Center’s gate, two persons appeared and handcuffed Hazem with metal handcuffs, covered his head, and took him to solitary confinement. He found later that it is located on the opposite side of the Doctor’s office, at the Central Investigation Headquarters of the General Palestinian Intelligence Service. After about half an hour, with his head covered, he was taken from the cell to someone who introduced himself as “Abu Abdullah”, the Director of the Headquarters. He asked him about his relation with Hamas and his activity with the same, but Hazem denied any such relation or activity. Only then, Abu Abdullah removed the cover off Hazem’s head, and the investigator threatened him with speaking about his relation and activity with Hamas, especially during the events which accompanied the death of Ashraf Na’alwa, otherwise he would be tortured, and that "eventually, he will speak". He told him that there is nothing to say, and that investigation session lasted about an hour and then he was returned to the cell. At Al-Maghreb, he was taken back to the same office of "Abu Abdullah", accompanied by two persons he saw in the first time, and Abu Abdullah asked the same questions to him “how do you have a press card and you do not hold a press degree”. He continued questioning him this time for half an hour, and then returned him to the same cell and he was handcuffed from the back all the time. At around 12:00 midnight, on Sunday/Monday, they took him back again to the Administration’s Office, but Abu Abdullah was not there. Instead, two persons he did not know were there. They addressed each other with “Abu Mohammad”. They ordered him to turn against the wall, raise his hands. This lasted until 2:00AM, on Monday, and then they returned him to cell No. 3, where there was no mattress or blanket. He sat on the ground, and after two hours, they brought him a mattress and blanket. He slept until 10:00AM, when they came to his cell and transferred him to Jericho Prosecution Office, handcuffed from the front. He was taken in a white Savana, and they put him in the back closed trunk. In the Prosecution’s Office, he was informed that he was accused of possessing and trading weapons, but Hazem denied this and asked to speak to a lawyer. The prosecution extended his detention for 24 hours and then returned him to Jericho's intelligence headquarters, where he arrived at 2:00PM, and he was taken to Cell No. 3, again, without a mattress or blanket. At about 10:00PM, he was transferred back to the Administration Office, and there was "Abu Abdullah" and another person. They ordered him to take off his shoes, and to distance his legs apart, raise his hands high. “they brought a black hose, beaten my legs, particularly, my knees, and my hands while they were lifted high for an hour and a half” while they were questioning him about his relation and activity with Hamas, especially, during the period when Ashraf Na’alwa died. They also asked him about his participation in a march that took place in Shweika Neighborhood, and then continued towards Na’alwa’s house. He was also questioned about going with a group of persons from Shweika to Bushkar’s family house in Askar Camp, where Na’alwa died. After the investigation session, they returned him to Cell (No. 3). At about 1:00AM, on Tuesday, corresponding 5th March 2019, he was transferred again to the Administration Office, and Abu Abdullah was not there, instead, three persons were there (Hazem refused to give their description). They addressed him “come on speak … save yourself”, but he replied that he already said everything, only then, they handcuffed him from the back, and took him inside the toilets, where they hanged him on the window for fifteen minutes and he kept screaming in pain, until someone came and claimed that he came for ablution, put him down and transferred him to another office, and again questioned him about Hamas and his activity in it, as well as his relation with Al-Aqsa and Palestine Today TVs, and how to receives his salary, and who recommended him to work for Palestine Today TV, and then he was returned to the cell. At approximately 09:00AM, on Tuesday, 5th March 2019, he was transferred to the headquarters of Jericho Prosecution Office. He met with the lawyer of MADA, Firas Karajeh, who was defending him, and attended the interrogation of the prosecution. The journalist Nasser denied the charges against him, specifically those related to weapon and his relationship with Hamas. He informed the Public Prosecution that he was subjected to “Shabeh” and beating. The Prosecution asked him “have you ever browsed a weapons-website" but he denied that and said that it was not of his interests, and that his only weapon is his camera. He requested not to be arrested in accordance with an agreement between the Syndicate of Journalists and the Public Prosecution. He informed the Public Prosecution that he was on a food strike since the first day of his arrest. The Prosecution informed him that it has contacted the Syndicate and notified the later that “you were under arrest for the charge of weapon possession” and that it will go through his file and request evidences from Tulkarem Prosecution Office, and that it ordered (Jericho Prosecution Office) to extend his detention for another 48 hours. Hazem was taken back to the Intelligence investigation headquarters, and the news of his torture and “Shabeh” has spread. Abu Abdullah requested him to his office, and asked who has beaten him. Hazem replied “it happened right in front of you and in your presence” so he asked him “who hanged you?” and Hazem told him that “it happened in your absence yesterday”. The interrogator Abu Abdullah said to him, "This is not beating or hanging, you will experience more difficult days …… I will show you what is beating or hanging, and you will confess, we have the evidences and proofs” and then they took him back to the cell. Then an officer from Tulkarem (who works at the same headquarters – Hazem refused to tell his name) took him to an office and asked him what had happened, told him that he does not accept torture and beatings, and that Hazem must stop his strike, and he will allow him to contact his family, and transfer him to the section instead of the cell. Hazem approved, ended his strike, and contacted his family who happened to be in Jericho and indeed they visited for ten minutes, in the presence of intelligence officers, and he informed that he was fine and he was transferred to the section. At around 2:00PM, on Saturday, 9th March 2019, he was taken to the Administration’s Office, where he was asked to unlock his cell phones, open his Facebook Page, but he refused, which is why someone beaten his face and addressed him “we’re actually spoiling you, but you’re pushing it”. They took him to a cell instead of a section, with no mattress or blanket, where he stayed until the following morning (Sunday, 10th March, 2019) until they brought him a mattress and blanket. On the same day, Sunday, at Al-Isha Prayer, they took him to the investigation room, and someone addressed him “I will draw you a sheep or goat on the wall, bring you a bucket, and you will milk it”. He also ordered him to count the tiles of the room and the squares inside each tile. He assaulted him when he refused to do so, handcuffed his hands to the back and took him to the toilet, hanged him to the window. He deliberately tied his hand with his shoulders closer to each other which increased his pain. He remained hanged for an hour screaming in pain, during which he was beaten in the face and shoulders. He was also asked to talk and disclose the secret code of his cell phones “you will speak …… come on now, talk, what are the secret passwords of your cell phones and Facebook…?? You will open them”. After one hour of being hanged, another person came and put him down, held Hazem’s hands and put them under water, as he could not lift them, because they were blue and swollen. Then he took him to the Administration Office again, where the Deputy Director, Abu Rakan, asked to be left alone with Hazem. So the others left, and he asked Hazem to unlock his cell phone and Facebook page, but the later denied, and then someone else came and inquired whether Hazem responded but Abu Rakan replied that he did not. Thus, again, he was taken and tortured in “Shabeh” position for fifteen minutes. After that he was taken to one of the offices, and he was asked several questions in connection to press work and transmitting news. This continued until dawn (Monday, 11th March 2019). His questioning and investigation lasted until Thursday, 14th March 2019, as he was informed that his family will visit him and they asked him not to disclose any information, especially about beating and torture. When his family came to visit, Abu Rakan stayed with them, and the visit lasted for 10 minutes, during which Hazem did not disclose anything of the beatings or torture he was subjected to. Then he was transferred to the cell and stayed until Al-Isha Prayers when they took him to one of the offices, where three persons assaulted him with their feet and hands all over his body. This lasted for half an hour, and then he returned to the cell. On Friday, 15th March 2019, he was not questioned or beaten. On Saturday evening, 16th March, 2019 approximately around Al-Isha Prayers, he was taken to the investigation room where an investigator asked him to postpone his wedding scheduled in July, this year, because he will be detained until after that scheduled date. He was questioned and beaten on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. He was visited by Abu Yaman (believed to be Majed Faraj representative, the director general of intelligence in the West Bank) and an officer from Ramallah, who had sat with him when he was summoned to the intelligence of Um Al-Sharayet. He addressed him threatening “you have an hour starting from now to confess and save yourself otherwise you will stay here one year and no one will know about you”. One Wednesday, 20th March, Hazem was released after paying a bail of 500 JD (until the case is dismissed). The execution of his release was delayed until Thursday 21st March due to the measures taken. His cell phones and his card were returned to him at the time of his release at the second hour of the day after he spent 19 days in detention.

 

(4th March) The Preventive Security Service has arrested Amer Abdelhakeem Abu Arafa after raiding his house located in Hebron, and transferred him to the Preventive Headquarters in Ramallah.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the Preventive Security Service has arrested the journalist, Amer Abdalhakeem Abu Arafa (33 years old), married, a reporter of Shihab News Agency, on Monday evening, corresponding 4th March 2019, while he was alone at his house located in a residential building, near Al-Sharawi square, in the Western Area of Hebron, at around 11:00PM, when 30 officers of the Preventive Security Service raided the house. The moment the force raided the house, and Amer opened the door to them, the officers gathered in the living room in the middle of the house. One of them asked Amer “where is your wife?” and he replied that she was visiting her family. The officer informed him that they want to search the apartment. Amer requested to see an authorization of the prosecution to do so. The officer showed him the prosecution search warrant under which they are authorized to search the house and look for “inciting materials or devices”. The officers started spreading in the house rooms, while Amer accompanied them to his bedroom where his office was. They started searching the room, seized two Apple Laptops, one for his wife, and they also seized a Macintosh, a gas mask, press vest, printer, three cameras, camera lenses, a tablet for his kid Obaida, flash USB with his marriage video stored on it, a set of papers, they took all of these and put them in the living room. One of the officers tried to seize the photo album of Amer’s wedding; however, he was able to take it from them, while one of the security officers took a look to it after an argument that Amer followed his orders, but did not allow them to take it. The search inside the house continued for an hour, and they searched the entire house rooms, as one of the officers messed up the rooms and kitchens. At around 12:00 midnight, before they exit the house, one of the officers seized Amer’s (Samsung) cell phone, handcuffed his hands with metal straps, without showing him any arrest authorization issued by the Public Prosecution. They took him out of the apartment, and closed the doors, took him to the street where his brother, Anan (28 years old), was standing out there, and he was prevented by the officers to come up to the apartment of Amer. He asked them to take the key of his brother’s apartment, and Amer was taken to one of the four vehicles of the Service which were parked in front of the house, and they transferred him to their headquarters in the City. The force arrived the headquarters at 12:10 AM, at dawn, on 5th March 2019, Amer was taken to a room accompanied by one of the Service Officers, were all his belongings seized from the house were registered on a paper and he was asked to sign it. Amer requested from one of the Service officers a copy of the seizures, but the later rejected. After that, Amer was taken to a cell in the ground floor, with an area of 190cm*1m, with a mattress and blanker in it, no stinky toilet smell, and dim light. Without being medically examined, he stayed in the cell until 12:00PM of Tuesday, 5th March 2019, when one of the Service Security Officers came to Amer’s cell and asked for the passwords of his and his wife’s laptops, as well as his password to the Facebook account. Amer said he would not follow these orders without a court’s decision, and not a prosecution’s decision. The Security Officer left, and few minutes later, another security officer came to the cell, took Amer out, handcuffed his hands with metals straps, and then took him to a Volkswagen Caravelle of the Preventive Security Service with two other detainees, and four other security officers. They also brought all of the house belongings and out them inside the vehicle, to be transferred to the Preventive Security headquarters in Betunia, Ramallah, where he arrived at 3:00PM. He was taken to a room, and his personal belongings were taken (ring, watch, hat, jacket) and then he was taken to the Doctor’s room in the headquarters. He was medically examined and the doctor informed him that he has sinus congestion, and back pain, but the Doctor did not care much about this, and before Amer was taken from the Doctor’s room, he informed him that he was on water and food strike from that moment. The Security officer took Amer to Cell No. (2), where there was a mattress, blanket and toilet. He stayed there without having any meal until 10:00AM on the following morning (Wednesday, 6th March, 2019). Then Amer was taken and handcuffed to Ramallah Magistrate Court, where he entered a waiting room, until 3:00PM, and then he was taken to the prosecutor’s room, accompanied with his lawyer, Mohannad Karaja. The prosecutor told Amer that there was accused by Hebron Magistrate Court with the charge of “defamation and slander against the Palestinian Authority” according to the Cybercrimes Law. The prosecutor told him that if it was to him, he would accuse him with four charges instead of one. The lawyer Karaja requested the Public Prosecution Office to release the journalist Amer, as he is accused with this charge in connection to his work in the field of press. However, the prosecutor issued a decision of extending the detention of Amer for another 24 hours for investigation purposes, without considering the period of his detention as of the moment he was arrested. Before Amer exited the office of the prosecutor, Amer informed him that he was on a water and food strike, and the prosecutor registered this note. At around 4:00PM, Amer was taken back to the Preventive Security headquarters in Betunia, to the same cell, and few minutes later, the jailer brought him food, however Amer refused to take it. At around 10:00PM, Amer was taken from his cell to the Investigation Director’s Room whom the jailer introduced as (Abu Falastin). The investigator asked Amer to sit down on a chair, and start talking about his social life, and his work for Shihab News Agency. The Director asked Amer to end his strik because in this way he is challenging the Service. The investigation session lasted until 12:00 midnight, and no charge was pressed to him by the investigation director. After that, the jailer took Amer to his cell, where he stayed until 8:00AM on the following morning (Thursday, 7th March, 2019), when he was taken to Ramallah Magistrate Court without handcuffing his hands. Signs of exhaustion and thirsty were evident on him and so the signs of strike. In Ramallah Magistrate Court, Amer was taken to the waiting hall where he stayed until 3:00PM, and then he was taken to the courtroom. The judge who was there (Ahmad Al-Ashqar) whom Amer told that he was on a strike, requested Amer to sit down, and brought lawyer Mohannad Karaja. The Prosecution Office requested to extend his detention for 15 days, for the same charge pressed against him, but the judge issued a decision after the defense of the lawyer to extend the detention for three days only, provided the prosecutor has to bring the investigation file and the medical file of Amer to the next hearing when the detention period expires. Then Amer was taken back to the Preventive headquarters, to the same cell until 8:00PM, when he was taken to a room with five persons inside, including two investigators. In this hearing, the investigators asked Amer to give them the password of all his personal devices and his Facebook account, but he insisted that he will not until he sees a court’s decision. The hearing lasted for about an hour on this topic, and then he was returned to the same cell. He stayed there until 8:00PM, on the following day (Friday, 8th March 2019), the Doctor came to the cell and measured the pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar, and informed Amer that his state of health is regressing and he has to end his strike, and then the doctor left directly. Few minutes later, Amer was taken by the jailer to the Investigation director’s office (Abu Falastin). The investigator tried to convince Amer to end his strike, and that the case he is brought for has ended, but Amer refused to respond, and he was taken back again to his cell. At around 10:00PM, Amer was taken again to the same investigation room, where the investigator asked him to contact his wife and that he will transfer him to a group arrest room, to end his strike. After an hour of talking, Amer had a cup of yogurt, and then he was transferred from the investigation room to the group arrest room, where he stayed until Sunday (10th March 2019). During the morning hours, he was taken to Ramallah Magistrate Court, and detained in the waiting room until 3:00PM, then he was brought before the Magistrate Judge, who did not introduce himself, in the presence of the lawyer, Mohannad Karaja. In this session, the prosecution office did not present the investigation file or the medical file. But rather, requested 15 days of extension. After that, Amer was taken to the group arrest room inside the Preventive Security headquarters, where he stayed until Thursday, (14th March 2019), when one of the jailers came to him at around 11:30AM, and informed him that there was a decision of release for him. He took him to the waiting room where he waited for few minutes, gave him back his belongings except for this seized from his house. Amer asked the jailer to bring the rest of the seized belongings, but the investigator, Abu Falastin came and informed him they were in the Preventive Security Service headquarters located in Hebron, and that he has to come back to the headquarters again on Sunday, 17th March 2019, to recover them. After he was released, Amer went on the scheduled day to the Preventive Security headquarters in Hebron, and waited there from 9:00AM until 10:30AM. He was informed by one of the guards that the person he has to meet was in a meeting and he will be contacted later. He left the headquarters without recovering any of the seized belongings.

 

(8th March) The journalist Ibrahim Abu Marsa suffered severe suffocation while he was covering the events of the peaceful march, east of Jabalia Camp, north Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Ibrahim Nasser Hussein Abu Marsa, (28 years old), from Jabalia, north Gaza Strip, a field reporter of Sawt Al-Watan Radio, a volunteer photographer at the Public Relations & Media Department in Palestine Red Crescent, arrived at around 3:00PM, on Friday, 8th March 2019, to the separating fence, east of Jabalia campy, to cover the events of the return peaceful march, and he was wearing Palestine Red Crescent Uniform since he has been a volunteer photographer for a year. He went to document the violations of the occupation and the injuries of the demonstrators caused by the Israeli soldiers. Once he arrived to the border area, he witnessed the Israeli soldiers stationed on the other side of the separating fence shooting gas bombs, live and rubber bullets heavily at the demonstrators. While he was at a distance of 150 meters away, noticed the participation of great number of women in the demonstration which coincided with the International Women’s Day. The demonstrators were setting tires on fire and launching balloons, while the soldiers were targeting whoever attempts to approach the separating fence. Abu Marsa was filming and providing Sawt Al-Watan FM 105 with live messages of what was happening. At around 5:30PM, while he was at a distance of 100 meters away from the border separating fence, covering the events and the occupation soldiers who were firing gas bombs at the medical staff where he was located, he was injured and suffered severe suffocation, he passed out, and fell to the ground. He could not regain consciousness until he was taken to the field medical point at 500-700 meters away from the separating fence, where he received the treatment, and after he stayed for 15 minutes there, he left.

 

(8th March) The photojournalist, Sari Jamal Mohammad Mansour, was injured by gunshot fragments in both hands while he was covering the events of the peaceful return march, east of Bureij Camp.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Sari Jamal Mohammad Mansour, 27 years old, from Bureij Camp, a freelance journalist, has arrived at around 2:30PM, on Friday, 8th March 2019, to Al-Awda Camp, located east of Bureij, Gaza Strip, to cover the events of the weekly return march, and he was wearing the PRESS helmet and vest. The soldiers were heavily firing gunshots at the demonstrators which resulted in the injury of several demonstrators. At around 3:30PM, while Sari Mansour was at a distance of 150 meters away from the separating fence on the other side of which the soldiers were deployed, filming the events behind the demonstrators, one of the soldiers fired live bullets which resulted in the injury of one of the demonstrators, while Mansour was injured by fragments in both hands, when he was close to the paramedics who rushed and transferred him to Al-Aqsa Martys Hospital, where he arrived at 4:30PM. The doctors found that a huge injury was in his left hand as a result of his injury with explosive bullet fragments and small wounds in his right hand. His hand was imaged, and his left hand was stitched with four stitches, and he was discharged.

 

(8th March) Both journalists, Yasser Mamdouh Al-Qadi and Hatem Saadi Omar, were injured by the occupation bullets while they were covering the events of the return peaceful march, east of Khuza’a, in Khan Younes.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Yasser Mamdouh Al-Qadi, 36 years old, a photojournalist of Kanaan News Agency, at around 3:00PM, on 8th March 2019, went to the separating fence area, east of Khuza’a, Khan Younes, to cover the events of the peaceful return march, along with his colleagues of the Agency. He was carrying a Canon 7D, a cell phone, and wearing the PRESS vest. He was at a distance of 100 meters away from “Jakar Street”, and he started taking photos of the demonstrators who gathered in the location, live transmitting what was happening through Facebook. The Israeli occupation forces, stationed on the other side of the separating fence, were heavily firing gas bombs at the demonstrators. He had to move to the back, until he stopped at a distance of 150 meters away from Jakr Street, near the fence, because he suffered suffocation. He stood with one of his coworkers; they talked while they were taking photos. At around 4:00PM, Yasser was injured by a gunshot in his right leg, causing an entry and exit, he fell to the ground, the paramedics rushed to his location, transferred him by an ambulance to the field hospital, located 700 meters to the West of the Camp, where he received the first aid. After 15 minutes, he was taken to the Gaza European Hospital, east of Khan Younes, where he arrived at around 4:30. He underwent an operation that took two hours; the injury was cleaned and dressed. He was discharged from the operation room at around 7:00PM, he was still under anesthesia until the following morning (9th March, 2019). Until this moment, he is still in the hospital, he needs another surgery in which his wound has to be stitched and dressed as the doctor supervising his case decided.

In the east of Khuza'a, Hatem Saadi Omar, 39 years old, a photojournalist of Xinhua, he arrived in the area wearing a "Press" shield and carrying a Canon 5D camera to cover the peaceful return march of the day (8th March 2019). While filming the events, located about 50 meters away from the fence on the other side of which the Israeli soldiers were deployed, firing dozens of tear gas and live bullets at the demonstrators, he was injured by a gas bomb in the upper thigh after hitting the ground, smashing the screen of his cell phone, which was in his pocket.

 

(8th March) The photographer, Hussam Saleh Ahmad Al-Adlouni, (31 years old), a freelance journalist, was injured by a gas bomb fired at him by one of the occupation soldiers while he was covering the events of the return peaceful marches, east of Khan Younes, southern Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Hussam Saleh Ahmad Al-Adlouni (31 years old), from Khan Younes, a freelance journalist, has arrived at around 3:30PM, on Friday, (8th March 2019), carrying his camera, to Al-Awda Camp, located in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younes, to cover the events of the return marches, organized every Friday, since they were launched on the 30th March 2018. The moment he arrived, he started taking photos, while he was hundreds of meters away from the demonstrators, who were dozens of meters away from the separating border fence. On the opposite side, the occupation soldiers were firing gas bombs and gunshots at the Palestinian demonstrators, which led to the injuries of a number of demonstrators, some of whom were injured with live bullets. At around 4:15PM, while Al-Adlouni was standing with a group of his colleagues, 50 meters away from the demonstrators who were approaching towards the separating fence. He was injured in his left thigh fired at him by one of the soldiers. Immediately, he was transferred to the field hospital, located in that area, and then to the European Hospital in Khan Younes. After medical diagnosis, it was found that he suffered rupture in the thigh muscle, and burns in the place of injury. He received the necessary treatment, stayed in the hospital for several hours under observations, and was discharged at around 7:30 on the same day. Later, Al-Adlouni started suffering from severe infection, the doctors informed him that he might need a surgery to open and clean the wound, if he does not respond to the medications described to him.

 

(8th March) The photojournalist, Ayat Arqawi, was injured by a rubber bullet fired at her by one of the occupation soldiers while she was covering a demonstration in Beit Sera, Ramallah.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Ayat Khaled Arqawi (28 years old), a photojournalist who worked for APA Agency, has went on Friday, 8th March 2019, to Beit Sera, western Ramallah, to cover the march called for by the national and Islamic forces in the village, to request the recovery of the dead body of both, Ameer Mahmoud Juma Darraj from Kharbatha Al-Mesbah, and Yousef Raed Mohammad Sulaiman Anqawi, from Beit Sera. They were shot dead by the occupation forces on the 4th of March 2019, near Kufr Neima, western Ramallah, while they were going to their work at dawn, and their dead bodies were seized. At 1:00PM, the march, which included 200 citizens, was launched in front of Beit Sera Mosque, and continued towards the wall where it arrived at around 1:30PM. Some demonstrators started removing the barbed wires off the wall, and in the meantime, an occupation force arrived and the soldiers started firing live bullets, rubber bullets, and tear gas bombs directly at the demonstrators and journalists. At about 2:00AM, the army broke into Beit Sera, where clashes broke out adjacent to the wall. While Arqawi was filming the events, one of the soldiers fired a rubber-coated metal bullet towards her in the left leg / below the knee. She was wearing the PRESS vest at a distance of about 100 meters away from the soldiers. Arqawi was taken to the Red Crescent vehicle that was in the area and was treated in the field.

 

(10th March) The security officers in Gaza have arrested the journalist Hamza Jameel Hammad while he was with a group of young men in Jihad Al-Arabeed’s house, northern Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, a force of the security officers belonging to Hamas, Gaza, has raided, on Sunday, corresponding 10th March 2019, Jihad Al-Arabeed’s house, located in Al-Alami area, northern Gaza, and arrested the journalist, Hamza Jameel Ibrahim Hammad, Watan Radio reporter, who was with a group of young men, (12 young man) in the house. They were all transferred to the Investigations Center in Jabalia military camp, where he (and others) was assaulted by security officers by beating with hands. Hammad was subjected to investigation, and then taken to a cell. On the following day, he was questioned again in connection to the “people’s movement” promoted through his Facebook page. They took his statement, and he was filmed, and accused of “distrupting the order”, and he was taken back to the cell. Suddenly, the Internal Security officers arrived to the investigations headquarters, and all the procedures were suspended and Hammad was taken to the Internal Security headquarters in the education area in north Gaza Strip. At around 1:00PM, (Monday, 11th March 2019), the Internal Security officers assaulted the journalist, Hamza Hammad, by beating, and he subjected to the investigation again and was questioned about the nature of his meetings when he was arrested, and the posts he publishes on his Facebook about calling the popular movement “that we want to live”. On the following day, (Tuesday, 12th March), Hamza Hammad was temporarily released provided he shall turn himself in on Wednesday morning (13th March 2019) again to the Security. But after he was transferred to the Indonesian Hospital due to exhaustion, the doctors recommended him to have rest for 48 hours; however, the security officers called his family, and threatened him that if he did not come to turn himself in they will send a force to arrest him. At about 4:00PM, on Wednesday, he turned himself in to the security, and asked him to hand over his cell phone, and to disclose his personal Facebook account. He remained in detention until Thursday, 14 March 2019, when he was released. On Sunday (17th March 2019) he received a notification under which he was ordered to turn of himself in to the internal security, so he contacted with the spokesman of the Interior, Mr. Iyad Albzm and explained his health condition and the state of fatigue he was suffering, so as not to be detained again. However, on the following day, he received another notification from the Internal Security under which he was ordered to turn himself in. At around 6:00PM, on Monday, corresponding 18th March 2019, he went and turned himself in, and he was questioned for fifteen minutes about events he has taken part in, and comments he posted on his Facebook about the rising prices and living condition in Gaza. He was detained for three days, and released on Thursday, 21st March 2019, provided he shall turn himself in on Saturday, 23rd March, 2019. Indeed, he turned himself in at around 9:00AM, on Saturday, 23rd March 2019, and remained in detention until 6:00PM. They asked him to turn himself in again on the following day. In the evening hours, it was announced that the problem of the detainees was solved and they informed him that his file was closed. On Thursday, 28th March 2019, they gave him back his cell phone which was seized.

 

(11th March) A number of persons masked with covers of “Hamas” assaulted the journalist Mohammad Al-Sawafiri, after he received threats for his posts on the "popular movement" protesting against the living conditions in Gaza Strip, and the journalist Ayman Al-Alul received threats to harm his son as well.

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, Mohammad Asaad Rasheed Al-Sawafiri, (34 years old), married, a reporter of Al-Kufiya TV, has received on the 15th March, 2019, through his Facebook, “a threat to his life and to his family after he posted on his own page "a poor policeman assaults a poor citizen so that the first demands the right of the second”, and a person called “Abu Al-Mutasem” commented “just stay out of this completely, so that you can still be able to walk on your legs … understood?!”. On the following morning, 16th March, Al-Sawafiri published a post condemning the threat of “Abu Al-Mutasem”. At about 12:00 midnight (16/17-March-2019), his nine-year-old daughter (Kinda) went to buy from a supermarket near his house in Al-Galaa, in Gaza City. He was attacked by a group of masked persons who were wearing a green band, marked “Hamas: the Islamic Resistance Movement", and they beaten him, and told him to stop posting against Hamas government in Gaza. His daughter panicked, and was wounded in her face and nose after she fell to the ground, while he was injured with bruises in his face, hands, and legs. On 19th March, Al-Sawafiri received a phone call threatening him “if you are one of them, you will go to them, therefore avoid making any disruption”. On the same day, at around 10:00PM, he received another call addressing him “listen to Abu Al-Mutasem because you are a good man”. After he was threatened, Al-Sawafiri posted “from now on, I will not talk about politics, that’s it!” so that he can avoid any harm that may be caused to him or any of his family members.

On the other hand, Ayman Mustafa Ghazi Al-Aloul, (47 years old), a news producer of Al-Ghad TV, in Eygpt, as he lives there, was subjected to threatening on 22nd March, through his Facebook messenger, by an anonymous person, who informed him that he will endanger the life of his son “Omar” because of his Facebook posts criticizing the arrests of the young men suspected of calling for the movement #we want to live, addressing him “without saying too much, I just to advise you to be quite for your own good, otherwise we will make you quit and not using a good way, no one wishes to see his son beaten and assaulted, I believe you understand me, may Allah protect your son Omar”. In addition to threatening him through Messenger, his son Omar received a call asking him to tell his father to "stop criticizing Hamas government in Gaza" addressing him: "say hello to your father and ask him to be quite, or I will make him mourn on you”.

The journalist Al-Aloul was subjected in 2018 to threat via a message on Messenger from a person named Yousef Al-Jamjoom. He addressed him: "Hajj Ayman, you have to be respectful, otherwise Omar will not sleep in the house tonight, this clear, try not to listen to us, and you will not be able to reach Omar’s phone, I believe you can understand”. 

 

(12th March) The Jerusalemites opened Bab Al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy) after it was illegally closed for more than 16 years. As a result, the occupation forces started arresting dozens of Jerusalemites and citizens in the area accusing them of taking part in opening the Gate. Not to mention, they have banished more than 140 Jerusalemites from Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented the press agencies from covering any event. They even assaulted them as what happened after the fire of an Israeli Police Center, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, at around 1:30, on Tuesday, 12th March 2019, which is why the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque were closed in the face of prayers and citizens. At 5:00PM, in the area of the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahma Gate, near Bab Al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate), the occupation forces have arrested a group of journalists and prevented them to be in the area. They pushed some of them violently, and assaulted them. As in the case of the photographer of Al-Arz for Media Production, Firas Abdullah Al-Hindawi (28 years old) who fell to the ground after he was assaulted by security officers using their guns. He was also banished and prevented to approach the area between Bab Al-Rahma and the main street (Bab Al-Asbat) while he was filming the repressions against the citizens for Al-Mayadeen TV. This resulted in his injury with bruises around his body, especially in the back and feet. On the following day, Wednesday (13th March 2019) he went to a medical center to received treatment. 

 

(13th March) Hamas police officers have arrested the freelance journalist, Bilal Ahmad Mohammad Khair Al-Deen, on the background of posting on his Facebook to call for participation in the movement of #we want to live, protesting against the rising prices and taxes.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, while Bilal Ahmad Mohammad Khair Al-Deen, (31 years old), single man, freelance journalist, was, at around 4:00PM, on Wednesday, 13th March 2019, crossing the street in Tal Al-Sultan, Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, he was arrested by someone in a civil vehicle and then he was taken to another vehicle “h1” of the Internal Security Service, which was parked in the same location, and it transferred him to the headquarters of the Internal Security Service. When he arrived, his cell phone was seized and he was assaulted and beaten. He was detained in a small room until 10:00AM on the following day, Thursday, 14th March 2019. He was questioned under cruel and offensive circumstances. During investigation, he was beaten all over his body, and his head was stroked against the wall several times, not to mention that he was called with profanity and bad names. He was questioned repeatedly on the person in charge of the movement, the parties calling to the same, the persons he works with, and the mechanism of organizing the movement. After about two hours, he was released but his cell phone was still seized and he was asked to come back to the headquarters at 9:00AM on Sunday (17th March 2019). On this day, he went to the headquarters, where he was again questioned and charged with inciting, disrupting public security, opposing public policies, communicating with outsiders and abusing technology. At around 6:00PM, the investigation was finished with him, he was taken to the solitary confinement until 3:00AA, at dawn, on Monday 18th March 2019, when he was taken to another bigger cell. At around 10:00AM, he was blindfolded with Fateh band, and taken to the investigation room, where he was beaten and assaulted by a number of persons all around his body, while he was sitting in a squatting position, with hands up. His head was also banged against the wall more than once, and the investigation continued with him about the same charges. At around 6:00PM, the investigation was completed with him and he was transferred to the cell. At about 11:00AM, on Tuesday, 19th March 2019, a committee of the military prosecution met him, and decided to extend his detention for 15 days on remand for the charge of “fighting public policies in violation of Article 179 of the Revolutionary Penal Code”. While he was before the committee, the members of the committee saw pictures of his mother on his cell phone, and when objected, they assaulted him and took him back to the cell. On the following day (Wednesday, 20th March 2019), he was taken to a cell where a number of prisoners were transferred on a criminal background (addiction, drug trafficking and theft). At approximately 01:00PM on Thursday 21st March 2019, he was released following pressure and intervention from the national and Islamic forces and the Journalists Syndicate. Provided he shall come back on Sunday 27th March 2019. He indeed went to the security headquarters and upon his arrival he was again questioned and at about 4:00 PM he was released.

 

(13th March) The occupation army detained the photojournalist Amer Al-Shaloudi for an hour at Tel Rumeida checkpoint, central Hebron, while he was filming clashes that took place in the area.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Amer Mohammad Al-Shaloudi, (39 years old), a freelance photographer, has arrived at around 4:30PM, on Wednesday, 13th March 2019, to Bab Al-Zawiya, central Hebron, to cover clashes. When he arrived, Amer started filming while he was at a distance of 70 meters away from Tel Rumeida checkpoint, and he was wearing the PRESS vest. The Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas bombs at the young men. An officer approached Amer, spoke to him in Hebrew, which he did not understand. Amer asked him to speak with him in Arabic. So the officer took him to the Tel Rumeida checkpoint, and seized his (Canon 60) camera. He questioned him about the reason he was filming, and for which party he works. He handcuffed him and kept him in detention until 6:00PM, when he was released, and his camera was returned to him without deleting any materials.

 

(14th March) The security services of Hamas in Gaza have arrested the journalist Noor Al-Najjar while she was covering a demonstration in Jabalia protesting against the poor living conditions in Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, nor Talal Al-Najjar, (22 years old), a freelance journalist, at around 3:30PM, on Thursday, 14th March 2019, went to Trans area, in Jabalia, to cover the popular movement demonstration. Upon her arrival, one of the security officers approached and prevented her from filming, so she had to secure her own camera at one of the shops in the area. Then she took it and went to a residential building close to the demonstration, after she took the permission of the owner of the building. She started taking pictures and videos via her cell phone. The first video she filmed showed some security officers assaulting a young man and beating him up. She posted the video on her Facebook page, the officers in the area knew the place from where the video was filmed, and noticed her on the roof of the building. A number of security officers gathered around the building, waited for her to come out. The owner of the building informed her and tried to make her out from another door. However, when she came out, she was surprised by another number of “Internal Security” officers, one of whom asked for her cell phone, and after an intense argument, he took her burse, emptied it on the floor, arrested and took her to the security vehicle to Jabalia Police Center. On the way they called her bad names and used profanity. Upon her arrival to the center, she was questioned and accused of “working for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah”. She was asked about the sum of money she received for doing what she does, and she was transferred to the women police section within the same center, where she was searched and gave her cell phone to the police officer who told her (the police officer) coworkers in the security headquarters that there are no photos on the phone of the events. They seized the phone and the camera, and the journalist Noor remained in investigation for two hours (until 6:00PM) when she was forced to sign a paper they told her that it was her statement during the investigation, but turned out later to be a pledge not to be in any location of demonstrations and film the events. She was then released, but her belongings remained in detention in the security center. On the following morning, she came back again to the center to take back her phone and camera, but they informed her that they are in the office of a security officer called “Abu Shorouq”. They told her that she was required to stop posting anything calling for demonstrations so that her belongings can be returned to her.

 

(14th March) The security officers, in civilian clothing, belonging to Hamas, have arrested the journalist, Sami Yousef Issa, while he was covering a demonstration in Jabalia, Gaza Strip, protesting against the poor living conditions and the rising prices. They seized his cell phone and deleted the photos in it.

According to investigations conducted by MADA field researcher, Sami Yousef Ibrahim Issa, 32 years old, editor in chief of "Al-Hadaf" News Agency, has arrived at around 4:00PM, on Thursday, 14th March, Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Upon his arrival, he started taking photos through his cell phone of the peaceful demonstration which included about 700 citizens, organized by activists through social media to protest against the high prices and high taxes in the Strip, and to demand better living conditions. After about fifteen minutes of being in the location and taking pictures of the demonstrators and the banners they were raising, five individuals in civilian clothes approached him and tried to prevent him from filming. At the same time, the police, who were in the same location, also began to disperse the demonstrators with sticks and firing in the air. Issa escaped to one of the alleys to avoid any harm, but as soon as he reached the alley, about ten masked persons approached him and did not introduce themselves or the party they belong to, they beaten him with their hands and feet. They asked him to remove the photos he has taken of the demonstration and to give them his cell phone. Because he did not respond to them, they continued beating him, while someone took his cell phone by force from his hand, and asked him to come to the police center in Jabalia military camp if he wants his phone. Issa returned to his house in Beit Lahia, started to make some calls with close persons belonging to Hamas government so as to bring back his phone. In five hours, they managed to bring him his cell phone back.

 

(15th March) The security forces of Hamas in Gaza Strip have arrested the freelance journalist, Ahmad Nasser Sahmoud, on the background of his posts about demonstrations taking place in Gaza Strip protesting against the poor living conditions, rising prices and taxes.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the freelance journalist Ahmad Nasser Mahmoud Sahmoud, (22 years old), single man, has turned himself in to Shujaiya, Gaza, around 12:00, midnight, on Friday/Saturday night, corresponding 15th/16th March, few hours after the raiding of 10 police officers of his house at around 6:30PM, to arrest him, without an arrest or search warrant, and without disclosing the reasons for which they broke into the house as he was not in the house then. They arrested his brother Ibrahim, 19 years old, and seized Ahmed's laptop and his university bag. They locked Ibrahim in the Hashemite school in the area to pressure him to hand over his brother Ahmad. When Ibrahim was taken to school by security agents after his arrest, he was surprised to find dozens of detainees who had been held in school. At approximately 11:30PM, on the same day (Friday, 15 March), Ahmad Sahmoud turned himself in to release his brother Ibrahim, who was arrested as a means of pressure. Indeed, Ibrahim was released from the passports center at around 1:00AM, at dawn, and when Ahmad the security center, he was transferred to Ibn Al-Haitham School, located in the same area, and then transferred to the police center (In anticipation of the bombing of the police headquarters in light of the escalation in the Strip). Upon his arrival, he was searched and taken to a classroom that was turned into a detention room, where he slept on the tile because of the great number of prisoners and the lack of blankets and mattresses. At approximately 05:30AM, at dawn, on Saturday, 16th March, he was taken to a room in Al-Shujaiya police center, where about 42 prisoners were there with only 16 beds only. At about 9:00AM, on the same day, he was taken to a narrow and dark room of the Department of Investigation, where he was questioned about what he posted on his page via the social media, which they described as "incitement and call to criticize the government and participate in the existing movement". Before completing the investigation with him, the police center director came and started beating him on the face. Then he was taken to another room to take his statement and he was taken back afterwards to the cell. At around 1:00PM, he met his father for fifteen minutes, after the intervention and assistance of the prison director given his past relationship with his father. And when the visit with his father ended, he was taken back again to the cell. At around 2:30PM, he was called along with a group of detainees addressed “the movement prisoners” and they were ordered to go to a military jeep, parked at the center’s gate, under heavy guard. They were taken to the military police headquarters, northern the Strip. When he, and the detainees, arrived the headquarters, the officer ordered them to go to a very narrow square (the break square), raise their hands, and one foot for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, he, and the detainees with him, was taken to a solitary confinement where a person was hanged from his hands with his screams very loud as well as the screams of other detainees. At about 4:00PM, he was taken to a jeep, at the center’s gate, to be transferred to the internal security headquarters as he was informed. He was scared, and when the jeep arrived, he saw the journalist Ahmad Al-Shunbary, inside the jeep, with his head shaved and he seemed in a very bad health condition. He found that the jeep arrived to the passports headquarters in Gaza, he and the the journalist Al-Shurnaby were taken to a room. Few minutes later, the journalist Osama Al-Kahlout was brought to the same room. Al-Kahlout was leaning on the police officers due to his poor health condition as a result of severe beating. After about ten minutes, Iyad Albzm, the media spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, and Taysir Al-Batsh, the police operations director, and the three of them talked about the movement as "suspicious and belongs to the Palestinian Authority and it is managed by persons living outside of Palestine, such as Ramzi Harzallah and others." They then took them to a large room, where they found some of the Palestinian factions, including Khaled Abu Hilal and the General Police Command, who told them about the importance of resistance and the important role of the government in Gaza. After half an hour of talking, they released them, and Sahmoud was surprised, along with coworkers, that Al-Aqsa TV of Hamas is filming and documenting the moment of their release from the center; however, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Albzm, prevented the TV staff to film the journalist Osama Al-Kahlout, who was suffering a poor health condition due to being beaten and tortured a lot.

 

(15th March) The security services of Hamas in Gaza Strip has arrested the journalists Mueen Mueen Muhsen, Fahed Faisal Al-Khaldy, Mohammad Abdelsalam Al-Ashqar, while they were near a demonstration taking place in Jabalia protesting against rising prices and poor living conditions in Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the freelance journalist, Mueen Mueen Muhsen, 24 years old, the reporter of Scatrama Online TV, the freelance journalist Fahed Faisal Al-Khaldy (23 years old), and the freelance journalist Mohammad Abdelsalam Al-Ashqar (24 years old), have arrived, at around 4:00PM, on Friday, 15th March 2019, to Trens St., Jabalia, northern Gaza Strip, where a demonstration was taking place with the participation of hundreds of young men, protesting against the rising prices and poor living conditions. Ten minutes after they arrived the location, several military jeeps of the police service and law enforcement of Hamas have arrived and started dispersing the demonstrators using the batons, wooden and plastic sticks. Some of the security officers were carrying weapons, which is why the demonstrators ran away and started pushing each other. The security services continued their random attacks by beating everyone who remained in place. About half an hour later, of being near the demonstration, around five of the security officers approached towards the three journalists, in their police uniform, and they assaulted them with guns and sticks. They asked them to get in the police jeep. During their transfer to Jabalia police center in the jeep, the police continued to beat the three journalists and using profanity, and they even prevented them to talk with each other, without revealing to them why were doing this or what was their offence. Upon their arrival to the police station, they entered the security room and seized their cell phones and identity cards. Their names, addresses and telephone numbers were registered. After about half an hour they were questioned about the reason for their presence in the demonstration, and they were referred to one of the rooms inside the center. At approximately 07:00PM, Al-Ashqar was released following family intervention. On the other hand, Mueen Muhsen and Fahed Al-Khaldy were separated and temporarily referred to rooms inside the center.

After about half an hour, their names and the names of those who were with them in the room were called and they were told to go out and walk in a queue with about twenty policemen standing on the sides. As they were walking, the security forces beat them with sticks and cursed them. They accused them of being behind the movement. They continued assaulting and beating them until the queue arrived to a military bus that was parked at the center’s door. They were transferred to the military police center without stopping the beating. When they arrived at the military police center, they took them to a room where their heads were shaved (including the journalists Mueen Muhsen and Fahed Al-Khaldy) and forced them (and the rest of the detainees) to take off their upper clothes despite the cold weather, drowned then into cold water and ordered them to walk in a small yard (the break yard), standing with their faces against the wall, stripped of the upper clothes. Then came an officer and beat most of the detainees and was deliberately beating their heads against the wall. Then they transferred every 6 persons into a small room that could not accommodate more than two. They ordered them to remove all blankets and mattresses and to sleep on wooden beds with nothing on them (and they stayed without their upper clothes and without blankets or mattresses until the next day). When they asked for water and food they ordered them to fast. At 10:00 am the next day). When they asked for water and food, they were told to fast, at around 10:00AM, on the following morning (16th March 2019), the prison director issued an order to reduce the number of detainees and distribute them to the rooms. At approximately 1:00PM, as the rest of the detainees, they were allowed to call their families no more than two minutes, to tell them that they were in the military police and to bring them clothes. At approximately 2:00PM on the same day, they put all 50 detainees in a room and gave them the first and only meal after all the period that has passed. It was about two bread packs and 3 cans of cheese. At about 8:00PM, they were released after the intervention of the national factions and forces, the human Rights organizations, the Journalists Syndicate and the Government Information Office.

 

(15th March) Some security officers, belonging to Hamas in Gaza Strip, attacked the journalist, Tayf Al-Buhaisi, and the journalist Mahmoud Allouh, while they were covering a demonstration in Der Al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, on Friday, 15th March 2019.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Tayf Esam Ali Al-Buhaisi, from Der Al-Balahm central Gaza Strip, born on 23rd Nov. 1999, a reporter of Sharq News Agency, and the Advocacy Association, at around 3:00PM, on Friday, 15th March 2019, started covering the events of a demonstration that was taking place in Der Al-Balah, as part of the popular movement protesting against the living conditions, through live transmitting on her Facebook page, and continued to broadcast from the street until 5:00PM, when the police started dispersing the demonstrators by firing in the air, attacking and assaulting some of them, until they fled to a place known as "Al-Monawar" in one of the houses. One of the police officers deployed in the location saw her, followed and beaten her with a stick on her hand, but she managed to escape and run to her house, without going to the hospital, due to imposing a curfew in the meantime. She suffered severe pain in her hand and it turned blue (it was found that her right hand was broken, especially in the area of the palm and arm) and she avoided going to the hospital for fear of being arrested or prosecuted as information spread about the attacks and arrests of some of those who were taken to hospitals. She had to stay home, and she received treatment by her uncle and her brother, two doctors, where they found that her hand was fractured and they placed it in a cast for fear of her safety in case she was transferred to the hospital. In the same place and demonstration, Mahmoud Omar Mahmoud Allouh, from Nuseirat Camp, central Gaza Strip, 29 years old, a reporter of Sawt Al-Shaab radio station, was covering the events, ar approximately 4:40PM, while Mahmoud Allouh was relatively far from the demonstration and the throwing of stones by the demonstrators towards the security officers, there were meetings taking palce with some citizens within the coverage of the demonstration, about 10 jeeps of security services arrived to the area. Allouh went to the police and put his cell phone in his pocket, however some of the security officers followed him, and even though he introduced himself as a journalist, someone used profanity and called him by bad names, beaten him with a stick on his head, but he used his hand to protect his head which injured the palm of his right hand. Allouh went to the Red Crescent Center near the area, where his hand was imaged to make sure it was not fractured, and it was found that his injury is only severe bruises.

 

(15th March) The security services, in Shujaiya, Gaza City, arrested the freelance journalist of Palestine Today News Agency, Matar Al-Zaq.

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, Matar Jaber Sulaiman Al-Zaq, born on 31st Dec. 1988, lives in Shujaiya, married and holds ID Card. No. 802113274, went to his wife's family home on Friday evening, 15th March 2019. After he learned of the arrest of the security services to his wife’s father and her brother, and on his way back to home at about 8:00PM, from Baghdad Street in the area that is known as "Al-Bariyah" accompanied by a number of his family members, a number of police officers (some of whom in the military uniform and other in the civilian clothing) have created a barrier in the area. The police officers asked them about their identities and, when they knew that they were from Al-Zaq family, the officer on duty ordered to arrest him and the young men who accompanied him and forced them to board a police bus and took them to Al-Hashimiya school located in Shujaiya. When they arrived the school, and while Al-Zaq was getting off the bus, one of the police officers pushed him and told one of the officers in the school, "this is their Boss" – pointing to the journalist Matar Al-Zaq, they stroked him three times with batons in the thigh. When he told them that he was a journalist and introduced himself, a police officer punched him in the face and then took him to one of the classrooms in the school, where a great number of the family members were detained. At approximately 11:30PM, the Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bazm came to the school and informed him that he would be released as a result of the interventions of several parties. He was released and returned home.

 

(15th March) the Intelligence Service in Khan Younes arrested the journalists Hani Al-Agha and Khaled Al-Agha, on the background of events of the popular movement “we want to live” which was launched in Gaza Strip on Thursday, 14th March 2019, to demand better living conditions and protest against the poor conditions. They were detained for several hours, which included assaulting Khaled Al-Agha.

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, Hani Nabil Suleiman Al-Agha, 41 years old, a resident of western Khan Younes, editor-in-chief of Al-Nahar News Agency, and a member of Fatah Central Bureau of Journalists, received on Friday, 15th March 2019, a phone call of his cell phone, from a person who introduced himself as an intelligence officer, and asked him to attend the next day to the headquarters of the Intelligence west of Khan Younes. At around 10:00AM, on the following day (Saturday – 16th March 2019), Al-Agha went to the intelligence headquarters west of Khan Yunes, where they seized his phone and personal belongings. They blindfolded him and then took him into a room where a number of persons were there but he could not tell how many. About an hour later, he was summoned for the first session of investigation. He was taken to an office, where he was questioned about the youth movement and "the role of the movement's office in incitement” as described by the investigator. He was repeatedly questioned for several sessions, ranging between 15 and 60 minutes, and was returned after each session to the detention room blindfolded. At around 6:00PM, they released him after warning him against participating in demonstrations of the movement or writing about the same. They also told him not to leave the house and to return to the intelligence services on the following Monday, which indeed Al-Agha did. On Monday, 18th March 2019, at approximately 10:00AM, he arrived the headquarters of the Intelligence Service again in Khan Younes for the second time. The same scenario was repeated in which his personal belongings were seized and he was blindfolded, and taken to the detention room, where he stayed for about an hour and a half before being taken to the investigation room, where he was questioned for half an hour on the same subject, the popular movement and its media role. Then he was released and given back his personal belongings at 01:30PM, and he was told not to participate in the events of the movement.

In a similar scenario, Khalid Nabil Younis Suleiman Al-Agha, 26 years old, from Khan Yunis, Al-Satar Al-Gharbi, a freelance journalist, who works for the Media Office of the Culture and Free Thought Association, received at approximately 02:00PM on Saturday, 16th March 2019, a phone call from a person who introduced himself as a member of the intelligence service and asked him to come immediately to the headquarters of the intelligence service in West Khan Younes-the Sea. Khalid told him that he was "currently in his job in Gaza and that he will finish work in the evening". The caller told him to come the next morning. At approximately 10:00AM, on the following day (17th March 2019) Khalid received a call from the same number and he was told to come immediately, threatening to send him a patrol to arrest him if he does not go. Thus Khalid left his work and went to the Intelligence Service headquarters, West of Khan Younes, where he arrived at 11:15. When he arrived, his personal belongings, cell phone, and password, were seized. One of the security officers asked him about the camera and laptop he usually carry with him, and asked him to bring them, but Khaled replied that these belong to the Association he works for, and he cannot bring them. Then he was taken to the detention room where three blindfolded and handcuffed persons to the chairs were. The security officer ordered him to stand up on one foot with his head against the wall. After fifteen minutes on this position, Khaled Al-Agha told the security officer that he wants a break because he suffers from a cartilage in his foot, but the security officer ignored Khaled’s request and addressed him “switch with you other foot”. Then one of the officers came and asked him to sit down on the chair, started questioning him about his posts and role in the movement. The officer brought Khaled’s phone and searched it in front of him trying to prove that he has taken part in the movement in one of the areas in Gaza. He also asked him about his brother Hani Al-Agha and his press and governmental work. Then he ordered him to stand again with his face against the wall, started beating him with his hand and leg on the waist and legs for few minutes. Later, an officer came and told him that someone wanted to talk to him and took him to a place inside the headquarters where he saw three people digging the ground. A fourth person wearing a uniform introduced himself as Khan Yunes' intelligence director, addressed him saying "Khaled, next time this will not be the same, your endangering your life, and now I have orders to transfer you to Gaza, but you will be released under my guarantee.” He was released at around 2:00PM and his belongings were handed over and he was not allowed to participate or write about the movement.


(15th March) At around 5:30PM, on Friday, 15th March 2019, the journalist Loay Nahed Mohammad Al-Goul, (40 years old), the Director of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in Gaza Strip, received a phone call from unknown caller who introduced himself as “Abu Ghanem” without telling the party he works for, but he is likely from the Internal Security Service. He warned him of posting and publishing about the events of the movement, otherwise he will be arrested. And he informed him that he is on the top of the list including the names of Al-Ghoul family for arrest purposes in the event any demonstration took place in their area, and then he finished the call. On the following day, Saturday, 16th March 2019, at around 1:30PM, Loay Al-Ghoul received another phone call from the same person. This time he talked to him nervously threatening him “didn’t we warn you not to intervene or post about the movement?” and he was referring to the circulation published by the Journalists Syndicate which clarifies to the journalists numbers and centers for communication in case of being subjected to violation. Al-Ghoul explained to him that this circulation is a routine action carried out by the Committee of Freedoms in the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in such cases to guide the journalists if any of them was subjected to any violation that may affect their press work, and that his name (Loay Al-Ghoul) and his number are included in the circulation to be reported in case any of the Journalists were assaulted, in his capacity as the director of the Journalists’ Syndicate. Then he was told not to participate in the demonstrations planned to be launched in the afternoon of the same day, in Al-Shate’ area. He ordered him to stay away from his house and the surrounding area, and hanged up the phone. Less than half an hour later, the same person, Abu Ghanem, contacted Loay Al-Ghoul and asked him to inform his cousin Zaher Al-Ghoul to come to them otherwise a security force will raid the house and arrest them.

 

(15th March) The Internal Security Service in Gaza arrested the free journalist Mahmoud Al-Shafei and subjected him to severe torture and house arrest for a month after his release as part of the campaign of arrests and repression that accompanied the popular movement demanding better living conditions in Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, in the context of the repressions and arrests carried out by security forces in Gaza against demonstrators demanding better living conditions in Gaza Strip, on Friday evening 15th March 2019, a masked security force belonging to Hamas in Gaza raided the house of Mahmoud Hassan Al-Shafei, 28 years old, lives in Nuseirat, works as a freelance journalist, to arrest him on the background of his coverage of the events of the popular movement, "We want to Live", but Al-Shafei managed to escape. On the following evening, Saturday (March 16, 2019), a security force came back and raided the house again. Al-Shafei was not in the house. His family received a notice in his name from the Internal Security Agency. On Sunday morning (17 March 2019), the Mukhtar of Al-Shafei family received a telephone call from a person who introduced himself as a member of the Internal Security Service. He was threatened that if Mahmoud Al-Shafei was not turned in, all the houses belonging to Al-Shafei would be raided and the family members will be arrested and assaulted as the case with other families before them, not to mention that Al-Shafei family received threats of kidnapping him by “Al-Qassam Brigades" of Hamas. Based on the aforementioned, and following the intervention of several parties, the journalist Mahmoud Al-Shafei turned himself in to the Internal Security headquarters in Deir Al-Balah at 3:30PM on Sunday (17 March 2019), and upon his arrival his belongings and cell phone, which he was asked to bring, were seized. Then he was taken blindfolded to a cell, where he spent four days in detention, during which he was subjected to a daily investigation about his press work and his coverage of the events of the movement, which included severe torture. On the first day of his arrest, Al-Shafei lost his consciousness due to severe beatings for long hours, in which security officers used sticks and iron bars. On the second day (March 18, 2019), Al-Shafei was severely beaten before being presented to the investigating officer who informed him of the decision of transferring him to the military judiciary in Gaza. However, he was retained by the Internal Security Service “for fear that “Al-Qassam Brigades” will kidnap him while being transferred” as the officer informed him. On the morning of the third day of his arrest (March 19, 2019), the officer gave him a written text and asked him to memorize it. After several hours the officer called him and asked him to present the text in front of the camera, which Al-Shafei refused to do because the written text condemns him for several crimes such as incitement, destabilization of order, intelligence. The officer decided to record the investigation with him (instead of the written text) and began to ask him questions about his media activity in the movement and his relationship with Palestine TV and forced him to admit that his motivation to join the movement and incite people is his hatred of Hamas. At the end of the video, he was forced to say that "he regretted what he did and advised the demonstrators to return to their homes." He was then taken back to the cell and ordered by the jailer to remain standing. At about 9:30PM on the same day, the jailer informed him that he would be deported to the military court. However, Al-Shafei refused, and succeeded in preventing his deportation despite being severely beaten while taken to the deportation bus. As a result, they left him standing for several house in the external yard as a punishment before taken back to the cell. On the morning of the next day - the fourth day of his detention (20th March 2019), Al-Shafei was very tired because of what he was subjected to. At approximately 01:00PM on the same day (Wednesday 20 March 2019) he was released under house arrest for a month, and not to engage in any media activity, otherwise he will be fined by 20,000 NIS, if any of the conditions were breached. Furthermore, the Security Center Director threatened him to publish the video that was forced to record. What is it? Al-Shafei is still under house arrest and his cell phone and personal accounts are still seized by the Internal Security Service.

 

(15th March) The journalists were subjected to threats through phone calls more than once in connection to their work and coverage of the demonstrations which were launched in Gaza Strip to protest against the poor living conditions and rising prices.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Mohammad Sami Al-Aydi, (25 years old), from Gaza, a social program presented at Sawt Al-Sha’b Radio in Gaza, has received, at around 3:00AM, at dawn, on Friday, 15th March 2019, a phone call from a private number, that made him wake up; however the caller did not speak to him. At approximately 4:00PM, on the same day, he received a call from a person who claimed to be a "reform man" and wanted to give him advice and tell him that "the security services would arrest him if he did not stop talking about the social issues he discusses in his radio program" and asked him to participate in the movement calling for the departure of President Mahmoud Abbas or any movement against the Palestinian Authority and not to participate in the movement against Hamas in Gaza. Al-Aydi replied “I, as a journalist, transmit the events as they are, I speak about the issues of people without discussing any politics”, the caller got angry and started threatening until he hanged up. On the following day (Saturday, March 16, 2019), at around 11:00AM, before the afternoon, Al-Aydi received a phone call from a "private number" threatening him with arrest and beating, using insulting and profanity words. Al-Aydi asked the caller about his capacity to address him like that and threat him with arrest, without the official and legal ways, but the caller did not answer any questions and hanged up. Al-Aydi called the media official of Hamas, Mr. Ibrahim Muslim, and informed him of all what had happened. Muslim promised him not to be assaulted again and asked him not to respond to any call threatening him. After this promise, Al-Aydi did not receive any calls or threats. He only informed the Radio Administration without filing any complaints.

The journalist, Nidal Suhail Al-Wahidi, 28 years old, resident of Gaza City, and a photographer of Al-Najah / Gaza office, received a phone call from a private number, at 5:00PM, on Saturday 16th March 2019, and the caller introduced himself as "Abu Ahmad” from the intelligence of Gaza and asked him to stop publishing news that calls for demonstrations, and not to be in the places of the movement. “Abu Ahmad” accused Al-Wahidi of working with “Ramallah Authority and serving an external agenda, also inciting against the resistance”. After a verbal dispute between them, Al-Wahidi replied that he works with professionalism in transmitting the news and events, and does not incite against anything. But the caller did not accept what Al-Wahidi said, and described him as “an occupation agent” if he continued transmitting the news. He warned him “this times it was a phone call, the next time will be an arrest” and then hanged up. The next morning, Nidal Al-Wahidi saw his name included in a list of journalists said to be "the names of those working for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and supporting the demonstrations." Among other names included in the listwas: Mohammad Abu Sha’ar, journalist Hagar Harb, journalist Ghalia Hamad, journalist Ayman Al-Aloul, and names of other persons. However, Al-Wahidi continued to publish news and transmit events, but spent two days in his house, in anticipation of the arrests and repressions carried out by the security services. He then went with his colleague journalists whose names were on the list to the Independent Commission for Human Rights to file an official complaint for the threats he received.

 

(15th March) Some Hamas officers have arrested the photojournalist, Nour Al-Din Al-Kurdi, while he was near a demonstration taking place in Jabalia.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Nour Al-Din Abdelsater Ramadan Al-Kurdi, single man, 25 years old, works for Al-Quds News Network, at around 4:00PM, on Friday, 15th March 2019, was near Al-Huja conjunction, Jabalia Camp, northern Gaza Strip, during a demonstration of the youth movement “we want to live” to protest against the poor living conditions in Gaza. While he was there, a force of Hamas Police arrived to disperse the demonstrators, whereas Al-Kurdi was standing on the side road with his cousin (Hussam). Fifteen minutes later, a civil vehicle of Kia Soul arrived, seven persons in civil clothing got out the vehicle, and immediately assaulted Al-Kurdi, and his cousin Hussam, whose leg was broken. The journalist Nour Al-Din was also injured with bruises in the face, and he was taken by citizens to the Indonesian Hospital, northern Gaza Strip. Some Hamas police officers went to the hospital to arrest him, however the doctors confirmed to them that his health condition does not allow so. They transferred him to the Eyes Hospital as his injury in the face, near the eyes. After he was imaged, he was transferred to Dar Al-Shifa Hospital for a CT scan. He remained in the three hospitals for 6 hours, and then was discharged. When he arrived to his house, his father received a phone call informing him that the internal security officers will raid the house to search for and arrest Nour Al-Din, which prompted the journalist Nour Al-Din to leave the house. His father's efforts succeeded, through his connections, in persuading the internal security not to break into his house. The journalist returned to his home after the announcing the settlement of the file of the detainees completely by the Ministry of Interior of Gaza, on 19th March 2019.

Note: the hospitals refused to give the journalist Nour Al-Din a medical report, and informed him that if he wants a report showing that he was assaulted, he shall pay for the treatment costs for the three hospitals and the CT scan. They registered his case as an urgent health condition.

 

(15th March) The security services arrested the journalist Osama Al-Kahlut and subjected him to torture and severe beatings while he was detained due to publishing about the demonstrations protesting against the poor living conditions in Gaza.

According to the investigation of MADA researcher, at approximately 4:00PM, on Friday, 15 March, 2019 a Hamas security force raided the house of Osama Sharif Muhammad Al-Kahlut, 34 years old, lives in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, a full time reporter  of "Al-Najah News Website", and a member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. In the meantime, he was hosting in his home, the director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Jamil Sarhan, the lawyer of the Commission, Bakr Al-Turkmani, and journalist Mustafa Al-Dahdouh, and transmitting live through his Facebook page the events of the popular movement "we want to live”. The number of persons who have seen the video exceeded 30.00 in twenty minutes. Palestine Official TV, participated in this transmission. As soon as the house was raided and the door was smashed after 4:00PM, the journalist Al-Kahlut came down from the third floor where he was and his guests, when the security forces saw him, and about 10 persons attacked him and asked for his cell phone. They started beating him with sticks and took him to his room on the first floor of the building and asked for the camera. They started smashing the office (computer, LCD screen, battery, private UBS, Internet router), and they seized three of his own phones, PC Box, the Canon Cameron, the Foge, and a third camera was also lost. Then resumed beating him severely for about ten minutes until he could no longer stand up and tried to escape from the window of the room, but one of the officers grabbed him, and continued to beat him. Here his mother was attacked and tried to protect him from them. He was dragged from his shoulder (because he was unable to stand up) and was taken to a military jeep in front of the house, amid accusations that he was broadcasting to Palestine TV. He was taken to Deir Al-Balah police center, where he was assaulted again. He was held in a cell alone before being transferred to another room with other detainees on the background of the popular movement for three days. During his detention, Al-Kahlut was subjected to three investigation sessions (two on the first day and one on the second day of his detention) on the nature of his work and the reasons for the live broadcast and his relationship with Palestine TV. The first session lasted about two hours, the second for half hour, and the third for half an hour. On the third day of detention (Sunday, 17th March 2019), Al-Kahlut was transferred to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. The doctor recommended that Al-Kahlout needs treatment for a long time to be able to walk on his feet. After and during his arrest, he suffered damage to his right foot as he lost the ability to move his toes, and the beating led to an increase in the liver functions from 30 to 130. At the end of the third day of his detention (17th March 2019), the journalist Al-Kahlut was transferred from the center of Deir Al-Balah, blindfolded and handcuffed to the passport office in Gaza City. There were the police director Tayseer Al-Batsh, the Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bazm, and a number of officers and factions officials, they all heard what happened with him since his arrest. There were also two journalists Ahmad Al-Shanbari and Ahmad Sahmoud. The three journalists were released and the journalist Al-Kahlut was transferred to his home in Deir Al-Balah.

 

(15th March) A group of Hamas police officers in Gaza Strip assaulted the journalist Izz Al-Din Al-Ma’shar, seized his cell phone, and press card, while he was covering a demonstration in Rafah protesting against the poor living conditions in the Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Izz Al-Din Ayman Mutee’ Al-Ma’shar, 18 years old, from Rafah/Tel Al-Sultan, a photographer of “Ruwad Al-Haqiqa” Network, at around 4:30PM, on Friday, 15th March 2019, went to Al-Nijma square, central Rafah, to cover a demonstration as part of the popular movement demanding better living conditions in Gaza Strip. Some officers of the security services, with the help of masked persons in civilian clothes, attacked the demonstrators using batons and fired in the air to disperse them, forcing Izz Al-Din to flee with the demonstrators towards the square near the place of the demonstration. At about 5:00PM, a number of officers in police uniforms assaulted him with batons and hands, Even though he disclosed his identity as a journalist, they seized his cell phone, which he used for photography, and his press card. They tried to arrest him, but one of his relatives, who were from the police forces, intervened. Later, the police was contacted to recover the phone and the card. The reply was that the phone and card had been handed over to the Internal Security Services and the phone's password had been taken from him. A week later, at approximately 01:00PM, on the same day (24th March 2019), Izz Al-Din’s father contacted a person he knew in the Internal Security Service to ask him to recover the seized items of his son. He informed him that there was an order from the head of the Service to arrest his son, because of the videos he filmed on the day of the demonstration of the popular movement, and the case of Izz Al-Din is still suspended and he is afraid of arrest at any moment.

 

(15th March) Some security officers of Hamas Government in Gaza have arrested the journalist Mustafa Al-Dahdouh, while he was in Omasa Al-Kahlut’s house, assaulted and beaten, while he was being arrested and detained for two days.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Mustafa Salama Salman Al-Dahdouh, 27 years old, single man, a reporter for the Turkish News Agency Hawar, a member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, was arrested on Friday, 15 March, by security forces belonging to Hamas government in Gaza, while he was in the house of journalist Osama Al-Kahlut in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, who was arrested as well. The protests of the popular movement (we want to live) began in that area, where a force of "interference and maintenance of order" raided the house of the journalist Al-Kahlut, while he was live broadcasting through his Facebook account some of these events, and assaulted Al-Kahlut with batons and arrested him. They also arrested Al-Dahdouh and the Director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights Jamil Sarhan, and the lawyer Bakr Al-Turkmani, who were in the house of Al-Kahlut the moment of his arrest. The security forces assaulted the journalist Al-Dahdouh and assaulted Al-Kahlut, Sarhan and Al-Turkmani during their arrest as well. After the arrest, they were transferred to Deir Al-Balah police station. The journalist Al-Dahdouh was assaulted by the batons. He was detained in the cell while Al-Turkmani and Sarhan were transferred to Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Hospital. Al-Kahlut was questioned about the nature of his press work, the employer with whom he works, the videos and photos he has and his cell phone, and why he films the events? He told them that he worked as a journalist and did not film anything. He was beaten and several factions and tribal groups intervened. They were able to release him from the center of Deir Al-Balah at 8:00PM on Sunday, 17 March 2019, while his cell phone was still seized.

 

(16th March) A force of the Internal Security Forces detained the freelance journalist Ihab Omar Yousef Fasfous, 46 years old, from his home in Khan Younis. He was detained for two days in inhumane conditions, during which he was beaten and humiliated and did not receive any treatment.

According to the investigations "MADA" researcher, and based on the statement of the journalist Omar Al-Fosfous, a security force composed of masked officers in black clothes and others in civilian clothes unmasked, have arrived at about 10:00PM on Saturday, 16th March 2019 the house of the journalist Ihab Omar Al-Fasfous. They introduced themselves as members of the Internal Security Service. They arrested him after they searched his house and seized his cell phone, a laptop and a Canon with two storage cards. When he was transferred to the headquarters of the Internal Security Service western Khan Younis, they took him to the detention room where other detainees were present. They gave him a mattress. He told then that he was a heart patient and that he has daily medication every few hours. On the following morning, 17th March 2019, a security guard summoned him and took him to one of the rooms. He was beaten by a number of security officers and blindfolded, causing him bruises on his face and various parts of his body. After about an hour, the jailer took him back to another room. Two officers entered, assaulted and punched him on his face, causing bleeding from his nose and mouth. During this, they were asking him to confess that he received orders from Ramallah, which he denied, and explained to them that he was a freelance journalist with no factions he belong to. During his investigation, which lasted about two hours, he was asked about publications and investigative reports on his computer that he had prepared and published previously. After that they forced him to clean the toilets of the prison before being returned to the detention room at about 2:00PM, when he was in a state of severe fatigue due to beatings and the lack of treatment, where he asked the officer on duty more than once to be transferred to the hospital but the later did not respond. After the Aser prayer (about 3:00 PM), the jailer summoned him to the officer's room. His brother (the family Mukhtar) and another person from the area were present in the room. The officer told him that he would be released on his personal liability, provided that he does not tell anyone he was released, and to return on the following morning. He was also warned not to post anything on his social media accounts “even if a Quran verse”. Immediately after his release on Monday, 18th March 2019, he went to Nasser Medical Hospital. The doctors kept him under observation for two days, during which he was visited by the deputy chairman of the Journalists Syndicate, Dr. Tahsin Al-Astal, who informed him that his case had been resolved with the Internal Security Service. As of the date of this report, the seized objects had not been returned to his home.

 

(16th March) The Security Services in Gaza arrested the photojournalists Assem Shehada, and Bashar Ahmad Ahmad Taleb, while they were covering a demonstration organized in Jabalia.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Assem Mohammad Shehada, (32 years old), a photojournalist of the National Media Agency, at around 3:00PM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, went to Al-Huja in Jabalia, to cover a demonstration against the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, organized by Hamas, in parallel with the launch of the demonstrations of the movement “we want to live” protesting against the living conditions, in Gaza Strip, on the third day. Upon his arrival, he stopped at a distance of few meters away from the demonstrators, and was not wearing a uniform. A number of masked security officers approached him before he started filming, and they asked him to leave the area, started beating him, and calling him using profanity names “you are not a journalist, you are an agent, a spy who works for Abbas”. He was then taken to a vehicle belonging to the security services and transferred to Jabalia police station. On their way to the center, they beaten and cursed him again. He told him that he was a journalist of the National News agency, but they refused to respond. When they arrived the center at around 3:30 AM, they placed him in a room after they seized his personal phone, ID card and press card. They subjected him to interrogation and detained him for about 4 hours. He then released him after recovering his phone and personal belongings.

On the same day, his coworker, the photojournalist Bashar Ahmad Taleb, (29 years old), who also works for the National Media Agency, while he was in Trans area, Jabalia, at around 3:00PM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, was also arrested. He was arrested while filming a demonstration there which was suppressed by the security forces. When he left the area around 4:00PM, he was approached by a security officer and taken to a distance of a few meters from the demonstration. He was asked to give the camera to delete the photos but Bashar refused and there was verbal dispute between them. The security officer summoned a number of other security officers. The camera was seized and transferred to the Jabalia police station. Upon his arrival to the center, at around 4:30PM, they put him in the cell for 15 minutes, then took him to investigation, where he was surprised that his coworker Assem Shehada was also arrested. He was subjected with his coworker Assem for investigation, about the party he works for, the photos he has taken, on what and whom they concentrated while filming. After that he was released around 8:30PM, and his camera was given back to him after all the photos were deleted. They were released under the guarantee of the Director General of the National News Agency, Mustafa Shehada, after they signed a pledge not to be in any demonstration or film any events.

 

(16th March) The internal security services arrested the students of the Faculty of Media and Mass Communication, Al-Azhar University, in Gaza, Amjad Riyad Hals, and Osama Abu Sakran, for four days, on the background of their posts on the Facebook under the movement #we-want-to-live.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, a force of the internal security service, arrived, at around 8:30AM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, to the house of Amjad Riyad Rajab Hals (25 years old), located in Al-Rammal neighborhood, southern Gaza, and gave his brother Yazan Hals a summons in the name of Amjad to immediately go to the internal security headquarters in Gaza. After about three hours (at 11:36AM) Amjad posted on his Facebook “in a short time, while I am loaded with concerns of the nation, carrying the voices of the free, I will go to the internal security service after receiving a summons for immediate presence”. Indeed, at approximately 01:30PM, he took his personal ID and his cell phone to the internal security headquarters of Al-Qasr Al-Hakim, located in Ansar area west of Gaza City. His personal details (his name, address and mobile number, as well as the summons) were taken and he was asked to wait after he handed over his belongings. After about an hour, he was summoned to an office where an officer asked him several questions about his name, place of residence and profession, and ordered him loudly to give him the password of his personal Facebook page. So he did, and the officer published a news story on Amjad's page, saying, "Thankfully I am out of the internal security service in good health”. Half an hour after posting the story, the post was shared by his father, Riyad Hals, who denied the news. After that, the police took him to the “bus” which is a hall with a metal surface, surveillance with cameras, and used for detention. And because of his conversation with his coworker, Osama Abu Sakran (who was also detained in the Bus), they were punished for an hour and a half, by forcing them to stand with their faces against the wall. Then came a police officer and transferred Amjad to the investigation room inside of which four officers of the internal security started questioning him “do you work for the intelligence of the Authority in Ramallah? Do you make money from the posts you publish on your Facebook?” not to mention he was cursed with bad names. The investigation continued with him for about half an hour, then he was returned to the Bus. At about 9:00PM, Amjad and Osama were transferred to the cells. The moment they entered the cell, the policeman noticed that Amjad and Osama knew each other. Osama was transferred to another cell (2X5.1 meters) inside which was a small dirty bathroom. On the second day, Sunday, 17th March 2019, at around 7:00AM, a police officer took the detainees out again to the Bus. At 11:00AM, the breakfast meal was distributed to them, including two bread loafs, and Feta cheese. At around 6:30PM, a police officer summoned Amjad Hals for investigation and used profanity with him, and asked about his father (Riyad Hals who was working previously for the Authority intelligence). He also asked him about his brother Ahmad Hals (Al-Shabiba Movement Coordinator, Fateh, Al-Azhar University in Gaza). The investigation lasted about half an hour and he returned to the bus where he stayed until about 8:30PM when the policeman took him back to the cell. On the third day (Monday 18th March 2019), Amjad remained in the cell. At about 12:30, a policeman came and took him to the investigation office, where two officers were present, one of them was wearing military uniform and the other was wearing civilian clothes. A few minutes later, his coworker, Osama Sakran, was brought and the officer addressed them: "You are under arrest for 15 days. After that you will be transferred to the court.” Then they were returned to the “Bus”. At about 7:00PM, Amjad and his coworker Osama were taken to one cell. At 10:00AM, on the fourth day (Tuesday, 19th March, 2015), the policeman was taken from the cells to the "Bus" and at 1:00PM Amjad and Osama were returned to the cell. Around 3:00PM, the investigators head came to the cells and took Amjad and Osama to the bus to prepare themselves for their release. After about half an hour of waiting, they were surfside by another police officer telling them that they would not be released and took them back to the cell. At 7:30PM, a policeman came to the cell and took Amjad out of the cell. He was released after his personal belongings were given back to him, except for the phone (it is still in detention until the date of this report - Monday, March 25, 2019).

As for the circumstances of the arrest of Osama Abu Sakran, it began on Friday 15th March 2019, after he posted on his Facebook and tweeted #we-want-to-live. At around 3:30PM, on Friday, Osama went out with his brother Mohammad and his friend Ahmad Al-Zaim to Baghdad Street, east of Shujaiya where citizens gathered in marches demanding lower prices, taxes and collection. While Osama was about 10 meters away from the gathering of citizens, a great number of officers and jeeps of the security forces arrested some of the demonstrators and used force to disperse them using batons. He was surprised by a police jeep arresting his friend Ahmad Al-Zaim, who posted through his page about the arrest of his friend Ahmad Al-Zaim. About fifteen minutes later, the security forces continued to suppress the demonstrators. Osama returned to his house and began posting about the ongoing arrests of demonstrators. At around 10:30AM, on the following morning (Saturday, 16th March 2019) a security force arrived to his uncle’s house (that is about 50 meters away from their house because they do not know the house of Osama's family), located in Shujaiya, Al-Nizaz Street, east of Gaza City. The forces gave his cousin, Mountaser Abu Sakran, a summons in the name of Osama, to immediately go to the internal security service headquarters in Gaza. At around 11:45PM, on the same day, the journalist Osama turned himself in to the internal security service “Al-Hakem Palace” located in Ansar area, western Gaza City. He was immediately taken to an investigation office by person in civilian uniform. He asked him for his name, telephone number, identity, date of birth, place of residence and partisan affiliation. He was then transferred to the bus, a small metal-roofed room where little number of citizens was detained, equipped with cameras to prevent them to make any movement or contact with each other under penalty of punishment. In the bus, he noticed his colleague Amjad Hals and they both whispered, and the policeman noticed them through the surveillance cameras, punished them to stand for almost an hour and a half with their faces against the wall. Then Osama was taken to an investigation room, where he saw a hose (a plastic hose) about a meter long. The policeman started to turn around Osama and asked him in a low voice about his full name. He repeated the question more than ten times. After about ten minutes he ordered him to sit on the chair. Then he asked him the same questions that were addressed to his colleague Amjad: What is your full name? And who do you work for? Are they external agendas, or Palestinian intelligence in Ramallah? Do you make money of it? What is the most notable post you published through your profile?? What are your demands from the movement? And what are you demanding? The investigation lasted about half an hour. The investigator wrote Osama's testimony on the computer without letting Osama have a look at it. Osama was then returned to the detention hall (the bus), where he noticed an increase in the number of detainees, which become about 25. After about half an hour (about 4:00PM), the investigator summoned him again and asked him the same questions, but with mockery, and there was a policeman at the door of the investigation office threatening with a loud voice “now Osama’s cell phone must be brought from his house or we will hear his scream in pain due to being beaten”. The officer asked Osama to give him a phone number of one of his brothers to tell the later to bring the phone. The officer indeed called his brother Mohammad to bring Osama's cell phone to the headquarters within ten minutes, and threatened him not to delete anything from the cell phone. Osama's brother actually went to the headquarters and gave the policeman at the entrance of the headquarters the cell phone. On the second day of detention (Sunday, 17 March 2015), around 7:00AM, the policeman brought the detainees to the bus without interrogation with Osama, and at about 8:30PM he was returned to the cell. On the third day (Monday 18 March 2019) Osama remained in the cell. At approximately 1:15PM, Osama was taken to the investigation office and his colleague Amjad was seen in the office. The policeman told them: "You are under arrest for 15 days and then you will be transferred to court”. On Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, at about 4:30PM, a policeman came to the cell and took Osama out. He took him to the Internal Security Office. There, Osama was surprised by the presence of his relatives. He was released and given his personal belongings except for his cell phone, which is still seized until the moment (25th March 2019) by the Internal Security Service.

 

(16th March) The Internal Security Services in Gaza imposed house arrest on the freelance journalist, Sameh Younis Hamed Al-Jedi for four days and warned him not to publish or write anything about the demonstrations organized in Gaza to protest against the poor living conditions.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, a security force, at around 7:00PM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, has arrived to the house of the freelance journalist, Sameh Younis Hamed Al-Jedi, (40 years old), located in Shujaiya/Al-Nazzar St., a member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists. The security forces knocked the door, his nephew came out, and they told him to call his uncle Sameh, who responded and saw 12 security force officers spread out in front of his house, including 10 masked men in black clothing, and two unmasked in civilian clothing. He could tell that they were from the Internal Security Services, as he saw some of them in the Services headquarters while he was arrested several times previously. When Sameh appeared, one of them addressed him "Sameh, there is a decision by the Internal Security Service to impose house arrest on you for four days. We wish you abide by this decision, otherwise you will bear full responsibility. I advise you not to publish or write about the movement”. Then the force retreated from the place.

 

(16th March) The Police in Gaza arrested Amer Awni Ba’lousha claiming that he caused chaos and incitement against the government through posts on the social media calling citizens to participate in demonstrations against rising prices and high taxes.

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, Amer Awni Mohammad Ba’lousha, 26 years old, the reporter Ultra Palestine website, was, at around 12:00PM, Saturday, 16th March 2019, in the house of his friend, Mohammad Al-Bourno, 25 years old, northern Gaza Strip, where some police officers arrived to the house to arrest Al-Bourno (without clarifying the charge he accused with or following the legal procedures). Upon their arrival, the called for Al-Bourno, he replied and opened the door, and then asked to be given some time to go and put some clothes on. When he entered his room where Amer Ba’lousha was, they immediately entered after him, saw Ba’lousha, and asked him to come with them as well. In the beginning, he refused, as he did not commit any violation, and for not showing him any arrest warrant or summons. So they pulled his cell phone, by force, from his hands, took him and his friend to the Internal Security headquarters in northern Gaza, where Amer Ba’lousha was placed in the solitary confinement. Since then, he announced his open hunger strike. Ba’lousha was then subjected to investigation and was questioned about his role in the popular movement and how it was established, how the statements were formulated and how the meetings for members of the movement were organized. During the investigation, he was accused of causing chaos and drafting statements against the government and against public policies. Three days after he was arrested and questioned about these charges and continued his hunger strike, he suffered severe dryness and law blood pressure. He was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza Strip at around 1:00PM, on Monday afternoon. In the hospital, the police hid his identity card and all his statements and refused to register his name by the doctors in the patients' records. He was examined and given a nutritional analysis and returned about an hour later to the internal security headquarters in northern Gaza Strip. The investigation was resumed with him, and at around 10:00PM, on the same day, he was blindfolded and transferred to Gaza central prison “Ansar”, where he was subjected to investigation for the same charges, he was taken to the solitary confinement. Over the period of five days, he was transferred to solitary confinement and forced to stand on his feet in the so-called position "Shabeh" and then returned to investigation in a process that was repeated between the investigation and Shabeh about ten times a day. After five days, he was transferred to a cell with several prisoners. At about 4:00PM, on Monday, 25th March, three days after his arrest, three persons were released on bail after seizing their ID cards, provided he comes back to the security headquarters, in Ansar, on Sunday 31st March. At about 11:00AM, on Sunday, his eyes were blindfolded and taken into a room. About an hour later, the blindfold was removed from his eyes and he was asked to sign the laws and policies applied in Gaza, not to incite and organize any movement for any purpose. He was released but his cell phone remained seized by the Security Service.

It is worth mentioning that the security services in Gaza have already arrested Amer Ba’lousha more than once, one of which was on 3rd July 2017, claiming that he "misused technology" after posting on Facebook asking those responsible for the fate of their children compared to the poor who sleep on the floor without electricity and a source of ventilation.

 

(16th March) At approximately 07:15PM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, a police force from Khan Younis, arrested the director general of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza Strip, Ra'fat Hammad Abdel Majid Al-Qidra, 50 years old, from his house located in Al-Qarara, northern Khan Yunis. They searched the house and seized a laptop computer, a cell phone and Fatah flag. They took him to the Services headquarters in central Khan Younis. They took him to the detention place which is “an empty small hall”. After about an hour, he was transferred to a small closed room where one of the officers was sitting but did not talk to him or ask him. Another hour later, he was transferred to the investigation officer who was in a nearby room. He was questioned about the news broadcast by Palestine TV, the terminology used by the TV, and his relationship with movement (protest demonstrations on the living conditions in Gaza). The investigator tried to accuse him of leading the movement under orders coming from Ramallah, which Al-Qidra denied. During the investigation, he was addressed “based on the numbers and calls registered on your cell phone, you might be transferred to the military court and be imprisoned for 15 days /peephole” as the investigator described it. After the investigation was completed, as it lasted about an hour, the investigator informed him that he would be released under instructions from the leadership, provided he shall sign a pledge not to participate in the popular movement and not to publish any news about the same. At about 11:00PM, he was released, and his laptop and cell phone were given back to him.

 

(16th March) The Investigations of Beit Hanoun in Gaza arrested the journalist Ahmad Al-Shunbari. He was beaten and tortured by security forces during his detention which lasted his 18 hours because of his posts on the protest movement against the living conditions in Gaza.

According to the investigations of "MADA" researcher, Ahmad Hashim Suleiman Al-Shunbari, 28 years old, married, and works for several websites (Al-Najah news, Dunia Al-Watan) received, at about 9:00AM, on Saturday, 16th March 2019, a summons from Beit Hanoun Investigation, where a police force arrived and handed over his family the summons. At about 2:00PM, on the same day, Al-Shunbari was taken to Beit Hanoun Investigation Center. Upon his arrival, they started questioning him, on the background of his press posts on Facebook about the movement #we-want-to-live. They threatened him and ordered him not to post anything about the movement or comment on any photo. They asked him about his relationship with the Intelligence Services in Ramallah, and he denied any kind of relationship with the same and replied that he posts only what is related to his press work, and in accordance with the law which guarantees the freedom of expression. The detention of the journalist Al-Shunbari continued until the following day, in Beit Hanoun Center. During this period, he was subjected to threats by the police officers addressing him (you must be beaten) (you must suffer). At around 07:00PM, on Sunday, 17th March, 2019, they informed him that he would be released, and he prepared himself for this. As soon as he left the cell door, he found a officers of the military police asking for him. He was immediately beaten by the military police on the neck, and they took him inside the bus, and transferred him to the 17th headquarters, located in Al-Taw’am area, northern Gaza, where the headquarters of the military police is located. Upon his arrival, he was asked to stand against the wall and was beaten on his back and neck. They prevented him to speak, and then took him to a cell with a number of citizens who were arrested on the background of their participation in the popular movement. After ten minutes, he was taken out, and they started investigating with him and questioning him “who do you communicate with? Who is the intelligence officer you contact?” and they asked him to confess “about the parties he communicates so he will be released”. They promised him that they will behave with him if he confessed, but he insisted that he has no relations with any party, and he is only a journalist. As a result, he was placed in a military jeep and transported to the Passport Office in Gaza City at about 5:00PM, on Sunday, 17th March 2019. He was placed in the room of a police official. Few minutes later, the journalists Osama Al-Kahlut and Ahmad Sahmoud were brought in the presence of the police official Tayseer Al-Batsh and the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Iyad Al-Bazm. They were told that “their opinions cause disorder and rage among the people in the street, and there might be victims due to your posts”. At around 8:00PM, the three journalists, Ahmad Al-Shunbari, Al-Kahlut, and Sahmoud, were released.

 

(17th March) The internal security services in Al-Nuseirat City, central Gaza Strip, summoned the Adviser of the Director General of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Saleh Al-Shafei, against the background of the events of the people’s movement, which was launched in Gaza Strip to demand better living conditions. He was detained for several hours during which he was tortured and humiliated before he was released.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Saleh Salama Sabah Al-Shafei, 47 years old, from Al-Nuseirat, Adviser of the Director General of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, a holder of PhD in political science, at about 5:30PM, Sunday (17th March 2019), received a summons from the Internal Security Service to go immediately to the headquarters of the Services in Deir El-Balah. Al-Shafei indeed went to the headquarters immediately, where they took him to a room, and seized his personal belongings. In the presence of a doctor, his health condition was examined before he was blindfolded and taken to the detention place (the hall). He remained standing and blindfolded. At first, someone asked about his latest Facebook posts on condemning the arrest of Rafat Al-Qidra, Director General of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation. In the meantime, another person came and began to ask him questions. He slapped him on the face humiliatingly and insulted him, his family and the Fatah movement. When Al-Shafei said to them, "I am a doctor, please be respectful", one of them replied, "You are an idiot". He even forced to repeat “I am the idiot, Saleh Al-Shafei” but Al-Shafei strongly refused to do so. As a result, he was severely beaten on his feet, with batons, and on various parts of his body (the effects of which are still visible on his body at the time this report was prepared). A number of officers took turns asking him questions while he was standing blindfolded throughout the period.When someone asked him about his place of work, he replied that works for "Palestine TV". The interrogator called it the "prostitution TV" and forced him to say it under beatings. They tried to accuse him of incitement against the resistance, and that he leads the movement by orders from Ramallah, which he denied completely, and explained to them that the works for Palestine TV in Gaza in preparing programs that have nothing to do with the news. Al-Shafei said that during his detention, he heard the screams of other people suffering from torture, including Mahmoud Al-Shafei, his nephew, a freelance journalist who was arrested for publishing a video showing the suppression of security forces in Gaza for a demonstration in Al-Nuseirat. Later, after Isha Prayer, they took him to a cell adjacent to the place of detention, where a detainee from Qarmout family was. They handed him a blanket and told him that he will spend the night there. In the meantime, he felt that his left hand thumb was broken, as the pain was severe. He informed the guard of the cell, and in turn the guard informed one of the officers. They decided to release him on the following morning. They warned him not to write or publish anything about the movement or what happened to him. At approximately 10:30PM, he was released. He called his son from a communications office in the area to come and pick him up to the hospital. He arrived at Al-Aqsa Hospital at about 11:30PM. The doctors found that there was a fracture in his left thumb, bruises all over his body as a result of the beatings and torture. His thumb was placed in a cast and the doctors prescribed him some medications and painkillers. On the following day (Monday – 18th March 2019), after efforts and contacts with several parties, his case was resolved with the Internal Security Services in Gaza, without returning to turn himself in as he was asked when he was released the night before, but he was warned not to post or share anything that has to do with the movement. 

 

(17th March 2019) The Security Services have arrested three journalists working for Al-Kufiya TV, while they were covering protesting demonstrations against the poor living conditions in Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Amro Ahmad Tabash, 21 years old, a resident of Khan Younis, works as a photographer in the social media department of Al-Kufiya TV, at around 3:00PM, on Sunday (17th March 2018), went to the central area of Khan Younis, and as he crossed a street saw a number of security officers deployed, one of whom asked him to identify himself and to what party he works for. Amro told him by his name and that he was a journalist and showed his identity card and work card. The security officer replied “you are wanted”. Amro told him that he did not film any event, but the officer replied that he "transmitted the events on the previous day" via a live broadcast on his Facebook page and accused him of receiving money from “Ramallah Authority” in exchange for that. But Amro denied that and confirmed that he did not film any event, but with no use, where he was arrested by the security officer and taken to a police vehicle where he remained for about half an hour. Another white vehicle came, and it was for the “Investigations” Services, with five masked officers inside it, carrying weapons and wearing civilian clothing. They took him from the police vehicle to their vehicle and seized his cell phone. They punched him in the stomach and took him to the Investigation Services. When he arrived, at about 4:00PM, he was questioned. The investigator asked him to sit on the chair and asked him about his charges. He told the investigator that he did not know why he was arrested and what he was accused of, and narrated what has happened to him. Then he was taken to the cell (1*1.5 meters, dark with no lights). The security officers started coming to the place of his detention, to curse him, and ask about his charges and that he "works for the authority in Ramallah and serves an external agenda". He remained in detention in the cell for about five hours. A security officer came and asked him to write his cell phone's password addressing him "If we find filmed events in your cell phone, you are not going home, but if there aren’t any events, you will be released”.  After an hour, one of his relatives came to the Investigations Services, and asked what has happened with him and why would he film the events and publish news about the movement. He was told that he will be released under his personal guarantee provided he shall come back at 9:00AM, on the following morning. Indeed, Amro was released at around 11:00PM, on the same day, after six hours of detention. On the following day, before going to the Investigations Center as he was told, he called his relative to ask about what would happen if he goes to the center and asked to take back his cell phone and belongings. His relative told him to stay in the house and that he will bring his belongings to him after being checked. On the following morning, Tuesday, 19th March 2019, his relative gave him back his cell phone and belongings.

On the same day Amro Tabash was arrested, his two coworkers in Al-Kufiya TV were also arrested: Ahmad Ayman Helo, 25 years old, a producer in the TV, and the photographer Amer Abdulmuti Sultan, 26 years old, both of whom work for Al-Kufiya TV/Gaza Office. They were arrested at around 2:00PM, on Sunday 17th March 2018 while they were in "Al-Remal" area of Gaza City, to film interviews with citizens on the street for the “Platform/Al-Manassa” program of the TV. According to MADA researcher, five people in civilian clothes arrived at the place where Ahmad and Amer were. They asked them to stop filming and turn off the camera. They introduced themselves as "the Investigation Services". They arrested Amer and Ahmad and took them to the Investigation Services. They asked for their personal cards and cell phones and about the party they work for. When they arrived, at about 2:30, they were taken to a room where they were questioned, claiming that they were "inciting citizens to participate in the movement”. The investigation lasted for about two hours, during which the camera and the filmed material were checked. Then they were asked by the investigator to sign a pledge not to film or be in any demonstration. They were released and left the center at around 5:00, with their camera and the TV microphone.

 

(19th March) The Israeli Occupation police arrested the journalist Ahmad Al-Safadi, detained him for two hours, questioned him, and re-summoned him claiming that “he harassed one of the police officers” while filming events in Jerusalem.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Ahmad Hussein Al-Safadi, 45 years old, a Jerusalemite, the director of the Elia Media Foundation, received a summons from the Israeli intelligence services to go to the headquarters on 17th March, 2019. But he did not respond and go. On Tuesday, March 19, as he was passing by his house in Bab Al-Zahra area, Jerusalem, he was arrested by intelligence officers and transferred to Al-Qishla prison. They started questioning him (around 3:00PM) for the charge of harassing one of the police officers while Al-Safadi was covering the violations of the police against the citizens in Al-Aqsa mosque, on Thursday, 14th March 2019. It should be noted that Al-Safadi told them he was a journalist and he was doing his job only. He also showed them his press card, and asked them to show any photo or video that proves their accusation of harassing a police officer. However, they did not respond, and they seized his cell phone and the three camera plates. They asked him to give his password of the cell phone, but he refused. At around 5:00PM, on the same day, he was released and after two hours of investigation, he was released provided he shall come back to Al-Qishla police station again at 9:00AM, on Sunday, 25th March, but he postponed it to 7:00PM, as he works in a school in the morning in addition to his press work. He was asked to sign documents that abide him to go to the headquarters on time, but he refused. Indeed, on Sunday, 25th March 2019, he went to the police station on time, where he was informed that the investigator is not available, and he will be called as soon as the investigator comes back. Al-Safadi requested his cell phone back, but they refused. After an hour of waiting, he left the place.

 

(19th March) The journalist Thaer Abo Rayash was injured by a gas bomb in the neck and head, while he was covering the sea march organized in Zikim, northern Gaza, as part of the peaceful return marches.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the journalist Thaer Khaled Fahmi Abu Rayash, 24 years old, from Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, a photographer of Shamal online News Network, at around 3:00PM, on Tuesday, 19th March 2018, while he was wearing the PRESS vest, carrying his camera to cover the sea march announced by the High Commission of Return Marches, arrived near Zikim military site, northern Gaza, in Beit Lahia City. The place was crowded with peaceful demonstrators. The Israeli occupation soldiers deployed on the other side were firing gunshots and rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas bombs, causing the injury of a number of citizens, which made him stay far away, about 400 meters away from the border fence on the other side of which the Israeli soldiers were deployed. After about half an hour, at around 4:30PM, the Israeli occupation soldiers heavily and randomly fired gas bombs at the demonstrators. They also directly fired gas bombs at the journalist resulting in the injury of Abu Rayash by a gas bomb in the neck and head. He was taken by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance, parked at a distance of 400 meters to the a field paramedic center, one kilometer away from the demonstration, where he received the first aid, and then was transported by Al-Awda Hospital ambulance to Tel Al-Za’tar, northern Gaza Strip. His injury was described as average, and it was stitched with three stitches. He was placed under observation for fear that his neck veins were damaged. He stayed in the hospital until 8:30PM on the same day.

 

(19th March) On Tuesday evening, 19th March 2019, Israeli forces have suppressed a number of journalists by sound bombs and rubber bullets while they were covering a siege of one of the houses in Obwen, northern Ramallah, 30 kilometers away.

According to investigations of "MADA" field researcher, a group of journalists arrived in the old town of Obwen, Ramallah, between 10:30PM and 11:00PM, on Tuesday 19th March 2019 to cover the siege of a house there. They approached a distance of 100 meters away from the besieged house amid the great number of spread Israeli soldiers and Israeli Special Forces wearing black shields. While the journalists were covering the event, five Israeli soldiers expelled the journalists from the place, prevented them from coverage, and threatened to arrest them despite their press cards. At 11:30, they fired rubber bullets and gas bombs at the journalists to keep them away. These journalists included: Issam Huda Al-Rimawi, photographer of Al-Hayat newspaper and the Turkish Anatolia Agency, Ali Dar Ali, a reporter for Palestine TV, Hisham Kamel Abu Shakra, a photographer of the Turkish Anatolia Agency, Ismail Khader, photographer of Reuters News Agency, Khaled Ali Sabarneh, photographer of Iran TV, Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait, photographer of Quds News Network, Jihad Ibrahim Barakat reporter of Palestine Today, Samed Baghdadi, photographer of Palestine Today, and Fadi Al-Jayyousi / Palestine TV photographer, and Ahmed Aruri / photographer of Al-Ayam newspaper. Even though the location did not witness any clashes with the occupation forces whose hundreds of officers were deployed in Obwen. According to the statements of the journalists who were present in the location, the process of suppressing them and firing tear gas bombs and rubber bullets at them occurred at 11:30PM, when the Israeli occupation forces removed the body of a young Palestinian man named Omar Abu Laila, who was killed by the soldiers in one of the houses after bombing the house in which he was located. This killing was confirmed by the Israeli army spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, in a press release circulated by the media on Wednesday morning, at 6:30PM in which he stated that an Israeli force has murdered a Palestinian young man claiming that he executed a shooting and stabbing of a soldier and citizen. 

 

(22nd March) The journalist Hashem Al-Soudi, was injured by a gunshot fired by the occupation soldiers at him while he was covering a peaceful return march eastern Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Hashem Hisham Al-Soudi (29 years old), works for Al-Israa Radio, went, at around 3:30PM, on Friday, 22nd March 2019, to Malka Camp, eastern Gaza, carrying a photographic camera of Canon D500, and he was not wearing the press shield. He stopped at a distance of 150 meters away from the separating fence to cover the demonstration organized weekly as part of the return marches. When the demonstrators approached the fence, he also approached but stopped at a distance of 30 meters away from the fence. After he took some photos while some of them were trying to cut the fence, he moved backwards, and stopped at a distance of 70 meters away from the fence while the army continued heavy firing of gas bombs and gunshots at the demonstrators. At around 04:00PM, he was wounded by gunshot fired by the Israeli soldiers. It entered from the left thigh and went out to injury his right knee, causing him to fall to the ground. He was taken by paramedics who were in the area by the ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent to the medical tent located about 700 meters away from the fence. The wound was dressed, and after about half an hour, he was transferred to Al-Quds Hospital where he arrived at 5:00PM. He was immediately taken to the Radiology Department, and his injury was dressed again. After about half an hour, he was transferred from Al-Quds Hospital to Shifa Hospital where he arrived at around 6:00 PM. He was admitted to the hospital's orthopedic department. The doctors told him that he was slightly injured and there was no need to undergo any operations. He stayed in the hospital for three days and received the necessary medication. He was given two crutches for walking and he was discharged on Monday afternoon, while the doctor asked him to review the hospital on Sunday 7th April 2019 to change the dressing of the injury.

 

(22nd March) The journalist Ismail Abu Omar was injured by a gas bomb directly in the foot while he was covering the events of the return peaceful march in Khuza’a, eastern Khan Younes.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, on Friday, 22 March 2019, the journalist Ismail Fareed Mohammad Abu Omar, 34 years old, from Khan Younes, the reporter of Al-Aqsa Radio in Gaza, arrived at around 3:45PM, on Friday, 22nd March 2019, with one of his friends, to Al-Awda Camp, in Khuza’a, eastern Khan Younis, to cover the events of the return march organized weekly. Upon his arrival, thousands of peaceful demonstrators were standing opposite the border fence, while Israeli soldiers were deployed on the other side of the fence fired live bullets and gas bombs at the demonstrators. Many of them were wounded (some of whom with live bullets). When Abu Omar arrived Jakar Street, about 150 meters away from the separation fence, he started his work until he was injured by a gas bomb in his left foot, fired at him by one of the soldiers, causing him severe pain. Although he continued working, the pain did not stop and the place of injury was swelling. He had to leave to his house for rest, as he was recommended by the paramedics who checked his injury.

 

(22nd March) The occupation soldiers have arrested the journalists Jafar Ishtaya and Nidal Ishtaya while they were covering the weekly return march in Kufr Qaddum.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Jafar Zahed Hussein Ishtaya, (51 years old), a photographer of the French News Agency, Nidal Taher Ishtaya, (49 years old), works for the Chinese News Agency Xinhua, and Mohammad Mahmoud Hassan Inaya, (27 years old) a photographer of Palestine TV, have arrived to Kufr Qaddum, in Qalqilya, between 11:00PM and 12:00PM, on Friday, 22nd March 2019, to cover the weekly march which were launched since eight years to protest against the closure of the occupation army of the town’s entrance since 2003 for the interest of Qadumim Settlement, established on the territories of the town. The three journalists were wearing the PRESS uniform, including the helmet and the muzzle. When the citizens began their usual march at around 12:30PM, the journalists started taking photos, and when the demonstrators arrived the closed street at 100 meters away from the gate of Qadumim settlement and started sitting on fire rubber tires. An Israeli army force quickly came and started firing metal bullets and sound bombs. In the meantime, the journalists in the location (6) were standing on the right side of the closed street at a distance of 20 meters away from the demonstrators to transmit the events. While the soldiers attacked the demonstrators, five soldiers approached the journalists and started screaming at them to prevent them from completing their work. The journalists began to move back and the soldiers started beating the journalist Jafar Ishtaya, pushed him from the back, until his helmet fell to the ground. Moreover, one of the soldiers started also beating the journalist Nidal Ishtaya with his gun causing him severe bruises in the palm of his hand. The journalist Mohammad Inaya was pushed and threatened with gunshots in the event he films anything. All of the journalists moved back to a distance of 120 meters away from the soldiers, where Nidal Ishtaya received some first aid from the medical staff in the town.

 

(22nd March) The photojournalist Ali Jadallah was injured by explosive gunshot fragments in the left hand, fired at him by one of the Israeli occupation soldiers while he was covering the events of the return march in Malka, eastern Gaza.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, the photographer of the Turkish Anatolia Agency, Ali Hassan mousa Jadallah, 29 years old, married, has arrived at around 3:00PM, on Friday, 22nd March 2019, to Malka, east of Gaza, to cover the events of the return march and break the weekly siege. He was wearing the PRESS uniform (helmet, vest). When the demonstrators approached the separation fence on the other side of which the Israeli soldiers were deployed, the photographer Jadallah, along with his colleague journalists, to film the events, and while he was 400 meters away from the separation fence, he started filming hundreds of demonstrators when the Israeli occupation soldiers were firing live bullets and gas bombs randomly at the them. At around 4:00PM, while he was doing his work, he was injured by explosive gunshot fragments in his left hand fired by an Israeli soldier at the demonstrators near Jadallah, who was transported by a Red Crescent Ambulance to the field medical point 700 meters away. He received the first aid, and then was taken to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza where he was imaged and underwent some medical tests which showed that there was a fragment in his hand. He received the necessary treatment and stayed in the hospital for an hour and then left provided he shall regularly review the doctors in the hospital.

 

(23rd March) The journalists, Mahmoud Allouh and Ahmad Allouh, were injured on Saturday, 23rd March 2019, due to the bombing of an Israeli reconnaissance aircraft while they were covering a demonstration at the separation fence, eastern Bureij, central Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Mahmoud Omar Mahmoud Allouh, from Al-Nuseirat Camp, central Gaza Strip, 29 years old, a reporter of Sawt Al-Sha’b Radio, and Ahmad Baker Mahmoud Allouh, 34 years old, from Al-Nuseirat as well, a reporter of Al-Ribat Radio, have arrived, at around 4:00PM, on Saturday, 23rd March 2019, to Al-Awda Camp, eastern Bureij, to cover the Israeli bombing targeting demonstrators who were getting ready to the night disruption events, near the separation fence in that area. They stopped at a distance of 500meters away from the fence to cover the events and the demonstration. They started broadcasting through their personal pages to the radios they work for. At around 4:30PM, the reconnaissance aircraft bombed the place where the journalists Ahmad and Mahmoud were located. They were injured and they fainted. After about half an hour, they found themselves at Al-Aqsa Hospital where the doctors informed them that they were transported after their injury. The doctors found that the journalist Mahmoud Allouh was injured by two fragments in the back, and bruises. He received treatment after his recovering consciousness, and all the fragments that injured his back were removed, leaving minor effects. Ahmad Allouh was wounded and bruised as a result of fainting due to the bombing. However, he was not injured by fragment. At about 5:30PM, they left the hospital after their health condition stabilized.

 

(23rd March) The Preventive Security Service in Hebron summoned the journalist Sari Shareef Jaradat and questioned him about his press work.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, at around 10:00AM, on Saturday, 23rd March 2019, Sari Shareef Abdelghaffar Jaradat, 33 years old, from Saeer, Hebron, a photographer, reporter and journalist of Al-Mayadeen TV, and the Turkish Agency Ikhlas, received a phone call from one of the Preventive Security Services officers who asked him to come to the headquarters in Hebron. On Monday morning, 25th March 2019. At around 10:00AM, he arrived to the headquarters in Hebron, where the guard took his cell phone and accompanied him to the waiting room in the first floor, where a group of citizens were waiting, including the reporter of Al-Hadath newspaper, Musab Abdelsamad Shawer Al-Tamimi (27 years old), who was summoned as well. Five minutes after Jaradat entered the waiting room, one of the Service officer came, took his personal identity card, and left. After 40 minutes, the same officer came back and took Jaradat to the second floor, where one of the investigators was waiting for him at the stairs. He took him to an office, asked to take a seat, and started asking him questions about his name, his press work, and how he received his salary. Jaradat was answering the questions which he considered routine questions. But when Jaradat asked the investigator about his name, the later refused to reply. The investigator asked him whether he belongs to the democratic front, and Jaradat replied that he does not belong to any political faction. The investigator continued talking about local radios, and many of them work without journalism. He asked Jaradat about his previous job at (Lahtha) media agency. He told him that he worked there for about a month and left it because of differences in the nature of work and salary, and he did not know anything about it. The investigation lasted about 40 minutes, and no direct charges were pressed against Jaradat. After that, his cell phone was handed over and he left the headquarters.

 

(24th March) The internal security service in Rafah summoned both Palestine TV photographer, Bassam Abdullah (52 years old), from Al-Shaboura, and the Monitor of Palestine TV, Iyad Abu Zubaida (46 years old) from Yabna Camp.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Abu Zubaida and Abdullah have received a phone call from a person who introduced himself as an officer from the Public Relations Department in the Internal Security Service in Gaza. He informed them to come on the following morning, 25th March 2019 to the service headquarters in Rafah. Abu Zubaida and Abdullah informed the administration of the TV and the journalists syndicate as well as other parties to intervene. On Monday morning, and before the scheduled appointment, they were informed by one of the parties that has intervened that their summoning has been suspended due to the security conditions Gaza Strip is witnessing caused by the Israeli occupation.

 

(24th March) The Palestinian Preventive Security Service in Hebron summoned the journalist Musab Shawer Al-Tamimi, three consecutive times and questioned him.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Musab Abdelsamad Mohammad Hamed Shawer Tamimi, 28 years old, from Qezon, Hebron, a reporter of Al-Hadath, received, at around 10:00AM, on Sunday, 24th March 2019, a phone call from a person who introduced himself as an officer from the Palestinian preventive security service. He informed him to come to the headquarters in Hebron immediately. When Musab asked about the reason, the caller told him that there was a decision for his arrest in the event his does not respond to the summons, and that he will know the reason of summoning him when he comes.

Musab went directly to the Preventive Security Service headquarters, and upon his arrival at 11:00AM, one of the security officers took him to a room in the first floor, seized his two cell phones, and informed him that he was arrested. After about 10 minutes, another security officer came and took him to the investigation room on the same floor. There was one investigator. He asked Musab to sit on a chair and began to talk to him about his social life, the nature of his work, his salary, how he receives the same, his news resources, and how he received the information. The investigator asked Musab to give him the password of his phone and the Facebook. Musab rejected what the investigator asked him, and told him that personal matters need a court order. The investigator considered this refusal that Musab “is hiding things that affect security and the law” on his cell phone, and that he (the investigator) wants only to see the posts on his Facebook. If there were correspondence with other parties (in Gaza and the West Bank), Musab agreed on that and gave him the passwords of the cell phone and Facebook. The investigation session continued until 3:00PM, where the investigator informed Musab that there were people intervening to prevent his arrest and that he would be released on the following morning, Monday, 25th March 2019, to complete the investigation and receive the cell phones that Musab knew from the investigator that they remained seized for security check. Musab left the house at about 3:00PM, and at around 10:00AM, on the following morning (Monday, 25th March 2019) Musab returned to the Preventive Security Service headquarters on time. Upon his arrival, a security officer took him to the waiting room where he saw a number of citizens, including journalist Sari Sherif Jaradat, a reporter and a photographer for Al-Mayadeen TV and the Turkish Agency “Ikhlas” and he learned from him that he was called by telephone.After about 20 minutes of waiting, a security officer came and took Musab to the same investigator. As soon as Musab entered, the investigator took out a number of printed papers of correspondence taken form Musab’s cell phone. He told him that he wanted to ask about some words he did not understand in the correspondence between Musab and his wife. Musab replied that these are special matters and have nothing to do with them. They do not affect security, and “there is an agreement to give you the password for Facebook to have a look at the posts and not to read my conversation with my wife”. After a few minutes of questioning, the investigator asked Musab whether he belonged to Hamas. Musab denied that. The investigator replied “You are from the liberation party. We found a statement on your phone”. Musab told him that as a journalist he was following everything and the statement “does not mean that I belong to this party”.  The investigator asked Musab several questions about his position towards the PA’s policy and whether he supported or opposed it. The investigation session continued intermittently until 3:00PM. The investigator recorded everything Musab answered. Musab was told by the investigator to come back to the Service headquarters on Tuesday, 26th March 2019, to complete the investigation and examine the remaining information on the cell phones. Musab returned to the headquarters, and after waiting for few minutes, he was taken to the same investigator, who questioned him about his friends and social relations, the reasons for his arrest and summoning him by the Palestinian Intelligence Service during the previous years, the session lasted for about two hours, after which Musab was handed over his cell phone and released at around 12:00PM.

 

(29th March) The Journalist Mohammad Abu Sultan was wounded by a live bullet fired by Israeli soldiers while covering a peaceful march east of Rafah in Gaza Strip.

According to investigations of MADA field researcher, Mohammad Sameeh Abu Sultan, 24 years old, resident of Rafah, works for the “Rowad Al-Haqiqa” Network, arrived with some of his colleagues working for the same network at about 6:30PM on Friday 29th March 2019, eastern Rafah, the border area, to cover the night demonstrations as part of the so-called “night disruption activities”. He was wearing the PRESS vest and carrying a Canon 5D camera. At about 07:30PM, demonstrators began firing rubber tires and sound bombs at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the sand berms on the other side of the fence. Sultan came and stood about 100 meters away from the fence and began taking photos of protesters. After about half an hour, he approached a distance of about 50 meters from the fence. At around 8:30PM, he saw a number of Israeli vehicles quickly approaching a distance where one of the demonstrators tried to sneak out. The soldiers began to shoot at the demonstrators in a heavy manner. Suddenly he felt very pain and then screamed. He was injured and saw severe bleeding from the chest area. The demonstrators quickly came and took him by the ambulance (and after that he did not know anything because he passed out). He was taken to the Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital, where he recovered consciousness in the intensive care unit. He was given oxygen to breathe and control the bleeding. The doctors found that he was injured by fragments of a gunshot. At around 10:00PM, he was taken to the European Hospital, where he was admitted to the ICU, where he was imaged (CT scan) of the place of fragment. It was not clear to them, as the doctor told him, and they asked him to stay in the hospital but he refused and left the hospital at about 1:00AM, on the next day (Saturday, 30th March 2019) with his medications. About two hours after he left the hospital (at 3:00AM), the blood was renewed. Abu Sultan went to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital again, where he was imaged a new CT scan without showing any fragments. The wound was dressed and they asked him to stay overnight again. He refused and left the hospital at about 5:00AM. At around 1:00PM, he went to the border area east of Rafah, (where a demonstration was organized marking the anniversary of the return marches and the Earth Day). But he felt dizzy and his bleeding was renewed so the paramedics took him to the medical point established there.

After about an hour, the doctors took him to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital, as the bleeding was stopped and dressed. He stayed in the hospital until 7:00PM, but until the moment, the fragment was not removed from his body.

 

(30th March) Two journalists, Mohammad Abu Hayya and Mohammad Balour, were wounded by rubber bullets fired by the Israeli soldiers while covering the peaceful march organized near the separation fence east of Al-Bureij refugee camp on the occasion of the first anniversary of the return marches and the Earth Day.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Mohammad Ribhi Atallah Abu Hayya, (33 years old), Al-Nuseirat Camp, central Gaza Strip, a photographer of Social Media, Al-Aqsa Radio, at around 9:00AM, on Saturday 30th March 2019, went to cover the return marches, in the central areas, specifically Al-Awda Camp, east of Bureij. He started taking photos and live broadcasting the arrival of demonstrators, until 4:00PM on the same day. While Muhammad Abu Hayya was about 400 meters away from the separation fence, and live broadcasting through Al-Aqsa TV from the back of the demonstrators while the soldiers were firing gunshots, rubber bullets and gas bombs. He was injured by a rubber bullet in the upper left thigh. He was rushed to the nearest field medical point. Doctors found that he was bruised and swollen by a rubber bullet. He was given medications and cold water compresses. He left the house and returned home at about 5:00PM on the same day.

On the same day, Muhammad Mesbah Mahmoud Balour, 39 years old, a resident of Al-Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, a reporter and a photographer for Al-Aqsa Media Network, arrived at about 10:00AM (30th March 2019), wearing the PRESS helmet and a vest, and there he took photos and transmitted media messages to the network he works for. At around 02:00PM, while he was filming citizens from behind, he was injured by a rubber bullet in the right thigh (above the knee). He immediately went to the field medical field, which was located approximately 100 meters away, where he received pain killers and cold compresses to reduce the pain.

 

(30th March) The journalists Alaa Al-Namla and Mohammad Qindeel were injured by gas bombs fired by occupation soldiers at them while they were covering demonstrations on the occasion of the Earth Day, and the anniversary of the launch of return marches, east of Rafah, in Gaza Strip.

According to the investigations of MADA field researcher, Alaa Abdelfattah Al-Namla, 35 years old, a reporter of Al-Quds Media Network, at around 11:00AM, on Saturday, 30th March 2019, went to eastern Rafah, wearing the PRESS vest, and carrying photographic camera and tripod. When he arrived, he sat in the tent of journalists located 600 meters away from the separating fence, waiting for the events to begin. At about 1:00PM, he started photographing some of the events that were held in the camp yard and live broadcasting through his Facebook page. About half an hour later, he moved to the area of the gathered demonstrators who were about 100 meters away from the fence, on the other side of which the soldiers were deployed, firing gas bombs at the demonstrators. At about 2:30PM, the clashes intensified and the demonstrators approached about 70 meters from the separation fence. In order to avoid the occupation forces firing gas, he stepped aside from the demonstrators, whom he accompanied to this distance. He was filming and broadcasting live via his Facebook page. Three of the journalists stopped at a distance of 15 meters away from them, although his PRESS uniform was clearly evident to the soldiers, one of them fired a gas bomb directly at the journalist Alaa, at around 3:00PM, which damaged his tripod and smashed one of its angles. The bomb bounced to injury Alaa in his left foot, and then he fell to the floor. He was taken by an ambulance to the field medical point at 700 meters away from the fence. He received the first aid and his foot was “fixed” so he does not move it. After 10 minutes, he was transferred to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital, where he was imaged, and his injury was minor. He needed rest and he was given the pain killers after his wound was dressed. He was discharged from the hospital after half an hour.

On the same day, Mohammad Omar Qindeel, 30 years old, a photographer working for Al-Masdar News Network, arrived to the same location (east of Rafah) to cover the demonstrations, at around 12:00PM. He was wearing the PRESS vest and carrying a camera. At about 1:00PM, he began broadcasting live the events via Facebook a group of demonstrators, who were 150 meters away from the fence (in Jakar Street), using his cell phone. The soldiers were firing gas bombs at the demonstrators. At around 4:00PM, while he was covering the events, one of the soldiers directly fired a gas bomb that injured his right thigh. He was taken by an ambulance to the field medical point 700 meters away from the separation fence. The doctors gave him the necessary treatment; after they found that the place of injury was read and swollen. After an hour, he left the medical point.

 

(30th March) The journalist Mahmoud Fawzi Abdelghani was injured by a gas bomb while he was covering a march targeting the medical staff on the occasion of the Earth Day, organized near Howara barrier, at the entrance of Nablus City.

According to investigations of MADA researcher, Mahmoud Fawzi Mahmoud Abdelghani, 33 years old, a freelance photographer, went to the entrance of Nablus near the Israeli military checkpoint Hawara to cover a peaceful march held there on 30th March 2019 on the occasion of the Earth Day to protest against targeting the medical staff and paramedics, by the occupation. The latest of which was the death of the medic Sajid Mezher by the soldiers bullets in Bethlehem. The demonstrators gathered at a distance of about 100 meters from the army's military checkpoint and were lifting photos of medical workers who were shot dead by the Israeli army during their work. Since the first moments of the demonstration, the soldiers fired tear gas bombs at the demonstrators, injuring a number of them. At around 12:30PM (approximately half an hour later) Mahmoud and a number of his colleagues were in a distance of 70 meters away from the army checkpoint, wearing a press vest and muzzle, taking some photos. In the meantime, one of the soldiers fired a gas bomb from a distance of 40 meters that injured the journalist Mahmoud in the mouth and hand, the moment he was injured. He was wounded slightly because he was putting a muzzle that reduced the gravity of the injury. He received the field treatment by the medical staff.

 

(39th March) The photojournalist Bilal Al-Darbi was injured by a gas bomb fired by one of the soldiers while he was covering a demonstration, right across from the separating fence, eastern Rafah.

According to MADA researcher, Bilal Fawzi Sha’ban Al-Darbi, 20 years old, resident of Rafah, a photographer of “Rowad Al-Haqiqa” Network, arrived at around 10:30AM, on Saturday, 30th March 2019, to Al-Awda Camp, right across from the border strip east of Rafah, wearing a blue press vest and carrying his press equipment, to cover the march organized on the occasion of the Earth Day, and the annual anniversary of the return marches which were launched on 30 March 2018. Immediately after his arrival, Al-Darbi began taking photos of the crowds arriving at the camp, and then began to follow groups of demonstrators towards the border strip until it was about 10 meters away from the fence, on the other side of which was an army jeep and a number of soldiers. At around 2:00PM, while taking photos of the military jeep and the soldiers who were targeting the demonstrators with gas bombs, one of the soldiers stationed in a tower about 100 meters away fired a gas bomb at him in the head (on the right side of the head near the eye). Immediately he was taken by demonstrators to an ambulance that was nearby, he received the medical treatment from the field point in the camp, where he was given initial treatments for the burns and bruises caused by the bomb. The doctors decided to keep him under medical observation in the hospital until the following day 31st March 2019 when his right eye was swollen and he was transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis to be examined by ophthalmologist. It was found that his eye was unaffected and the swelling was a normal symptom and it will go with time and treatments. He then returned to Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and the doctors decided to keep him under observation for another day. On the morning of the third day (1st April 2019), Al-Darbi left the hospital at about 11:00AM. The swelling of his eye and his suffering from the headache continued for several days.

 

(30th March) A gas bomb fired at the photographer Walid Abu Rock, while he was covering the march east of Khan Younis, led to the crash of his camera without causing any harm.

According to the investigations of MADA researcher, Walid Mahmoud Abu Rock (28 years old), from Abasan Al-Kabira, eastern Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, a freelance photographer, went to Khuza’a, eastern Khan Younis, at around 1:00PM, on Saturday 30th March 2019, to cover a demonstration organized on the occasion of the annual anniversary of the return marches. He was carrying a photographic camera and wearing the PRESS vest. When he arrived the location, he started taking photos of the demonstrators who began gathering in the camp located 300-350 meters away from the separating fence, on the other side of which the occupation soldiers were deployed. At around 3:00PM, he approached the fence, and stopped at a distance of 150 meters, taking photos of the demonstrators who started firing rubber tires, while the soldiers were stationed behind the sand berms near the military jeeps, firing gas bombs at the demonstrators. At around 3:30PM, the camera he was carrying was hit by the gas bomb without causing him any harm.