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5 wounded by bullets and bombs, and 4 cases of arrest 16 violations of media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza during April, most of them were committed by the Israeli occupation

Ramallah - (5/5/2021) - Although last April witnessed fewer violations against media freedoms in Palestine compared to the previous month,

However, what was monitored during this month were extremely violent violations accompanied by complex and indirect violations aimed at preventing coverage of the events and the recent Israeli escalation in the city of Jerusalem.

  The month of April witnessed a total of 16 attacks against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 13 of which were committed by the Israeli occupation, while different Palestinian parties committed 3 violations.

 

 over the last two months Violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

 

Israeli violations:

During the past month, the Israeli occupation forces committed a total of 13 direct attacks, most of which were among the most serious attacks against the media work and threats the lives of journalists, as well as indirect attacks by preventing journalists from media coverage at the sites of the events that escalated particularly in the city of Jerusalem.

Seven of the Israeli attacks consisted of direct physical injuries to journalists, five of them were injured and burned by being targeted by rubber bullets or by tear gas and sound bombs, while three were injured as a result of physical assaults with beating during their coverage of field events.

Direct Israeli attacks were monitored and documented against the following journalists: Bashar Mahmoud Nazal (a rubber bullet in his wrist), Abdullah Salim Shteiwi (a rubber bullet in his back), photographer Nasser Shtayyeh (detained and prevented from reporting), Abdel Mohsen Tayseer Shalaldeh (summoning and interrogation) Mahmoud Elyan (burns to the leg from a direct sound bomb fired at him), Muhammad Ali Ateeq (arrested while heading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem), Alaa Hassan al-Rimawi (arrest), Zeina Mazen al-Halawani (beaten), Wehbe Makiya (beaten), Khaled Saleh Badir (a direct gas bomb in his right leg), Qutaiba Saleh Qasim (arrested while heading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque), Hafez Mahmoud Abu Sabra (a gas bomb in his chest), and journalist Mustafa Sabry (arrest).

Palestinian violations:

During the month of April, three Palestinian violations were monitored, one occurred in the West Bank and two in the Gaza Strip, compared to five Palestinian violations during the previous month  (March).

Palestinian violations during April included assaulting journalist Moeen Tayseer Al-Dabba by members of the National Security Forces in Gaza, summoning the journalist at the French Press Agency, Sakhr Medhat Abu Aoun, and interrogating him after he published a criticism of the performance of the Shifa and Rantisi hospitals in Gaza regarding the treatment of his son, who died during his interrogation by the cybercrime investigation in Gaza, summoning the journalist at the French Press Agency, Sakhr Medhat Abu Aoun, and interrogating him after he published a criticism of the performance of the Shifa and Rantisi hospitals in Gaza regarding the treatment of his son, who died during his interrogation by the cybercrime investigation in Gaza, dismissal of Journalist Ahmed Maher Zayed from the Arab American University radio in the West Bank after an interview with an election candidate.

 

Details of violations:

 

(1-4) Arab American University Radio dismissed journalist Ahmed Maher Zayed (24 years) following a telephone interview he gave on Thursday 1/4/2021 with retired Colonel Abu al-Tayyib Jaradat, who is one of the Fatah movement’s candidates for the Legislative Council elections. Jaradat was carrying the number 37 on the movement’s list of candidates, but after submitting the final list, he learned that his number had become 51, which angered him and the voters in his district.

Journalist Ahmed Zayed had spoken to the candidate Jaradat before the interview for several minutes about this problem. During the radio interview Jaradat began to insult the government and the Fatah movement when the journalist asked him about this problem.

The interview, which was leaked to many websites and electronic pages, aroused widespread discontent in the university and in the circles of the Fatah movement, and as a result the radio decided to withdraw it, while the university issued a statement in this regard indicating that its policy is based on broadcasting various programs to the people, and does not address issues related to the government, and that the university took legal action against the offender.

On the evening of the same day (4/1/2021), journalist Ahmed Zayed received a phone call from the radio director, who told him that he was dismissed, knowing that Ahmed's contract was terminated on 03/31 and that he remained working on 04/01 without an official contract, as the renewal of the contract was postponed. On Sunday 04/04, the radio asked Ahmed to volunteer to work during that day.

(2-4) The cameraman of Palestine TV in Qalqila, Bashar Mahmoud Nazal Saleh (42 years), and the volunteer cameraman with the Israeli human rights organization "B'Tselem", Abdullah Shteiwi, was wounded by a rubber bullet fired by the occupation soldiers while they were covering a peaceful march against settlement in Kafr Qaddum, Qalqilya governorate, on Friday. Friday 04/02/2021.

The photographer Bashar Nazzal arrived at about 1 pm on 4/4/2021 in the town of Kafr Qaddum to cover the weekly anti-settlement march, and while he was preparing to document the march, about 150 meters away from the occupation soldiers, one of the soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him, hitting him in his right hand wrist. He was treated by the Palestinian Red Crescent crews who were at the scene.

On the same day, while Abdullah Salim Shteiwi, a 28-year-old volunteer photographer with B'Tselem organization, was standing next to journalist Nidal Shtayyeh and they were sheltering with a pillar next to them while they were filming the march, he was hit by a rubber bullet in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. He was treated by the Palestinian Red Crescent crews.

(2-4) The Israeli occupation soldiers detained the photographer for "Flasha 90", Nasir Suleiman Muhammad Shtayyeh, (50 years), at the Beit Furik checkpoint, while covering a march against settlement in the town of Beit Dajan.

The photographer Shtayyeh arrived at about 12:15 pm on Friday, 4/2/2021 at the military checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Furik, heading to document the weekly march against settlement in the town of Beit Dajan. The soldiers prevented him from passing under the pretext that "there is no coordination to enter the area." He was held for about 45 minutes until the demonstration ended, and he was forced to return without being able to document the march.

(4-5) The Israeli intelligence summoned the cameraman in the G-Media company for media services, Abdel Mohsen Tayseer Shalalda, (28 years), on 04/05 via a phone call, to interrogate him at the "Etzion" settlement center, where the intelligence headquarters are located.

On the next morning (Tuesday 4/6/2021) Shalaldeh went to the Etzion center, and after waiting an hour and a half, he entered the center. There he was subjected to an investigation that focused on the Palestinian elections and who is expected to win, as the investigator asked him about some media reports that he had previously prepared, and when the journalist asked him if there was any problem, he replied NO. Shalaldeh felt that the message that the investigator wanted to convey to him was to stay away from covering the elections during the coming period. After the investigation, which lasted about an hour, he was released.

(4-9) "Al-Quds" newspaper photographer Mahmoud Elyan (47 years) was injured by a sound grenade in the leg while covering a demonstration in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem on Friday 04/09/2021.

Photographer Elyan went to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood at 4:00 pm on Friday (4-4-2021) to cover a demonstration held there to protest the settlers' takeover of Palestinian homes and the subsequent Israeli decision to evacuate these citizens from their homes.

About an hour after his arrival at the place of the protest, Israeli police arrived at the scene and started firing sound grenades to disperse the demonstrators, and during that time one of the bombs fell between the legs of journalist Elyan, causing him burns on both legs, and he received field aid from the Red Crescent crews, but the pain continued, so he went to a medical center, and there the doctor saw a "hole" - a wound - in one of his legs, and he was afraid that one of the shrapnel had entered his leg, and therefore journalist Elyan went to the Makassed Hospital, and there it was found that the injuries were only burns and there were no shrapnel in his body. As a result of that injury and the pain that accompanied it, he was forced to stay for three days at his home.

(4-21) The Israeli occupation force arrested the director of G-Media Company and the coordinator and correspondent of Al-Jazeera Mubasher, journalist Alaa Hassan Jamil Al-Rimawi (43 years), after they raided his home in Ramallah at dawn on Wednesday 21/4/2021.

Dr. Maymona Hussein Al-Din Al-Khatib, wife of journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi, reported that a large force of the occupation army surrounded their house in Ramallah between 2:30 a.m and 3:00 p.m on Wednesday 21/4/2021, while 12 soldiers entered the house, and detained the family in Living room After they confirmed Alaa’s identity, they stayed with Alaa in another room and asked him to prepare some items that he might need during his arrest. They arrested him and left the house after about a quarter of an hour. Upon his arrest, Alaa declared an open hunger strike in protest against his arrest. (Alaa is still on strike until the preparation of this report 5/3/2021).

(4-23) The Israeli occupation forces arrested the journalist of the "Sanad" news agency, Muhammad Ali Ateeq (29 years old), while he was on his way to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

 The journalist Muhammad Ateeq, from Jenin, went on Friday morning 4/23/2021 to the Al-Aqsa Mosque by bus, and after they passed the "Modiin" Israeli checkpoint, the Israeli army transferred the bus to Atarot settlement, and there all the bus passengers remained detained from ten in the morning until four in the morning. In the afternoon, however, when the soldiers examined the identity cards of the bus passengers at around 2 pm, they arrested the journalist Muhammad Ateeq and another person, and brought them back to the bus around four o'clock to say goodbye to their relatives and informed them that they were detained.

Muhammad's family contacted the “Addameer Prisoner Care and Human Rights” organization, and learned on Sunday 25/4/2021 that he is being held in “Ofer” detention center.

(4-23) A force of the Israeli Occupation Police attacked the crew of the Kofiya TV while covering clashes that took place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The reporter of Al-Kufiya TV, Zeina Mazen Al-Halawani (24 years) and her colleague Wehbe Makiya the channel's cameraman, arrived on Friday night 23/4/2021 in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to document clashes that erupted in Jerusalem following a march organized by the Israeli extremist "Lahava" movement in the city, which was punctuated by chants against the Arabs. While the photographer Makki was taking some pictures and the flash of the camera was lit, five soldiers attacked him and started beating him, while his colleague Zeina tried to defend him, but she was also attacked by the soldiers who hit them with hands and rifles, which caused the elbow of photographer Wehbe's right hand to shift. He was forced to go to Al-Makassed Hospital to receive the necessary treatment.

(4/23) The occupation soldiers assaulted Al-Ghad TV reporter Khaled Saleh Badir (32 years) while transmitting a message in a live broadcast during a march organized in the city of Tulkarm in support of Al-Aqsa and rejecting the Israeli attacks in Jerusalem.

"Al-Ghad" satellite reporter Khaled Saleh Badir (32 years old) was at about 10:15 pm on Friday 23/4/2021, covering a march that started west of Tulkarm in support of Al-Aqsa.

A number of journalists were near the Gishuri factories, far from the confrontations that took place between the demonstrators and the occupation forces, as the journalists were 30 meters behind the army, and while the journalist was transmitting a direct message about those events, a soldier approached him and asked him to leave the place, and Badir told him ( He wore the press uniform) that he is a journalist, so the soldier fired a tear gas grenade at him directly from a distance of 15 meters, which hit the journalist in his right foot, causing bruises and blueness to the place of his injury, and he received field treatment.

 

(4-23) The Israeli occupation forces arrested the freelancer journalist Qutayba Saleh Qassem (32 years) while he was on his way to Jerusalem.

On the morning of Friday 23/4/2021, the journalist Qutayba Qassem went to the city of Jerusalem, and while he was crossing the Ni'lin checkpoint, the occupation forces stationed there were searching for the identity cards of passers-by, and they arrested Qutaiba and his sister's husband after seizing their cards. Until 4/25/2021, his family did not know where he was transferred, despite their contact with some human rights organizations concerned with defending detainees.

 

(4-24) Security forces in Gaza assaulted the free journalist Mou’in Tayseer Al-Dabba, (33 years), on Saturday evening, 04/24/2021.

A number of young men organized a march in eastern Gaza at about eight o'clock on Saturday evening, 4/24/2021, in support of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem, during which they lit rubber tires at the end of Mansoura Street, and journalist Mouin Al-Dabba was at the scene.

Meanwhile, armed persons of the National Security tried to disperse the youths, and one of them pushed the journalist Mou'in very hard, so Mou'in asked him why he pushed him like this, but he continued to push him harder until he tore his shirt and attacked Mou'in and four of his colleagues and pulled him from the demonstration site. When they recognized him as the journalist Mou’in, they apologized to him and asked them not to mention what happened. Mou’in published the assault on Facebook, and was contacted by a person to delete the post and file a formal complaint against them, and he is in the process of filing a formal complaint with the Ministry of Interior about that assault.

(4-24) The journalist Hafez Mahmoud Abu Sabra (33 years) was injured by a tear gas canister in the chest, which was fired at him by a soldier while covering a demonstration near the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus.

The reporter of the Jordanian satellite channel, Ro’ya TV, the journalist Hafez Abu Sabra, arrived with a group of journalists at 10:30 in the morning of Saturday 24/4/2021 at the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, to cover a march in support of Jerusalem and rejecting the Israeli attacks there. Upon their arrival, the soldiers and military jeeps began firing tear gas canisters, so the journalist Abu Sabra and a group of paramedics and journalists hid behind a billboard beside the street, and after a while the soldiers began directing their grenades at all the journalists, where they hit the journalist Abu Sabra in the chest, causing him light burns and a little pain despite wearing a bullet-proof vest. He was also severely suffocated due to the gas emitted from the bomb, and he received field treatment and left the place. He was also severely suffocated due to the gas released from the bomb, and received field treatment and left the place.

 

(4-29) The Cybercrime Investigation Department in Gaza summoned the journalist at French Press Agency Sakher Medhat Abu Al-Aoun, (57 years), after he published a post on Facebook about his son's treatment.

 Journalist Abu Aoun reported that an officer from the Cyber Crime Investigation Department called at about 9 am on Thursday 4/29/2021 on his wife's phone and asked her to inform her husband that he should go to the cybercrime investigation at the main police headquarters in Gaza City. Accordingly, the journalist Abu Aoun went after about two hours to the police headquarters there, knowing that Abu Aoun had called the officer "Abu Hosni" before he went to ask about the reason for his summons, as he (journalist Abu Aoun) was sick and had a surgery recently, but the officer told him that he must attend and that he will not be late, so he complied and when he arrived at the headquarters, the officer ordered him to enter the investigation office.

From the first moment in the investigation, and after recording his personal data, the investigator confronted him with a post that he had published on his Facebook page.

The FB post: "God is my suffice, and the best deputy on the doctors of Al-Shifa and Al-Rantisi Hospitals, if he was the son of one of the officials in Hamas, they would have cared about him, but he is the son of an ordinary citizen." And by that he meant his son, who was lying in the hospital in a state of clinical death resulting from a "medical error," according to what the Israeli doctors had told him.

Journalist Abu Aoun told the investigator that he really wrote the post, then the investigator told him that this post was a “defamation” and that he had to remove it, but the journalist refused that completely, so the investigator took his phone, opened it and deleted the post, claiming that he had a mandate from the prosecution to do so. The investigator told the journalist Abu Aoun that there was a complaint filed against him by a doctor in the hospital, and that the prosecution had decided that the post should be deleted and he must be detained, or that he be released on bail by two known persons.

The interrogation continued with Abu Aoun for about two hours, and his son died during his detention and interrogation, as it turned out later, and the interrogator signed him on a pledge not to write anything about what happened with his son, and he was released after the investigator learned of his son’s death, as Abu Aoun received a call from the responsible doctor In the hospital, he was informed of the death of his son before he was released from the prosecution office.

It is noteworthy that the journalist Abu Aoun had submitted on 24/4/2021 a complaint against the doctor responsible for the deterioration of his son’s condition which was not considered, while he was summoned on the background of the complaint filed by the same doctor on 4/27/2021.

(4-29) The Israeli occupation forces arrested the reporter of Al-Quds newspaper in Qalqilya, the journalist Mustafa Sabri on Thursday evening (4/29/2021) while he was heading to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and he was transferred with a group of citizens to Salem Court in order to take measures Against them.

Journalist Sabri stated, "After we entered the Shweika hatch north of Tulkarm to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, special forces in a civilian car surrounded the bus that was carrying us, confiscated our ID cards and mobile phones and forced the bus driver to go north to Salem Military Court, and we were detained until midnight, without presenting Water or food. After everyone was forced to sign pledges, we were released in a remote area opposite the gate of Salem Court,  we were about 70 men and women, so we had to bring small buses to take us to our places of residence