Ramallah - For the second month in a row, Palestine witnessed, last June, a wide wave of serious attacks against journalists and media freedoms.
While a total of 169 violations against media freedoms in Palestine were recorded during the month of May, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms "MADA" monitored and documented a total of 123 violations during the month of June, which is almost the same number as the previous one, noting that 39 of the total recorded violations during the month of May was committed by social media companies, which was limited to only one violation during June.
Last month (June) witnessed a dangerous and remarkable development, as the Palestinian violations, in a rare case, exceeded the Israeli attacks in terms of number, and for the most part, they were similar in danger to the lives of journalists and media freedoms in Palestine.
The 123 attacks that MADA monitored and documented during June are as follows: 69 were committed by Palestinian parties, 52 were committed by the Israeli occupation, a single violation was committed by Facebook, and another violation committed by the US authorities as blocking the website of the “Palestine Today” channel, knowing that most of the violations committed during the month of May (122 of them) were committed by the occupation forces, authorities and settlers, while the number of Palestinian violations amounted to only 6, in addition to 39 violations committed by social media companies.
The month of June witnessed a total of 52 Israeli attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, most of which are among the most serious violations against journalists' lives and media freedoms.
Despite the decrease in the number of Israeli violations (it decreased from 122 in May to 52 violations in June). However, it does not reflect an improvement in the Israeli practice towards freedom of the press, but rather as a direct result of the decrease in the intensity of field events witnessed in the Palestinian territories, especially the occupied city of Jerusalem during the month compared May. Thus, the possibility of clashes between the occupation forces and journalists in the field decreased.
As usual, direct physical attacks on journalists constituted the bulk of the total Israeli violations, which amounted to 38 attacks, representing 73% of the total Israeli attacks witnessed last month, noting that many of them resulted from injuries with rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters, and beating.
over the last two months Violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Over the past month, the occupation policy has emerged flagrantly in its attempt to prevent coverage, by removing the media from the venues of the event by various means (physical targeting is the most prominent one). The occupation argued that it does not recognize Palestinian press cards, and therefore it prevented the access of many journalists working in occupied Jerusalem to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in order to obscure what the occupation authorities are working to implement in terms of displacing several families from their homes for the benefit of the settlers, and the accompanying attacks on the residents of the neighborhood and those in solidarity with them.
Through this new method of blackout operations, 8 attacks and expulsion of journalists from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were documented based on this pretext.
The assault and arrest of Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi that ended with her being expelled from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 15 days is an evidence of the aforementioned (noting that she is known to the security forces and carries an Israeli press card). The occupation police also prevented A few days later, freelance journalist Youssef Amro, who also holds an Israeli press card (and not only a Palestinian one), from entering the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to cover attacks carried out by Israeli settlers there on June 22, 2021, on the pretext that his Israeli card “is of the type that does not allow him to by entering the neighborhood”, which exposes how the Israeli occupation authorities and forces are "masterful" in inventing pretexts to keep the press away from the field to prevent coverage.
In a rare case, the number of Palestinian violations during the past month exceeded the number of Israeli attacks, knowing that the Israeli violations over the previous years and still constitute about 70% of the total recorded attacks against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to about 30% of violations committed by parties Palestinian.
In addition to the significant increase in the number of Palestinian violations, which jumped from 6 in May to 69 in June, most of them were among the serious violations of freedom of press and freedom of expression.
It was noted during the past month, that there was a clear official Palestinian attempt to prevent media outlets and journalists from covering the protests that took place in the West Bank after the killing of human rights and political activist Nizar Banat, in order to prevent transferring of the reality of what is happening on the ground, without any consideration for press freedoms or the safety of journalists.
A violent and flagrant targeting of female journalists in particular was also recorded. The testimonies of many of them and the contexts in which these attacks took place, the continuity, recurrence and breadth, threats, intimidation and subsequent defamation that they included, showed that their targeting was apparently a prior decision. This was clearly evident in the direct targeting of journalists, the nature of the attacks that were recorded, and the way in which the security services and official bodies dealt with the media and journalists during their attempt to cover the events and their presence in the field.
In this regard, two very serious interrelated issues can be recorded. The first was the emergence of security persons and people affiliated with the security services apparently (in civilian clothes) to suppress journalists/at (and demonstrators), in addition to the security and police personnel who were in their official uniforms, who refused to prevent these attacks or provide any protection to the journalists while they were targeted. Many journalists confirmed that they asked for protection from the (official) police, but they did not respond.
The 69 Palestinian violations that MADA was able to document included 17 incidents of physical assault and two arrests, 11 confiscation and destruction of journalists' equipment, 21 incidents of denial of coverage, 8 threatening cases and 7 serious defamation cases (in addition to a number of other attacks).
Female journalists have been targeted and violently attacked, for example, journalist Najla Abu Zaitoun was attacked more than once, where she was violently beaten with a stick on her shoulder and left arm, causing severe bruises. Journalist Shatha Hammad was hit by shrapnel from a bomb fired at her, causing a 2-cm wound below the eye (she was stitched up in the hospital). Journalist Saja Al-Alami was assaulted while security personnel in civilian clothes tried to seize her phone and chase her into a building, forcing her to hide for about an hour in one of the bathrooms to escape from them. This is in addition to defamation and incitement against female journalists, Naila Khalil, Faten Alwan, and Jihan Awad (in addition to 4 other journalists), and publishing of their names by the "Children of Fatah Movement - Rapid Response" FB page within what that page called "the list of shame" accusing them of being linked to other parties or external agendas. Many female and male journalists have had their phones confiscated. Female journalists were subjected to insults, intimidation and threats to harm while trying to carry out their media work.
(4-6) The occupation forces attacked journalists while they were covering a sports marathon in which about 600 people participated. It started from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem at 4:00 pm on Friday 4/6/2021 and headed to Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan.
As soon as the marathon participants arrived at the sit-in tent set up in Silwan, refusing to deport dozens of families from their homes, the occupation police rushed and repressed the participants by hitting them with sticks and firing sound and gas bombs at them. The police also dismantled the sit-in tent and destroyed the musical instruments of an artistic band that was there. The attack resulted in many injuries among the participants and forced them to flee the place and hide in some houses in the area.
A number of journalists were covering the marathon and then moved on to cover the attacks that affected a number of them. Freelancer journalist Yasmine Mahmoud Asaad, 28-years, and Palestine TV reporter Christine Rinawi sustained minor burns on their feet (Christine's left foot and Yasmine's right foot) due to a gas bomb fall beside them, The camera of the photographer, Ahmed Saleh Sharif, 27-years, who works for Marcel Media Services, was also destroyed as a result of the heavy bombardment by the police, as one of the bombs exploded next to his camera while he was working and smashed it. For two days, Ahmed continued to hear a buzzing in his ears because of the explosions of the bombs thrown next to him.
Minutes after the wave of repression, and upon the return of some of the participants to the place, the police carried out another wave of attacks against them and against the journalists and fired bombs at them and towards the balconies and courtyards of the neighboring houses, which they had taken refuge in to escape the first police repression. Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi, 45-years, was suffocated twice during her coverage of these events, as she was in a middle area between the protesters and the occupation police. Also the Journalist Yasmine Asaad was beaten by a police officer with a stick on her wrist to prevent her from filming. The female journalists who were on the scene, Renad Al-Sharbati, the correspondent of Roya TV channel Aya Al-Khatib, and the freelancer journalist Mona Nabil Al-Kurd also suffered from suffocation.
(5-6) On Saturday, June 5, 2021, the occupation Israeli forces arrested Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi, beat her and a group of journalists, and prevented them from covering events in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where several families are being displaced from their homes in favor of settlers.
While a number of journalists were covering the incursions carried out by the Israeli police into the homes of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, the police targeted the journalists to prevent them from covering and to keep them away from the place, as one of them closed the camera lens of Ma’an Network correspondent, Maysa Abu Ghazaleh, and freelance journalist Renad Al-Sharbati’s camera. The police forces expelled Yasmine Asaad from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, because she held a Palestinian press card, and a police officer assaulted her by pushing and beating her to force her to leave the area.
Palestine TV reporter Christine Rinawi was also banned from coverage, pushed and beaten to leave quickly, the same happened with the journalist Maram Al-Bukhari. Journalist Ahmed Al-Safadi was also attacked and pushed to leave the besieged Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Shortly thereafter, police officers beat the Al-Jazeera crew (the crew held Israeli press cards), smashed the camera, and arrested Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi. Guevara was detained for several hours and expelled from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 15 days.
(6-6) The Israeli occupation forces attacked journalists who participated in a solidarity stand with the detained journalist Mona Al-Kurd in front of the Israeli police station on Salah El-Din Street in Jerusalem.
Al-Jazeera correspondent Najwan Shehadeh Semari (40 years), reported that many journalists were present on Sunday afternoon, 6/6/2021, in front of the Israeli police station on Salah El-Din Street, in order to cover a press conference at 5:00 pm, which was held at the invitation of the residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in solidarity with the freelancer journalist Mona Nabil Al-Kurd and her brother Muhammad, who were arrested by the occupation forces.
During that Najean was harassed more than once by police officers who worked to obstruct her work by asking her more than once to change her location. When the police released the journalist Mona Al-Kurd from the police station through a back door of the station, the police began to suppress the journalists who rushed to photograph the journalist Muna Al-Kurd, and they threw gas and sound bombs at them extensively. Al-Jazeera correspondent Najwan Semri was among these journalists, and she was hit by shrapnel in her left foot. She tried to hide behind a motorcycle, and heard an Israeli officer telling the policeman to hit bombs towards her.
At that moment, Najwan was hit by a stun grenade in her left knee, which caused her severe pain, slight wound and bruises. She was transferred to Hadassah Hospital, where her leg was x-rayed to make sure there were no fractures. It was found that the leg was bruised, and it was wrapped in a bandage. For two days, Najwan was unable to walk because of her injury. A number of other journalists were also injured as a result of these attacks, including: Wahbi Kamel Makiya (38 years), who works for the "Palomenta Media Services" company, was wounded by shrapnel from a bomb in the right leg, and Ahmed Saleh Sharif (27 years), who works for “Marcel Media Services” Company was wounded by shrapnel from a bomb fired near him in the elbow of his left hand, causing him minor injuries, and journalist Diala Juwaihan, who was hit by shrapnel from a sound bomb thrown directly at the journalists.
On the same day, freelance journalist Amjad Muhammad Arafa, (41 years), owner and director of the “Flash Media Production” company, was wounded by a sound bomb in the lower back. He received field treatment, but the pain continued the next day.
(10-6) The Israeli occupation forces attacked a group of journalists while they were covering the citizens' protest against the storming of Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir into the Old City of Jerusalem.
According to freelance journalist Samir Hossam El-Din El-Sharif (47 years), who works with foreign agencies, a group of journalists were present around 6:00 pm on Thursday 10/6/2021 in (Damascus gate) Bab al-Amud area, one of the main gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, to cover the events There, after the citizens confronted the storming of the Israeli Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir in the Old City of Jerusalem, during which the journalists tried to stand far from the police and the demonstrators to cover these events, but the Israeli soldiers tried more than once to remove the journalists from the place and obstruct their work.
While journalists Samir al-Sharif and Christine Rinawi were in front of the military tower in (Damascus gate) Bab al-Amoud, 5 meters away from the occupation forces, an Israeli policeman threw a stun grenade at them, but it did not cause them any harm, even though it exploded near them. After the policeman saw that they did not leave the place, he went towards 3 young men and sprayed them with pepper gas, and turned towards journalists Samir and Christine and also sprayed them with pepper gas.
Most of the journalists who were covering these events were also attacked by firing stun grenades at them and spraying them with pepper gas. Among these journalists: Liwa Abu Rumaila, Dalia Jamal Nimri (38 years), a reporter for Russia Today, and Muammar Awad, a Xinhua photographer. Renad Marwan Sharbati (28years), a cameraman for "Al Jazeera live" channel, stated that while the worshipers were present to perform the Maghrib prayer around eight in the evening, she was documenting the settlers' attacks on the worshipers and beating them with sticks. Suddenly, a police officer approached her and hit her with a stick on her legs. She received treatment in the field.
(16-6) The Israeli police and settlers attacked a group of journalists while they were in (Damascus gate) Bab Al-Amoud area in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, 16/6/2021, in order to cover the "flags march" organized by the Israeli settlers there.
Where the Israeli police threw tear gas canisters at them to keep them away from the place and prevent them from covering. They were also attacked by settlers.
Journalist Nawal Imad Hijazi (35 years) reported that at 7:20 pm on Tuesday 16/6/2021 she was in Bab Al-Amoud area to cover the march for Al-Mamlaka channel, along with photojournalist Ahmed Jalajel who was there to cover the march for of Al-Alam and Al-Mamlaka TV channels, as they were attacked by settlers who pushed, insulted and obstructed their work in front of the Israeli police, who did not intervene to prevent the settlers' attacks.
Al-Jazeera live cameraman Ghassan Abu Eid, Al-Jazeera live correspondent Renad Sharbati, Turkiah channel director Hamza Naaji, Al-Quds educational correspondent Layali Eid, Al-Alam correspondent Khader Shaheen, and journalist Raja'i Al-Khatib, the correspondent of the Jordanian channel, were also attacked. Most of these journalists left the scene after they finished covering the march around 8:30 pm. At 10:30 on the same day, the occupation police sprayed a group of journalists who remained in (Damascus gate) Bab al-Amoud area with sewage water, knowing that the crew of the Turkish channel, which included the journalists Hamza Omran Naaji, Fahmi Ishtiwi, the channel’s reporter, and Omar Awad, were present at the place.
(17-6) Youssef Kamel Amr (26 years old), who is the admin of Dora City’s Facebook page, received a notification on Thursday 17/6/2021 from the Facebook company’s administration that the page would be blocked for one day, and that the page might be completely deleted claiming that this “constitutes a violation of Facebook’s standards related to dangerous individuals and organizations”. Youssef had published a post on the page containing pictures of three young men who were martyred in the city of Jenin on 10/6/2021, accompanied by the phrase “This is a long night for the homes of martyrs”. After the 24 hours had passed, Youssef Amr received another message from Facebook stating that he would be banned from managing the page, direct broadcasting, and commenting for a period of 90 days, while allowing him to publish on his personal page.
The Israeli police detained freelance photojournalist Abdel-Afou Bassam Zughayer while he was leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque, after covering Friday prayers and protests that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 06/18/2021, which were suppressed by the Israeli police.
When journalist Abd al-Afou Zughayer left the Al-Aqsa Mosque through Bab al-Silsila, after the Israeli police suppressed with tear gas and rubber bullets, the worshipers and those present in the place, the police stopped journalist Zughayer and asked him for his identity card, while they were holding about 15 young men in the place, claiming that Journalist Zughayer is "part of the event taking place there," and they filmed him and the other detained youths and sent their pictures to the Israeli intelligence. After 20 minutes of detention, they released most of the detainees, including the journalist Zughayer, while the rest were transferred for interrogation.
(18-6) Three journalists were injured as a result of widespread attacks carried out by the occupation forces against them while covering a demonstration against settlements organized in the town of Beita on Friday 18/6/2021.
The occupation forces attacked the press crews who were present on Friday 18/6/2021 at the entrance of the town of Beita, where hundreds of townspeople went out after Friday prayers in a peaceful march to demand the removal of the settlement that was erected at the top of Sabih Mountain in the town. As soon as the citizens finished the Friday prayers at the entrance of the town and moved on their way, the occupation soldiers started firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at the participants and towards the place where journalists and ambulance crews were gathering, knowing that all journalists were wearing what indicated the nature of their work. As a result, freelance journalist Ashraf Mahmoud Abdel-Majeed Abu Shaweesh (42 years) was wounded by a stun grenade in the palm of his left hand. He received field treatment in the ambulance, but after about 15 minutes he was hit again by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the thigh fired by one of the soldiers when he returned to cover the demonstration. Journalist Naseem Ali Nassim Maalla (25 years), who works with jmedia and Al-Quds News Network, was also wounded by a stun grenade in his right foot, and journalist Abdullah Tayseer Rashid Hamed Bahash (23 years), severely suffocated as a result of a gas bomb fired near him and almost hit him in the face, and because he suffers from asthma, he suffered from severe suffocation, so he was given oxygen in the field by the ambulance crews.
(22-6) The occupation police prevented journalist Ibrahim “Al-Sanglawi” from entering the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem on Tuesday 22/06/2021.
The freelance journalist Ibrahim Kamal Hamad "Al-Singlawi" (26 years), went to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, 22/06/2021 (midnight) to cover an attack carried out by settlers on the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem. However, the police prevented him from reaching the neighborhood on the pretext that his press card (although it is an Israeli card) “is not the kind that allows him to enter the neighborhood,” and although he tried to inquire about “this type of card,” they did not answer him. The journalist had to take another, longer road away from them to enter the neighborhood.
(22-6) The US authorities blocked the "Palestine Today" channel website, claiming it "violating American laws."
Amer Khalil, (55 years), the director of the Palestine Today channel office in the Gaza Strip, stated that the TV administration was surprised on Tuesday, 22/6/2021, that the channel's website was no longer working. A picture and a message appeared in English issued by the US Department of Justice with blocking the website under the pretext of violating US laws.
He explained that what happened was a process of blocking and preventing its appearance by controlling the domain of the American website (.com), and that this issue was overcome by changing the domain after two days and transferring the site to a Palestinian domain (ps). Amer added that the blocking process was caused by an American position, linked to American laws and requires legal follow-up in the United States, and it is not a complete blocking, as the site was not completely confiscated, but it was blocked from appearing by controlling the “domain” of the American site.
It is worth noting that the blocking of Palestine Today" channel website came as part of a process that included the blocking of 33 websites by the US authorities.
(24-6) Palestinian security personnel, some in civilian clothes and others in their official uniforms, beat a number of journalists, arrested some of them, confiscated or destroyed the equipment of others, prevented them from covering and threatened them, while they were covering the protests in Ramallah on 24 06/2021 following the murder of activist Nizar Banat.
On Thursday, June 24, 2021 at eight o’clock in the evening, journalist Ahmed Ali Muhammad Ibrahim “Al-Sarfandi” (34 years), a videographer for 4D Media for media services, was working on covering the events on Al-Ersal Street near Al-Manara square in the city of Ramallah. While he was filming the moment the Palestinian security forces attacked a young man, the security forces rushed to arrest Al-Sarafandi, confiscated his phone, and took him to a police car, where a number of other young men were arrested. Ahmed was threatened and beaten during his detention, which lasted about an hour and a half. He was later released and his phone was returned after the intervention of the head of the Journalists Syndicate.
At 1:00 p.m. on the same day, a Palestinian security officer attacked the reporter of the Quds News Network, journalist Najla Anwar Zaitoun (35 years), while she was covering the march that was organized at that time in the center of Ramallah, which the security forces soon began to suppress and attack the media crews. One of the security forces beat her with a stick on her leg (she was not wearing a journalist's uniform at the time), and when she told him that she was a journalist, he didn't care and asked her to leave the place.
Thereafter, journalist Najla went behind the security forces to take pictures, and a person in civilian clothes pulled her phone from her hand. Najla told him that she was a journalist, he asked for her press card, but she did not have it. then she asked him to identify himself, he told her that he works with the Palestinian intelligence service, Najlaa asked him to show his card, but he refused, and refused to return her phone, until another person came (in civilian clothes as well), and took the phone from him and returned it to her and said, "I don't want to see you here”. Najla stated that she has been subjected to many insults during that.
(26-6) The same scene of attacks against media outlets and journalists was repeated during their coverage of a peaceful march organized on the evening of Saturday 26/6/2021 in Ramallah.
Middle East eye reporter Shatha Abdel Rahman Hammad, 32, reported that at around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2021, while covering a peaceful march organized in the center of Ramallah to protest the killing of Nizar Banat, she was standing with a group of journalists, in Al-Ersal Street, the (riot control) forces began advancing towards the demonstrators and firing tear gas canisters. Shatha was hit by a gas canister directly in her face, which was fired by a Palestinian security officer, causing her a wound below her eye. She was transferred to Ramallah Hospital to stitch her wound.
The journalist, Shatha, at the moment of her injury, was wearing a press jacket that showed the nature of her work, and she was standing among a group of journalists who wear press uniforms and most of them carry cameras and work equipment, which indicates that the targeting operation appears to be deliberate, especially since one of the security personnel - before she was hit - in civilian clothes assaulted Shatha and hit her on the hand in an attempt to seize her phone, and he managed to throw it to the ground and smash it.
On the following day, (Sunday 27/6/2021), Shatha went to do her job in the media coverage, and again she was banned from covering.
(26-6) On the same day (26/6/2021) and during those events, two members of civilian clothes assaulted G-media reporter Fayhaa Ali Khanfar (28 years), as she resisted their attempt to seize her phone, cause her to fall to the ground. She had a slight fracture in the top of the shoulder and bruises in the knee and pelvic area, In addition to confiscating her phone.
Fayhaa said, "I was near Ramallah Mall, when civilians from the security forces approached the march and started throwing stones at the demonstrators. I was surprised by one of them attacking me trying to seize my mobile phone, and trying to drag me to the middle of the street at the center of the events, and then I screamed, my colleague Saja intervened and saved me from him. At that moment, the security forces started firing tear gas canisters, and my colleagues dispersed, and in the meantime, someone attacked me and took my phone and ran back towards the security forces, so I followed him and managed to grab his clothes from behind, then another person intervened and hit me from behind and knocked me to the ground, which caused my injury. Some people came to help me after I fell.
I thought my shoulder was broken and I was collapsed, then I immediately went to a car of the special policemen who were in the place and told them of the assault and confiscation of my phone asking them for help, but two people in civilian clothes came forward from the policeman I was talking to and one of them said to him: Don't care about her. The policeman ignored me, while a group of people in civilian clothes started talking sarcastically about what happened to me. I went to more than one policeman to help me, but they did not care.
On Monday, June 28, 2021, the Palestinian intelligence service in Ramallah summoned the journalist Fayhaa for an interview on the same day, but she did not go because the summons was not official.
The phone of the journalist Jihan Awad, who works for G-Media, and the freelance journalist Lina Abu Halawa were also confiscated, and the two journalists, Faris Al-Sarafandi and Jihad Barakat, were threatened while they were in the broadcasting car by security forces if they filmed the march.
(26-6) The reporter of the Quds News Network, Najla Anwar Zaitoun (35 years), said that at nearly five o’clock in the evening, June 26, 2021, she was at Al-Manara square to cover the peaceful march.
The journalists had agreed that they should all wear the press uniform and hold the Journalists Syndicate membership cards to avoid any harm during the events. The coverage continued safely until the march began to move towards the Muqata (the President's Office), where everyone was surprised by a counter march loyal to the government and the authority, and suddenly the beating with sticks began in an unjustified manner. Najla was between the two marches, which made her move away to avoid being beaten. While she was filming by her mobile phone, a person in civilian clothes tried to confiscate it, but he did not succeed, so he pushed her. Najla told him that she is a journalist, but he did not care and hit her with a stick on her shoulder and left arm.
Najla went to the other side of the street, away from that person, but another person snatched her phone from her hand and ran away, so she followed him. The phone was given to a person in his military uniform, and when she asked him for her phone and showed him her press card, he expelled her and told her, "Get out of here." At that moment another person came from behind her and started to calm her down and said that he will return her phone. So she stood on the side of the street, then a person called her by her name, and when she turned towards him, she knew that he was the same person who had verbally assaulted her on Thursday 24/6, and then he grabbed a stone and hit her on her left leg. So she ran towards a group of her fellow journalists to take cover, and there they were all attacked with a gas bomb, so they fled towards a pharmacy to help the journalist Saja Alami, who was suffocated by tear gas, but the journalists were surprised that the security forces continued to chase and push them. Najlaa went to Ramallah Hospital for medical tests, which showed that she had bruises on her hand and leg. After that, she returned to the place of the demonstration in order to take back her phone, and there she saw again the person who hit her with the stone, and he re-threatened and insulted her. The citizens asked her to enter a store and closed the door to protect her.
(26-6) Journalist Saja Shaker Al-Alami (28 years), who works as a reporter for the Palestine Post Network, and as a freelance journalist with Ultra Palestine, was attacked and stalked in one of the buildings.
She stated that after about 45 minutes of covering the march that was organized on Al-Manara square on 26/6/2021, and after the demonstrators proceeded through Al-Irsal Street towards the Muqata'a (the President's Office), she hurried along with a number of journalists to join the march. As soon as another march in support of the president and the authority approached, it was coming from the opposite direction of the march against the killing of the activist Nizar Banat, and while Saja was covering those moments of the clash between the two marches, a person in civilian clothes accused her of treason and sedition, and another person in civilian clothes sprayed pepper gas at the journalists and fled from the place.
At about 6:15 pm, Saja returned to complete the coverage near the Al Najma Mall building, and there she saw several young men in civilian clothes, chasing and assaulting a group of citizens, and suddenly one of them shouted at her, demanding her to give him her phone, when she refused he started chasing her and asked one of the security personnel to arrest her. She quickly entered the "Najma Mall" building and hid in one of the floors, but a group of people in civilian clothes continued to pursue her inside the building. One of them managed to reach her, and when he asked for her phone, she showed him her press card and told him that she was on a journalistic mission, but he did not care and gave her the choice between handing over her phone or arresting her, but she managed to escape from them and hid in a women bathroom. Moments later, one of them broke into the bathroom in which other women start screaming at them, forcing them to leave.
She hid there for about an hour (until about eight o’clock in the evening), one of her female colleagues contacted her and then she left the place, after she took off her press uniform and put it in a bag she got from a nearby store so that she could get out of that area without being pursued or harmed again.
(26-6) On the same day (Saturday, 06/26/2021), Palestinian security forces beat journalist Nasser Abdel-Gawad Saleh Hamayel, a producer for the American ABC network.
He was arrested while covering the events on Al-Irsal Street, transferred to the General Investigation Center in Al-Balou’ area in Al-Bireh, detained for about three hours, confiscated his phone.
Hamayel was arrested, accompanied by another citizen, who was subjected to a violent assault and dragged, and was prevented from filming.
(26-6) Palestinian security forces assaulted the freelancer journalist Faten Aref Alwan, (41 year), while documenting the security forces in civilian clothes dragged a protester in Ramallah on 06/26/2021.
Alwan stated that while she was documenting the process of dragging a young man, while she was in full press uniform, a member of the security forces assaulted her and tried to snatch her phone and pull her from her bag, trying to push her towards the demonstrators, which she resisted and succeeded in evading.
On the morning of 7/30/2021, journalist Faten was surprised by an act of incitement and indirect threat to her by publishing her name within what the organizers of this act called the "list of shame", which included the names of 7 journalists, on charges of loyalty to parties hostile to Palestine and that they were inciting sedition. This list is was published on a page called "Children of Fatah Movement - Rapid Response", which involves dangerous incitement against these journalists.
(26 + 27-6) The team of Al-Hurra TV channel, which included the journalist Tharwat Abdel Rahim shaqra, the channel's reporter, and her colleague, the cameraman, Saeed Khair Al-Din, were subjected to a series of attacks during these two days (7 attacks) while covering protests against the killing of the activist Nizar Banat organized in the midst of Ramallah city.
While journalist Tharwat Abd al-Rahim Shaqra, (31 year), and her colleague Saeed Khair al-Din, were conducting interviews in downtown Ramallah at about three o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday (26/6/2021) in direct coverage of the events, they saw a person approaching the filming location, so she asked him to move away, but he refused, then asked him to introduce himself, and he claimed that he is a "journalist". shaqra told him that if he is a journalist, he would not have acted in this way. The AP photographer Imad Saeed, who was in the place, tried to intervene, but the aforementioned person asked him not to. In the meantime she took out her phone to take a picture for that person, so he twisted her hand and dropped her phone. Cameraman Saeed Khair El-Din asked him, "Who are you and why are you doing this to us?" He replied, "I will see you later." The same person returned and pushed shaqra, so her phone fall on the ground again.
At 5:30 pm, Shaqra went to finish her report about the events before the clashes took place. She was looking for her colleague, Saeed Khair al-Din. A group of young men in civilian clothes followed her and shouted at her. And when she told them that she is a journalist (noting that she was wearing a journalist's uniform), they replied: "What does journalism mean?" One of them attacked her, trying to take her phone, but he could not.
Meanwhile, Shaqra saw the photojournalist, Issam al-Rimawi, so she asked him to help her, and they walked together and return to the channel's broadcast car. There, a group of people in civilian clothes attacked the channel's team (Shaqra, the Saeed, and the TRT reporter) and shouted at them while they raised sticks in their faces, demanding them to erase all the materials they had, and told them, "If you get out of the car, we will beat you." The journalists told them that they had not filmed anything and that no one had told them that filming was forbidden, and that they would have left the place if they had been informed that filming was prohibited. The team continued its live coverage. The journalist Shaqra asked a person who appears to be responsible in one of the security services about the ban on filming. He told her, "We do not know who these people are," referring to those who attacked her and informed her of the ban.
At about five o'clock in the afternoon of the following day, Sunday (27/6/2021), while the Al-Hurra TV team was covering a march organized at the Clock Square in the center of Ramallah, and when Shaqra went to the broadcasting car near Karama Sweets, the security forces began to suppress the demonstrators, pushing and beating them, so she informed her colleagues. Meanwhile, one of the young men approached her and pushed the camera from the hand of the Cameraman Saeed, but Shaqra completed her work. Then 6 masked persons came and asked the Cameraman to stop filming and asked for their cards, and when Shaqra and the team said through the live broadcast that the channel team had been attacked, one of them masked persons pulled the microphone from her, he twisted her hand forcefully and snatched the microphone from her. And then Al Hurra channel continued its live broadcast from Al Jazeera's broadcast car, and later the team was able to restore the mic.
(26-6) Palestinian security forces beat freelance journalist Ahmed Talaat Hassan (27 year) while he was covering a demonstration in Ramallah. They threatened him and tried to prevent him from covering more than once.
While journalist Ahmed Talaat Hassan was at the center of Ramallah, around 6:30 pm, wearing his full press uniform, to document a protest demonstration, a person approached him and asked him to leave the place, but the journalist Ahmed refused to do so. He continued filming for a while until 5 officers approached him and beat him and tried to seize the camera after they knocked him to the ground. One of them threatened him, saying, “If you are a man, raise the camera and take pictures.” When they were unable to seize the camera, they beat him more.
Ahmed went to Ramallah Hospital for treatment, and medical tests showed that he had bruises on the head and face.
In the same demonstration, security forces in civilian clothes attacked CNN cameraman Karim Asaad Khader, (45 year), while he was with a group of journalists in the center of Ramallah. When the march in support of the authority and the president approached the demonstration condemning the killing of activist Nizar Banat, an intelligence officer intercepted Khader while he was trying to cross the street as he headed towards the Al-Jazeera crew, and asked him who he works with. As soon as Karim moved to the other side of the street, 10 young men attacked him and tried to seize his phone, but they did not succeed, but they pulled the camera and hit it to the wall, causing it to crash.
They also prevented the Al-Jazeera crew from continuing to broadcast, and assaulted journalist Ihab Khasib and confiscated his phone.
(26-6) Journalist Batoul Koussa was attacked twice by people in civilian clothes while covering a demonstration in Ramallah on June 27, 2021.
She reported that while she was filming these events, a nearly 50-year-old person came to her and tried to seize her phone after he asked her with whom she works, and then, while she and a group of her colleagues were moving to the Al-Manara Square in the center of Ramallah, and when they approached the site of the event, two people approached her, one of them masked, and asked to hand over her phone and threatened to destroy it, and attacked her trying to seize it.
(27-6) Palestinian security personnel prevented Al Jazeera Live crew from approaching the site of the events at the center of Ramallah on June 27, 2021.
Al-Jazeera live reporter, Jihan Hassan Awad (38 years), reported that on Sunday evening (06/27/2021), at nearly 6:00 pm, Al Jazeera live crew was banned from approaching the scene of the events on the city center of Ramallah. The march supporting the president was standing in front of them with songs and loudspeakers, which prevented them from broadcasting. During that, a group of journalists decided to break through this barrier and reach the site of the events, but security forces in civilian clothes banned them from passing, despite the journalist Awad called the police for protection and to enable them to pass, but the police didn’t help.
(6-28) A Palestinian Preventive Security force raided an old house where journalist Tariq Yousef Sarkaji used to live in Nablus, to arrest him.
Journalist Tariq Yousef Sarkaji (35 year), from Nablus, who works as a cameraman and editor for G-Media Agency, stated that a Preventive Security Service force arrived at around nine o'clock on Monday, June 28, 2021, a house he had previously lived in on Haifa Street in the city of Nablus to arrest him without a warrant (as he learned from eyewitnesses), but no one was in the house because it was uninhabited. Journalist Sarkaji tried to inquire through his acquaintances about the reasons for the attempt to arrest him. He was told that the reason was that he "has a long tongue" (indicating that he criticizes the work of the Palestinian Authority), knowing that Sarkaji does not have an account on social media, and he did not participate in the recent demonstrations after the killing of the activist Nizar Banat.
(28-6) A force of the Israeli occupation army stormed the house of journalist Muhammad Mona in the village of Zawata in Nablus, on June 28, 2021, searched it, destroyed many of its contents, and questioned him about his journalistic work.
Muhammad Anwar Muna, (39 year), a reporter and cameraman for Sanad News Agency, stated that an Israeli army force raided his house in the village of Zawata, west of Nablus, at three in the morning on Monday, June 28, 2021, and when he went to the door of the house to open it, they refused andasked him to stay away from the entrance and broke the door “using a special machine.” About 10 soldiers broke into the house. The officer in charge refused to talk to him and pushed him hard towards the sofa. He went to his wife, who tried to film them, and hit her on the hand, dropped the phone on the ground and stomped on it with his foot. The officer asked Muhammad about his workplace, how do they deal with the news of the Israelis? Where is the agency's headquarters, and how do they receive their salaries. After about 45 of their storming the house, and before they left, the officer asked Muhammad to stay away from journalistic work, and told him “The press causes you a lot of problems,” and you could be put in prison because of it, as in previous times.
During the house search, 2,000 shekels were stolen from the children's “money box”, which had been broken by the soldiers.
(29-6) The Israeli occupation police attacked Al-Jazeera cameraman, Labib Abdel-Fattah Jazmawi (42 year), on Tuesday morning, June 29, 2021 while he was covering demolitions carried out by the occupation forces in the town of Silwan in Jerusalem.
Jazmawi stated that he arrived to town of Silwan in Jerusalem at about 8:30 in the morning, to cover the demolitions, and was stationed 30 meters away from clashes that took place between the occupation police and the citizens who tried to confront the police and prevent the demolitions, and after these events intensified, one of the security forces fired a voice bomb directed at him, the explosion injured him in his side, and he received field treatment, until he was replaced by another colleague to continue covering these events. Then he went to a medical clinic and from there he was transferred to Hadassah Hospital for an x-ray, and he stayed there for 3 hours before he left.
(6-30) 7 journalists were subjected to a serious threat and incitement through a Facebook page called "The Sons of Fatah Movement - Rapid Response" because of their journalistic work. This came after a group of journalists submitted a request to the United Nations, asking for their protection, after they and others were subjected to a series of attacks while documenting demonstrations in the city of Ramallah by Palestinian security forces, and the refusal of the police to protect them.
During the process of threatening and incitement, the names of a group of journalists were included in what the aforementioned page called the “List of Shame,” which published with a post that stated the following: “Over the years, I have noticed that with every problem that occurs, a journalist comes out to incite, and the strangest thing is that they are the same people for years going out claiming that they have been attacked, and demanding all journalists to follow them and attack on reality, on social media and on journalist groups. The most horrible that they sign today a paper for the European Union demanding their protection from the Palestinian Authority. Although I did not see them do anything against the occupation. I swear to God, they should call you the list of shame."
The aforementioned post considered these journalists to have agendas and outside loyalties linked to external parties. The list “list of shame” included the names of the journalists: Naela Khalil, Faten Alwan, Jihad Barakat, Jihan Awad, Alaa Al-Rimawi, Iyad Hamad and Amir Abu Aram. Jihad Barakat said that he believed that "a Palestinian party, which may be closer to an official body", runs this page (which incitement), or it may be "affiliated with the Fatah movement."
(24+26+27-6) Journalist Jihad Barakat, reporter for the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed website and newspaper, was threatened more than once and prevented from documenting during his coverage of the protest demonstrations that took place in Ramallah against the killing of activist Nizar Banat.
Barakat stated that while covering the demonstration that was organized at Al-Manara Square in the center of Ramallah on Thursday (24/6/2021), a person threatened him by calling him by his name, warning him in a veiled manner. On Saturday (26/6/2021), after attacks took place against the demonstrators in Al-Ersal Street/ Ramallah, while the journalist Jihad Barakat was filming these events, two people in civilian clothes approached him, and one of them asked him, "Why are you filming? The other person told him, "You journalists are spies, and you are filming in order to imprison us." While members of the Palestinian security pursued journalist Saja al-Alami at the Najma Mall building, Jihad told them that she had not filmed anything, and that they (the journalists) would leave the place, so one of the security forces raised the stick and threatened to break the camera, and he followed Saja into the building.
On Sunday 27/6/2021, while covering the protest march at the city center, Palestinian security forces prevented journalists from moving and covering, forcing journalists to move in groups in an attempt to break the ban, and during that time, Jihad was pursued more than once by people in civilian clothes and orders him not to cover.
This attack affected a number of journalists: Nayla Khalil, Jihan Awad, Mervat Sadiq, Aziza Nofal, Muhammad Turkman, Saleh Hamad, Muhammad Awad, Shatha Hammad, Issam Al-Rimawi, Ahmed Aruri and Khaled Sabarneh.