Ramallah - (8/8/2021) - July 2021 witnessed a relative decrease in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to what it was in the previous two months (May and June), when it recorded a sharp increase (167 violation in May, 123 violation in June).
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms "MADA" monitored and documented during the month of July a total of 43 violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 16 of which were committed by the Israeli occupation, while various Palestinian parties committed 23 violations (five of which were injured by unintended stones from demonstrators), while Facebook committed 3 violations. In addition to one violation committed by the BBC administration after it dismissed the Palestinian journalist Tala Halawa because of a tweet she had published several years ago before she started working with the BBC.
The reason for the relative decline in the total violations during July is due to the decrease in the range of activities and field events that took place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during this month compared to the previous month, which accompanied by repressions aimed at covering up what is happening by targeting the media and journalists.
However, what raises concern is the continued deterioration media freedoms and freedom of expression whether through practice or decisions, as the Palestinian Council of Ministers issued in 5/7/2021 a decision to cancel Article (22) of the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Public Service, which affirms the public employee’s right to express his opinion. The canceling of article 22 is a clear violation of Article 19 of the Basic Palestinian Law.
During the past month, the Israeli occupation committed 16 attacks against media freedoms, most of which are among the serious attacks on journalists, 8 of which were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and direct gas canisters, as well as direct targeting by bullets of a group of journalists to keep them away from the event area and prevent them from coverage.
These attacks included: Injuries: the journalists Tariq Sarkaji (a rubber bullet in the shoulder), Fayhaa Khanfar (a gas bomb in the right leg), Abdullah Al-Bahsh (he was wounded twice in two separate incidents with rubber bullets), Mujahid Tabanja (rubber in the thigh) and Ayman Al-Nubani with a spongy bullet, Izzat Jamjoom (a beating caused him to bleed). in addition to targeting journalists Khaled Badir, Ibrahim Rantisi, Mahmoud Khalaf, Amid Shehadeh, Tariq Sarkaji and Fayhaa Khanfar to prevent them from covering.
The month of July witnessed a total of 23 Palestinian violations against media freedoms, 22 of which occurred in the West Bank and one violation in the Gaza Strip, knowing that five of these violations were "unintended" minor injuries by protesters' stones.
Most of these violations which affected a number of journalists while covering a sit-in in front of the Palestinian police headquarters in the city of Al-Bireh on the evening of the 5 July, came within the serious attacks against journalists and media work, the most prominent of which were the arrests and the violent physical attacks. These attacks affected the journalists: Amid Shehadeh, Muhammad Hamayel, Aqil Awawda, Muammar Orabi, Hind Sherida, and Mays Abu Ghosh.
The violations also included the preventing a group of journalists from covering the arrest of political activists in Ramallah, the incitement that targeted some media outlets and journalists through social networking networks, the closing of J-Media office by the Palestinian Ministry of Information on the pretext of not having a license, also five journalists were injured by stones from protesters while covering clashes in the town of Beit Ummar, in addition to the attack carried out by security forces in Gaza on Al-Shabab Radio reporter Muhammad Bakr al-Louh while he was making interviews about the high school exam in Deir Albalah.
The company has committed three violations against media freedoms this month, namely blocking Shihab News Agency’s page, which is followed by about seven and a half million people, restricting the follow-up of the Al Quds News Network page, which is also followed by several million people, as well as closing the page of Omar Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Journalists Syndicate.
Details of violations:
(2-7) The two journalists, Tariq Sarkaji and Fayhaa Khanfar, were injured when the occupation soldiers targeted a group of journalists with metal bullets and tear gas canisters while they were covering events in the town of Beita, south of Nablus.
35 year old, Tariq Yousef Sarkaji, from Nablus works as a photographer and editor for J-media agency. Sarkaji said that he arrived at approximately 3:15 in the afternoon of Friday 2/7/2021 to cover a demonstration against settlements. A group of journalists (Tharwat Shaqra, Khaled Badir, Ibrahim Rantisi and his photographer Mahmoud Khallaf, Ameed Shehadeh) in a building under construction located about 200 meters away from the occupation forces. at approximately 5:15, the occupation soldiers began approaching the location of the journalists until they became at a distance of about 50 meters from them, then the soldiers first fired a tear gas canister towards the building where the journalists were located on the roof, but it fell from the building. This pushed the journalists to come down from the building. Meanwhile, the soldiers fired a tear gas canister at the journalists. It hit journalist Fayhaa Khanfar in the right leg, causing her bruises. Both Tariq and Faiha went to an ambulance that was on the spot and received first aid on the ground.
(3-7) Security personnel affiliated with the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip assaulted journalist Muhammad al-Louh while he was covering the high school exams in Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip.
Muhammad Bakr al-Louh, 33, who works as a correspondent for Al-Shabab Radio in Gaza informed Mada Center that he arrived at about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday 3/7/2021 at Fathi Al-Balawi School for Boys in Al-Bureij refugee camp to conduct interviews with high school students. When the students left the school, he started coordinating and conducting interviews with some of them. One of the security personnel approached him and told him that it was forbidden to stand in that place and that he had to leave, knowing that the board was wearing a distinctive press uniform with the name of the radio on it. He had the sign that he would not respond to him out of respect for the institution in which he works, so the military assaulted him again and slapped and kicked him and detained him for about an hour and assaulted him during that a third time, and when the police officers left the school, they expressed their refusal to do so, while the radio administration decided to file a complaint against the policeman. I contacted the media of the Ministry of Interior, who in turn condemned what had happened, and as a result, a delegation from the interior media came to the radio station and apologized to the journalist al-Louh and to the radio, and told them that they would form a committee to investigate the incident and that the policeman had been detained and punished.
As a result of the attack, journalist al-Louh sustained bruises on his hands and right leg.
(4-7) The Palestinian police prevented a group of journalists from covering the arrest of political activists.
Journalist, Jihad Barakat, who works with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, stated that he and a number of journalists arrived on the morning of Sunday 4/7/2021 to the Ramallah court to cover the arrest of lawyer Muhannad Karajah, executive director of Lawyers for Justice, and activists Ghassan Al-Saadi and Muhammad Fararja. They were in front of the court at about 9:30, when 8 policemen approached the journalist, Jihad, and threatened him saying: “You have half a minute to leave the place,” so everyone left.
(5-7) Palestinian security forces arrested journalist Amid Shehadeh after covering arrests and attacks carried out by the security services on Monday evening, 5/7/2021, following a march organized in Ramallah to protest against the murder of political and human rights activist Nizar Banat.
Journalist Amid Zayed Shehadeh, (35 years) , who works as a correspondent for Al-Araby TV, said that he went around 9:00 pm on Monday, 5/7/2021, accompanied by his colleague Mahmoud Khallaf, - a cameraman for Al-Araby TV-, to the Al-Bireh police station, where a sit-in was held by some citizens after the Palestinian police arrested participants take part at a march organized in Ramallah that evening.
There, he conducted some interviews after asking one of the officers if they were allowed to film in front of the headquarters and left the place, but he soon learned that a decision had been issued by the Prime Minister to release the detainees. Ameed returned again to the same place at midnight (around 12 pm), and conducted new interviews after he asked the officer about the possibility of filming. While the journalist was finishing his work a person in civilian clothes came up to him and asked him if his name is Ameed, but he denied it.
At about half past midnight that night, Ameed left the place. When he was about 200-300 meters away from the police station, a car cut off his way, and after those who were inside made sure of his identity, they told him that he is under arrest and took him from his car. When he was being transferred to the police station in Al-Bireh, he asked about the reason of his arrest, one of the security personnel told him that he had a summons to the prosecution on the issue of cybercrime. Then he was taken to the medical services center for make a routine medical tests, then returned to the police headquarters.
After the news of his arrest spread, an officer came to him and told him to ask his co-workers to come back to pick him up because he would be released on bail from the government spokesman, provided that he returns in the morning to the police station. Due to the insistence of Ameed to know the reason for his arrest, he was informed that this was in connection with a case closed 7 months ago related to a complaint submitted by the Lady of the Earth Foundation.
He was actually released and went at 9 am on Tuesday 6/7/2021 to the Public Prosecution, and learned through the lawyer that he did not have any file or interrogation in the prosecution and he was not interrogated. The prosecutor closed the file after asking him about the complaint of the Lady of the earth Foundation and told him that he was there to close it, and the prosecutor asked him to sign a pledge of 5000 shekels to attend when he called. He left the police station at about 2:00 in the afternoon (Tuesday 6/7/2021).
(5-7) The Palestinian police arrested and violently assaulted a number of journalists during a sit-in in front of the police headquarters in Al-Balou’ neighborhood in Al-Bireh city. The sit-in demanded the release of a number of activists and demonstrators who were arrested by the police and Palestinian security forces during a march organized on Monday evening (5-7) /7/2021) in Ramallah to protest the killing of political and human rights activist Nizar Banat.
These arrests and attacks affected journalists: Muhammad Hamayel, Aqil Awawda, Watan Network board member Muammar Orabi, Hind Shraida, Mays Abu Ghosh, as well as the arrest of journalist Amid Shehadeh after he left the scene.
Muhammad Amir Abdullah Hamayel, (33 years), a Jerusalem 24 radio correspondent, stated that while he was around 9:30 pm on Monday (5/7/2021), accompanied by his colleague, 24 FM reporter Aqeel Awawda, in front of the Al-Bireh police station to cover the sit-in there in a live broadcast, one of the officers approached and asked them not to film, so they responded and sat about 15 meters away from the protesters, but when the anti-riot forces came and asked the protesters to vacate the place within 10 minutes, they did not give them two minutes and started assaulting everyon.
The two journalists, Muhammad and Aqeel, decided to leave the place immediately, but one of the security personnel shouted that they (Muhammad and Aqeel) were filming, so the police officers attacked them. Although Muhammad rushed to show the press card hanging in his neck, one of officers punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground, then he was beaten with hands and feet while shouting, "I am a journalist." One of them pulled his card from his neck and dragged him to the ground while continuing to beat him very violently, as he was hit on his head, stomach, back and legs, while one of them was holding him by his neck (throat), in addition to insulting him and his family and accusing him of being a spy.
The beating and dragging of journalist Muhammad continued inside the police station as well, in a relatively lighter way. Muhammad saw his colleague Aqeel inside the police station, and tried to approach him to check on him, but the police prevented him from doing so and threatened him with “breaking his face and legs if he did not hand over his phone,” and then a security officer in civilian clothes spoke with Muhammad in a calm way, asking him for the phone and that he would not open it, so Muhammad handed him the phone.
Minutes later, Muhammad, who showed signs of beating, was transferred and detained in the investigation office in the upper floor of the police station, he was detained for about 4 hours, before moving him to another room to give his statement about the reason for his presence in front of the police station. After 6 hours of detention, Muhammad was asked to sign a pledge not to endanger or harm any security man. He was released after he signed the pledge.
As for journalist Aqeel Awawda, (31 years), he was assaulted and arrested by the police at the same time, and beaten with a baton on his head and chest several times. Then he was taken to the police station with continued attacks by the baton, then he was thrown next to the bathroom.
Because of a strong blow to his chest, Aqeel was trying hard to catch his breath. One of the officers saw him and picked up the press card he was carrying and came out saying, "This is a journalist." Then Aqeel was taken to the waiting room and there an ambulance officer was called to treat him, and after a medical examination, it was found that his blood pressure was low, which prompted them to transfer him to Palestine Medical Complex, where it was found that he had severe bruises in the chest.
Hours later, journalist Aqeel was taken back to the police station, to sign a paper, which stated as the police officer told him, that: “he did not get any money from suspicious sources.” At nearly 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday (6/7/2021), he was released. The journalist Aqeel continued to suffer severely for more than two weeks after the accident.
This wave of attacks affected Watan Media Network board member, Muammar Orabi, who was attacked by members of the Palestinian police while he was in front of the Al-Bireh Police Station, on Monday evening 5/7/2021.
Orabi stated that while he was next to the journalist Hind Sherida, her children, her father-in-law and her brother-in-law, and after riot police came to the scene, a number of masked security personnel came forward, and one of them pointed at Orabi saying, "Here is the instigator," and they beat him forcefully with sticks. They clenched their fists on his stomach and back, causing bruises in various parts of his body. After that, he went to a private doctor who prescribed painkillers to calm his pain.
The Palestinian police arrested journalist Hind Bassem Sheraida after she protested in front of the police headquarters to demand the release of her husband and a number of activists who were arrested after participating in a march organized in Ramallah to protest the killing of political and human rights activist, Nizar Banat.
Hind Basem Sherida (34 years), a journalist working in the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability "Aman", reported that at about seven o'clock in the evening on Monday, 5/7/2021, she learned of the arrest of her husband, Obay Al-Aboudi, while he was participating in a peaceful demonstration on Al-Manara square in the city of Ramallah. As a result, Hind went to the Al-Bireh police headquarters, where her husband was arrested and she sat in silence with her two children and began chanting the slogan “state of freedoms, no to political arrests.” A number of other citizens were present in the scene protesting against the arrest of activists and demonstrators. While she was there, a security member in civilian clothes surrounded by uniformed policemen approached her and told her: “this is not the correct way to send your message” Hind asked him who he was, but he refused to answer and said that he is not mandated to talk to her, so she replied that she then will not respond to his orders, so he asked her: Do you and your children not want to enter the center? She replied that she would remain in the street until her husband is free. After that, the police asked the media to turn off their phones and prevented them from covering what was happening. A "riot control" vehicle arrived at the scene and gave the protesters 10 minutes to vacate the place on the pretext that their gathering was "unlicensed and illegal." At about ten o'clock in the evening Hind opened a live broadcast on her page on Facebook about the current event there and its developments. Due to this, the police got angry and began to attack everyone present by spraying pepper gas and beating with hands and sticks.
Hind was arrested after being beaten along with a number of other protesters. While arrested, Hind said to one of the policewomen and asked her, "Are you a mother? My children are alone outside, the policewoman cursed her and said to her, 'I don't leave my children along late at nights'." Hind remained detained until 12:30 a.m. that night, during which time the police tried to blackmail her by signing a pledge to “abide by the law” in exchange for her release, but she refused and asked to consult the director of Al-Haq Foundation, Shawan Jabarin, who was in the place after those arrests, and who refused to sign such a pledge. Hind was released without signing it, while her husband was released the next day on a personal bail of 1,000 Jordanian dinars.
As for journalist, Mays Muhammad Hussein Abu Ghosh, 24, she mentioned through the media that while she was in front of the Al-Balou police station, where a crowd of citizens gathered to demand the release of the demonstrators and activists who were arrested that day during the march, journalists and sit-ins were attacked there, which included her. As she was assaulted and dragged by the security forces, and that one of the policewomen asked her colleagues to help her in attacking her, telling one of them: “Come, hit her” during her arrest. These arrests and attacks affected many other people and caused some of them severe injuries as a result of police violence, including other journalists as well.
(13-7) Facebook blocked Shehab News Agency's page, a page with over 7 million followers, under the pretext of "violating Facebook community standards".
MADA center was informed by the director of news of the Shihab agency, Hussam Al-Zaygh, that the agency's management and employees were surprised, at approximately twelve o'clock in the afternoon, on Tuesday 13/7/2021, at the blocking of the agency's page, noting that the agency has adhered strictly during the past months and dealt positively with the instructions and demands of the Facebook team specialized in communicating with news makers in the Middle East. He confirmed that he has been in contact with the specialized Facebook team dealing with news makers in the Middle East last May, to avoid being blocked (it happened 4 times previously, the last was three years ago), and to understand the reasons for the access restrictions that the agency’s page has been suffering since December 2020, where only a few dozen comments and likes appear on its content, although millions follow it, and sometimes warning messages appear to followers when they choose to like or comment (as part of these restrictions).
Although the agency and its staff are keen to abide by professional publishing standards and Facebook guidelines, and have worked during the last period to delete about 15,000 publications from its archive in order to avoid listing its page within the “red circle”, but it is still vulnerable to these violations based on illogical demands when writing any news, as Facebook now considers the inclusion of some vocabulary such as the word martyr or resistance or the names of some Palestinian factions or leaders among the taboos even when mentioned in the context of the news and reports it publishes.
(...) The British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) dismissed the Palestinian journalist, Tala Halawa, after four years of working for the cooperation, following pressure from the Israeli lobby on the BBC after it published Halawa's investigation during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza about the price paid by celebrities around the world for their support for the cause. The Israeli lobby in Britain lacked accusations against the investigation itself so instead, they resorted to digging into her personal account three years before she worked for the BBC, where they found a hashtag about the Holocaust that trended during the previous Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2014 (that is, three years before Halawa worked for the BBC). The lobby used it to attack her and put further pressure on the BBC, which was quick to respond to these pressures, unconcerned about the journalist Halawa's professional career and her apology for using that hashtag, which she said did not express her then and does not express her now.
Her statement on her dismissal from the BBC:
“I was recently dismissed by the BBC over a tweet I posted during Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in 2014, three years before I joined the organization. I was judged based on a single offensive and ignorant tweet posted seven years ago during the traumatic Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip in 2014, specifically during the Shujaiyya attack where 55 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children and 14 women, were killed in 48 hours by Israeli strikes. Israeli settlers had also kidnaped and burnt alive 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in East Jerusalem. I was a young Palestinian woman tweeting in the heat of the moment as I witnessed horrific, undeserved deaths met with international media silence and used a popular hashtag at the time without thinking.
The offensive and ignorant words I posted at the time do not reflect my political views then as much as they do not today. I hope those who were hurt by them will accept my heartfelt apology for posting without thinking.
However, it saddens me that the BBC, instead of seeking avenues for apology, reconciliation, and dialogue, unfortunately opted for trial with social media, amplifying troll voices and capitulating to pressure from external pro-Israel interest groups and right-wing media outlets determined to eliminate Palestinian from public life.
The BBC’s immediate dismissal at the whim of a pro-Israel mob is all the more absurd given the actual reason pro-Israel groups trained their sights on me: I recently published a video report for the corporation about celebrities being criticized, trolled and cancelled for supporting Palestinian self-determination. But I am not alone. This pro-Israel censorship campaign is industrial I scale ad international in its reach/
The trend of bad-faith intimidation of reporters from the region by hostile actors and organized public flogging are aimed at setting the parameters of acceptable journalism to suit Israel, and policing international media to maintain institutional pro-Israel bias.
What happened seems familiar to me both as a Palestinian and as a woman of color.
I take pride in the fact that during my four years at the BBC I was always known for my impartiality and professional journalism, even during the most difficult times. I will continue to believe and fight for honest and brave journalism regardless of these menial attempts at character assassination”.
(15-7) Facebook blocked the account of journalist, Omar Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, after he published a message from the prisoner Khaleda Jarrar, who is being detained by Israel, about the death of her daughter, Suha, several days ago. The Israeli occupation prevented Khalida from participating in her daughter’s funeral and farewell, and even prevented her from communicating by phone with her family (her husband and her other daughter). Facebook claimed that what Omar had published is “contrary to Facebook standards,” knowing that the prisoner Jarrar’s message that she sent the next day for her daughter’s funeral and published on his page and transmitted by dozens of news websites and media outlets, as well as re-published by large numbers of citizens. In it, she expresses her love for her daughter, who was denied her farewell, and that the late Suha, when she was born, her father was imprisoned by the Israeli occupation, and now she died while her mother is in detention, deprived of participating in her funeral.
The text of the letter:
“Suha was born into this world while her father was imprisoned, and now she is departing this world while her mother is imprisoned. This is an intense and encapsulated human summary of the life of the Palestinian who loves life, hope and freedom and hates subordination and colonialism. This occupation robs us of everything, even the oxygen we breathe. I must bid my dear Suha farewell with a rose grown in the soil of the homeland: Rest in peace, soaring bird of my heart.
As for you, Yafa, my second bird, I love you with every beat of my heart as I loved the sister of your soul, Suha, so be strong so that I may draw my strength from you.
And I say to Ghassan, be strong, take care of yourself and of Yafa, and do not worry for me. I say to all of you, give Suha everything she deserves, talk about her, her character and her beauty, and plant an olive tree beside her grave so that its branches may always give her shade. I love you.”
(16-7) Photojournalist, Nidal Shtayyeh, was wounded by three metal bullets fired at him by an Israeli soldier while he was covering a peaceful march against settlements in Beit Dajan village, East of Nablus.
Journalist Nidal Shtayyeh, a resident of Salem town in Nablus governorate and a photographer with the Chinese news agency "Xinhua" stated that while he was filming the weekly march against settlements in the town of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, on Friday afternoon, July 16, 2021, he heard an Israeli officer inform soldiers to target journalists. One of the soldiers, whom Shtayyeh was photographing, fired several metal bullets at him, three of which hit him in the leg (one in the shin, the other in the knee, and the third above the knee), which caused him severe bruising and internal bleeding, especially the bullets that hit the man’s shin. The man was swollen as a result of this at a later time and was unable to work and was unable to walk even two days later (when he made this statement).
(July) Several media outlets and journalists were subjected to incitement through social networking sites in connection with their work.
The campaign of incitement has impacted the Quds News Network by distributing and circulating videos to groups close to or affiliated with the Palestinian security services, accusing the news network of lying. At least 4 videos were circulated and distributed in this regard.
Al-Jazeera Mubasher was also subjected to incitement by publishing a video accusing it of spreading sedition, unprofessionalism, impartiality and transgressing media honor, in the service of its financiers through the hashtag “Palestine Spring”, where the channel’s correspondent Jihan Awad said that this hashtag was launched after the recent war on the Gaza Strip.
The video accused the channel of sabotage and incitement against the government, the Palestinian leadership and the Fatah movement by exploiting an internal Palestinian event that can be cured by Palestinian law and its transparency, not sedition.
Many more publications inciting against journalists were also spreading on a Facebook page called "Al-Marsad" in both Arabic and English. Among those who have been incited on this page is journalist Reem Al-Omari, a broadcaster on Watan Radio, who was accused of “seeing with one eye” after commenting on the killing of detainee, Shadi Nofal, in prison in the Gaza Strip, and calling for a commission of inquiry into his murder.
Journalist Alaa al-Rimawi was also subjected to incitement by the same page, after the recent arrest he was subjected to by the Palestinian security services, accusing him of wanting a state of law and not wanting to abide by the law, and demanding freedom of expression, but he wants to be cursed and insulted and not be cursed.
(23-7) Photographer Ayman Nubani was wounded by a sponge-tipped bullet while covering clashes in Beita, south of Nablus.
Ayman Amin Nubani (35 years old) and a photographer for the official Palestinian news agency “Wafa” said that he arrived at about 1:00 pm on Friday 23/7/2021, to cover the demonstrations organized by the people if Beita in refusal to settlement expansion on their lands. He was accompanied by a group of journalists (including Alaa Badarneh and Jaafar Shtayyeh) covering that demonstration. While he and his colleagues were about 200 meters away from the occupation soldiers, and in a relative proximity to the demonstrators, wearing his full press uniform, the soldiers began firing tear gas and rubber bullets massively at the demonstrators. As a result, he was hit by a spongy bullet in the pelvis, and he received field treatment in an ambulance that was there.
(24-7) The Quds News Network was forced to create a new page on Facebook, under the name “Share the Quds News Network,” which it launched on 24/7/2021, due to restrictions imposed by Facebook on the network’s page and the restrictive policies it follows against it, and for fear of it would be closed, especially as it received many reports and its publication was subject to restrictions over the past six months.
Hamza Al-Shobaki, a program presenter and director of the social media department in the Quds News Network, stated that the network's decision came due to Facebook's policy towards the Quds News Network, which received many reports, and access to its publications was subjected to restrictions by Facebook about 6 months ago, which intensified during the past month. The publication reached only 100 followers, while access was previously available to 1000 people, in addition to the spread of a group of inflammatory videos that were circulated by unknown persons against the network.
He said that the Facebook administration did not delete the network's page, but the network took this precautionary measure for fear of closing the page, as all data indicate that it may be subject to this during the coming period, especially since the Facebook administration has closed the Shihab Agency page in the context of its fight against Palestinian content.
(7-26) Photographer Abdullah Al-Bahsh was wounded with two rubber bullets while covering the storming of Joseph's tomb in Nablus by Israeli army and settlers.
Abdullah Tayseer Rashid Hamed Bahsh (23 years), a photographer and field reporter for the Quds News Network, said that while he was covering the storming of the army and settlers into Yusuf’s tomb in Nablus between 10:30 and 11:00 in the evening on Monday, 7/26/2021, confrontations erupted in the place. During which the soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. He was hit by two rubber bullets, one of which hit him in the protective armor and did not cause him any harm, while the other hit him in the right foot from the back, almost in the same place he had been hit about three weeks ago (in the bone of the foot). Al-Bahsh was taken to Rafidia Hospital, where he was given the necessary treatments. Pal Post photographer Mujahid Tabanja, 22, was wounded in the palm of his right hand as he fell while trying to get away from the place while the soldiers were chasing stone-throwers.
(27-7) The Palestinian police closed the office of JMedia Agency, which provides free media services to many media institutions, on the pretext of a defect in the licensing, as the Palestinian Ministry of Information said in a statement on the decision.
Ala Al-Rimawy, head of the agency explained that the closure is claimed to be due to a matter related to a change of name, and that it was already years ago, and it was agreed with the Ministry to continue working with the license they possess despite that change.
The director of J-Media Agency, journalist Alaa al-Rimawi, told MADA center that the Palestinian Ministry of Information had contacted them about a month and a half ago and asked for their operation licenses. The licenses were submitted to the authorities who did not inform them of anything until the police came to the agency on Tuesday 27/7/ 2021 and informed Alaa Al-Rimawi, orally, of the closure of the agency’s office (without handing them any paper copy of the closure decision). On the same day, journalist Alaa Al-Rimawi was handed a notification to appear the next day (Wednesday 7/28/2021) before the Public Prosecutor. Al-Rimawi went on the aforementioned date to appear before the Public Prosecutor, who informed him that he did not want anything from him and that the case and its solution were linked to the Ministry of Information. As a result, the director of J-Media Agency, in which 19 journalists, photographers and technicians work, went to the Ministry of Information, where he met representatives of the ministry, which was (According to him, years ago, he learned about the license they had and agreed with them to continue working based on it), but the Ministry denied that agreement and asked them to renew the license.
(7-29) Five journalists were injured by protesters' stones during clashes with the occupation forces that erupted in the town of Beit Ummar.
J-Media photographer, Abdel Mohsen Shalaldeh, informed "MADA" center that he and four journalists were "unintentionally" injured by stones from the demonstrators while covering large-scale clashes that took place on 29/7/2021 in the town of Beit Ummar in Hebron Governorate, following the funeral of the child Muhammad Al-Allami, who was killed by the occupation soldiers on 7/28/2021.
Journalists who were wounded by stones, Palestine TV cameraman Alaa Haddad and his colleague Areen Al-Amlah, the TV reporter, the journalists Jamil Salhab and Yousry Al-Jamal, in addition to the journalist Abdel Mohsen Shalalda. All journalists' injuries were described as minor, with the exception of one (Yousri Al-Jamal), who was wounded in the forehead.