Ramallah – 13th Nov. 2022 October has witnessed an increase in the total number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, totaling eight-one (81) assaults, compared to a total of fifty-seven (57) documented during September.
The total number of violations increased as a result of a noticeable rise in the number of Israeli violations, which jumped by twenty-six (26) points compared to the previous month, which was accompanied by a decrease in the number of Palestinian violations, as only five (5) violations committed by Palestinian authorities were documented.
During the past month, a total of nine (9) violations committed by Facebook were documented, including closing and blocking pages of news websites and other journalists’ websites, after a statement made by the Israeli Prime Minister vowing to pursue "terrorist" pages.
Other authorities committed one violation, represented by the New York Times’ dismissal of its photojournalist in Gaza Strip as a result of an Israeli writer's incitement against him.
The number of Israeli assaults increased during October to record the highest, totaling sixty-six (66) violations, compared to forty (40) violations during the previous month, September. The percentage of Israeli violations constituted 82% of the total number of violations committed during the month. Furthermore, many of these were complex, as, in more than one incident, the direct targeting of journalists or their vehicles and preventing them from coverage were documented, as happened in Jibya, Ramallah, in particular, during media coverage of the olive harvest season.
There was no noticeable change in the nature of the Israeli assaults, as some of which were among the serious assaults against the lives of journalists and freedom of the press, most notably, the documentation of sixteen (16) physical assaults, including being injured by rubber bullets or suffocating with gas. MADA also documented thirty (30) violations against journalists by preventing them from covering events, whether in the West Bank or in the city of Jerusalem, while the occupation soldiers targeted eight (8) journalists to prevent them from coverage. The most severe violations were the siege and shooting against four journalists while covering the army's storming of Jenin Camp, which put their lives in real danger.
On the other hand, four journalists were detained in various events, as the mobile phone of one of them was broken and returned smashed to its holder, in addition to damaging the wheel of his car. The occupation forces also raided a journalist's house in search of CCTV recordings at the entrances to the house. MADA further documented a piracy operation committed by an Israeli party against "MA'AN" Network, as it tried to hack the broadcast screens and put symbols and slogans representing the Israeli occupation.
Social Media Violations:
In addition to the Israeli violations, Facebook closed and restricted during October nine (9) news pages and pages of Palestinian journalists working as managers on the news pages. The number of violations related to social media rose during October to nine (9), constituting 11% of the total violations of the month compared to five (5) violations that were documented during September.
Palestinian violations decreased significantly during November compared to the previous month, as they were limited to five (5) violations, representing 6% of the total violations. These were distributed as one violation in Gaza Strip committed by unofficial parties who stormed the house of a journalist and threatened him, while the Palestinian security services arrested three journalists, releasing one of them after examining his identity card while the remaining were released later.
Details of Violations:
2nd Oct. - The Israeli occupation intelligence raided the house of photojournalist NASSER SHTAYYEH in Salem village and demanded that his wife hand over the memories of the surveillance cameras located at the entrance to the house.
SIPA USA cameraman, NASSER SULEIMAN SHTAYYEH, 51 years old, stated to MADA that an Israeli intelligence force stormed his house in Salem village at around 01:00PM, searching for surveillance camera recordings at the entrances to the house, despite knowing the identity of the owner of the house.
The intelligence service stormed the cameraman’s house while he was not inside the house despite knowing his identity and without searching and demanded his wife hand over the cameras’ memories and hard disks. But she explained to them that these cameras are connected directly to cell phones and do not have memories.
The soldiers watched the available recordings and left the house half an hour later.
3rd Oct. - Palestine Post reporter SAJA AL-ALAMI suffocated while covering the clahses at the northern entrance to the city of Al-Bireh, after she and a group of cameramen were targeted with tear gas canisters, which led to her receiving field treatment in the nearby ambulance.
The journalist, SAJA SHAKER AL-ALAMI (28 years old), stated that at about 7:30PM, on Monday 3rd Oct. she was with a group of cameraman and journalists, namely: (Quds News Network cameraman MUTASEM SAQF AL-HAIT, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda newspaper cameraman ISSAM AL-RIMAWI, and ABBAS MOMENI, Reuters cameraman) to cover the clashes that erupted at the northern entrance to the city of Al-Bireh, and they were all wearing press uniforms and standing in an area away from the demonstrators by about 200m away from the occupation soldiers.
The occupation soldiers targeted the journalists who were covering the incident by firing tear gas canisters at them. At that time, AL-ALAMI hid inside the car of her colleague MUTASIM SAQF AL-HAIT, as she did not have time to wear a gas mask and did not notice that the car windows were open, which made her suffocate with the smell of gas for ten minutes, and she received field treatment in the ambulance at the same place.
3rd Oct. - A group of settlers verbally and physically assaulted photojournalists ABDEL RAHMAN YOUNIS and freelance cameraman IMAD JIBRIN in Teqoa, southeast of Bethlehem, and prevented them from completing their work and covering a settlers' march on Monday evening.
ABDEL RAHMAN MOHAMMED YOUNIS (35 years old), the programmer for Palestine TV and a cameraman for Russia Today Agency, stated that he and his colleague IMAD ALI JIBRIN (45 years old) were covering a march of settlers in Teqoa, southeast of Bethlehem, at around 06:00PM, on Monday.
As soon as they arrived, the settlers attacked them, surrounded them and verbally assaulted them, while the soldiers of the occupation army were close to them, but they did not stop the attacks or assaults, and then the settlers obstructed the work of the cameramen by pushing them with their hands, even one of the settlers poured coke on the cameramen who had to leave without completing their work.
5th Oct. - The occupation police obstructed the work of "Al Qastal News Network" cameraman, BARAA SHALODI, prevented her from covering the settlers' incursions and took her out of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and later prevented her from entering Al-Aqsa squares before 03:00PM.
In her statement to MADA, "Al Qastal News Network" cameraman BARAA SAAD SHALODI, 20 years old, stated that since dawn on Wednesday she has been present in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque to cover the settlers' incursions into the mosque on the occasion of the Jewish holidays.
At about 07:00AM, while covering the incursions before Al-Qibli Mosque, an Israeli police officer approached her and prevented her from filming, but then after she showed her press card, he returned and gave her consent to cover provided she stands further away.
Minutes later, another policeman came to her and asked her for her I.D. Card, she told him that she had handed the card at the entrance, but he told her that she was banned to cover and that she was also arrested.
After the journalist’s father, who works as an employee at the Ministry of Awqaf, came and spoke to the policeman, he allowed the journalist to leave the place, provided that she does not return to covering in the yards of Al-Aqsa, and since then the journalist has been banned to enter Al-Aqsa before 03:00PM.
5th Oct. - "Palestine TV" cameraman LOAI ALSAMHAN was wounded by a metal bullet that entered his hand from the wrist and exited from the shoulder. Further, the cameraman MAHMOUD FAWZY, who works for Event Media, was wounded by a metal bullet in the right arm while covering the clashes between the youths and the occupation soldiers in the village of "Deir Al-Hatab", in Nablus on Wednesday afternoon, and they were both taken for treatment at the hospital.
In his statement to MADA, the cameraman LOAI ABDELHAFEETH ALSAMHAN, 43 years old, said that he and his colleague MAHMOUD FAWZI, at around 03:30PM, were in the village of “Deir al-Hatab” - Nablus to cover the incidents of the army’s siege of a house there to arrest one of the young men, and the siege included violent clashes between young men and army soldiers, as well as an exchange of fire between both parties.
The cameramen continued the coverage and were away from the besieged house and the army soldiers between 500-700PM. At about 4:10PM, he cameraman ALSAMHAN was hit by a metal bullet in the right hand, which entered through the wrist and exited from the shoulder bone. The cameraman, MAHMOUD FAWZY, was also wounded by another metal bullet in the left arm, but it did not penetrate the bone.
ALSAMHAN was transported in a red crescent ambulance to An-Najah Hospital where he received treatment for three days after it was found that there was a laceration in the bone as platinum was transplanted in his hand.
The cameraman MAHMOUD FAWZY was transported to Rafidia Hospital where he received the necessary treatment and was discharged on the following day.
8th Oct. - The Israeli occupation forces surrounded a group of journalists on the roof of a house near Jenin Camp for half an hour while covering incursion into the Camp and targeted them by firing metal bullets directly at them endangering their lives and destroying the press equipment of some of them.
The freelance journalist MUJAHID MOHAMMED ALSAADI (35 years old) stated that he and his colleague MOHAMMED ABED, a cameraman for Quds News Network, went around 09:00AM, on Saturday, corresponding to 8th Oct., to cover the storming of the occupation forces into Jenin Camp. ALSAADI and ABED, at the beginning, were in front of Ibn Sina Hospital, and then moved until they reached a nearby area called “Marj Al-Tawalbah”.
At around 10:30AM, ALSAADI and ABED joined the "AFP" cameraman JAFAR ZAHED SHTAYYEH and the "Chinese News Agency" cameraman, NIDAL SHAFEEQ SHTAYYEH (50 years old), and one of them suggested that they all go up to the roof of a building that exposes the outskirts of the Camp so that they can have better coverage.
All the cameramen climbed to the roof of the building, wearing full journalistic uniforms. After a few minutes, a bullet was fired at them, but it hit the wall, and then began the shooting at the journalists heavily and directly, which led to the breaking of the camera, the stand, and the audio device of the journalist ALSAADI.
The journalists remained trapped in their place for about half an hour, as the shooting continued towards them until the withdrawal of the army forces therefrom. At the same time, the journalists were able to contact the Red Cross for help, who in turn located the journalists and provided them with assistance.
7th Oct. - SIPA USA cameraman, NASSER SHTAYYEH, was wounded by a rubber bullet in the left leg, fired by the occupation soldiers while covering the weekly Kafr Qaddoum march on Friday.
The cameraman NASSER SULEIMAN SHTAYYEH, 51 years old, stated to MADA that he was there at about 1:45PM, on Friday, covering the weekly Kafr Qaddoum march.
While he was taking some pictures, he was hit by a rubber bullet in the left leg, a minor injury, as a result of which he received field treatment in the same place and left after about half an hour.
8th Oct. - The occupation soldiers obstructed the arrival of a group of journalists to the area of Khallet al-Dabaa, affiliated to Musafer Yatta, south of Hebron, where the “Palestinian Heritage Day Festival” was being held, and asked them to walk 3 kilometers to the Festival.
WAFA Agency reporter in Hebron City, MASHHOUR HASSAN ALWAHWAH, (39 years old), stated that the occupation soldiers have erected a checkpoint in “Al-Maghfirah” area, three kilometers away from Khallet al-Dabaa, in Musafer Yatta, to prevent the journalists from reaching the Heritage Exhibition which has organized the Palestinian Heritage Day in support of the families of Khallet al-Dabaa, who are at risk of forced displacement.
ALWAHWAH and a group of journalists and cameramen left at about 12:00PM, on Saturday, heading to the venue of the Heritage Festival. When they reached "Al- Maghfirah" area, the army soldiers stopped them and prevented them from passing the checkpoint, despite wearing the press uniform indicating their identity, and despite the press slogan written on the vehicle. They were allowed to access the Festival on foot, which was logical, forcing the journalists to return and not cover.
Among the journalists who were present (the European Agency cameraman ABDEL HAFEEZ AL-HASHLAMOUN, Palestine TV reporter AZMI BANAT, JIHAD AL-QAWASMEH, Director of Palestine TV in Hebron, MOHAMMAD AWAWDA, Palestine TV cameraman, MOHAMMED ABU SABHA, TV reporter.
8th Oct. - On Saturday morning, MA'AN News Channel’s screen was subject to an electronic hacking by Israeli authorities including broadcasting symbols and slogans representing the Israeli occupation.
In his statement to MADA, MA’AN Broadcast and Screens Director, BASEL ALTARWAH, (35 years old), said that there were Israeli piracy attempts taking place to control the broadcasting of the TV and they started at around 01:15AM, on Saturday, and continued until 06:30AM.
The hackers tried to control the TV broadcast by placing the Israeli flag and spreading pro-Israel phrases such as "We love Israel and to Hell with Hamas and Fatah”.
During these hours, the TV staff in charge confronted these attempts and did not allow the Israeli control of the broadcast, but the hackers were able to delete the content of the devices, including materials, programs and advertisements, which were later recovered. The hackers also managed to change the names of the hard disks to "We love Israel" and the password on the main broadcasting device was changed to prevent the channel from taking back the control.
The TV staff continued to try to prevent the hacking and was able to put things back in order around 6:30PM, but some small problems remain on the way to being resolved.
10th Oct. The New York Times suspended the work of the photojournalist HUSSAM SALEM after four years of coverage in Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli pressure thereon through a report prepared by an Israeli journalist and published on the "Honest Reporting" website.
The photojournalist HUSSAM HISHAM SALEM, (33 years old), stated to MADA that he was dismissed from the American newspaper because of a report published on the Israeli "Honest Reporting" website on 24th August, in which the Zionist author of the report said “There are anti-Semitic Palestinian journalists who are supporters of Hitler”, and he meant by that the reporter HUSSAM SALEM, and the cameraman SULEIMAN HAJJA, who later denied that any action was taken by the newspaper's administration against him.
On 26th August, the cameraman HUSSAM visited the same website and found news that "appropriate action has been taken against these anti-Semitic journalists", and he had not received any contact from the administration of the "New York Times" yet.
Two days later, the cameraman received a phone call from the newspaper's administration in the United States, apologizing for the discontinuation of his work, "on the pretext of a post that the cameraman shared praying for two martyrs, one of whom is his cousin”.
The news of the dismissal of the cameraman HUSSAM did not spread until after he himself published the news of his dismissal from the newspaper on 10th Oct. where he expressed this in a post on “Twitter” that received many interactions and re-posts.
11th Oct. – The Israeli occupation police detained the cameraman of “Qastal News Network”, SAIF ALDEEN ALQAWASME, for forty minutes in “Eliyahu” Investigation Center and banned him from covering the settlers’ incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque. He was released on the condition that he does not access Al-Aqsa squares before 03:00PM.
SAIF ALDEEN SAED ALQAWASME, (21 years old), who works as the cameraman for Qastal News Network, stated that he went to Al-Aqsa Mosque, at dawn, on Tuesday, corresponding to 11th Oct., to cover the incursions of the settlers to Al-Aqsa on the occasion of the Jewish holidays. He was to access Al-Aqsa after showing his international press card.
He was then pursued by one of the police officers, stopped, searched, and his press ID was checked.
At about 7:15AM, the second incursion into Al-Aqsa Mosque by settler groups began, and while the journalist was documenting the incursion, a policeman surprised him from behind, arrested him, and took him to the Eliyahu Investigation Center in Bab al-Silsilah.
He was question “on the accusation of causing problems inside Al-Aqsa squares”, but he denied the accusation, and he was released after being detained for 40 minutes without any condition except that he was prevented from entering Al-Aqsa squares before 03:00PM, that is, after the end of the incursions.
13th Oct. – The Israeli occupation police fired stun grenades at the journalists and prevented them from covering the protest in Shufat Camp taking place to demand the opening of the checkpoint and end the siege on the Camp as a result of an operation executed by one of the citizens in the Camp against a group of Israeli soldiers.
The freelance journalist, RAMZI MOHAMMED ALABBASI, (35 years old), stated that a group of journalists went to cover the protest organized by Shufat Camp families, after Maghreb Prayers, to demand the ending of the siege on the Camp.
At around 06:20PM, immediately after the end of Maghreb Prayers, the occupation police suppressed all of Palestinians in the protest, including the journalists, and fired stun grenades at them to obstruct their work and prevent them from covering the events resulting in the withdrawal of all journalists therefrom.
Anatolia Agency cameraman MUUSTAFA ALKHAROUF, the cameraman FAYEZ ABU RMEILAH, the cameraman BARA’A ABU RMOUZ, and the cameraman FIRAS HINDAWI of Palestine TV, were among the journalists who were there.
11th Oct. - The Israeli occupation forces detained J-Media cameraman, MOHAMMED THABET, for several hours at the Beit Furik checkpoint, east of Nablus, on Tuesday afternoon, and broke his mobile phone and damaged the wheel of his car.
The journalist, MOHAMMED RADWAN THABET, (42 years old), stated to MADA that while he was passing Beit Furik Checkpoint, east of Nablus, at around 03:00PM, he saw traffic jam due to the closure of the checkpoint, so he took some pictures of the scene.
When the officer at the checkpoint saw him, he stopped him – and he was the same officer who was present during the activities of Beit Dajan - so he searched the journalist's car, and after 15 minutes, he blindfolded him, handcuffed him, and took him to the rooms behind the military tower erected therein.
The officer assaulted the cameraman, seized his mobile phone, and questioned him about his journalistic work, asking him questions about where he works and for whom, and to whom he has sent the pictures.
The cameraman was detained for about four hours, and after his release, the officer refused to return his mobile phone, which led to a verbal altercation between them that ended with damaging the journalist’s car wheel with a knife.
A few hours later, the journalist received a phone call from one of the citizens telling him that the army soldiers smashed his mobile phone and threw it inside one of the vehicles at the checkpoint.
13th Oct. – The occupation soldiers targeted the cameraman MAJDI SHTAYYEH with a gas grenade that hit his right knee while he was covering the clashes in Howarah, southern Nablus, on Thursday afternoon.
MAJDI MOHAMMED SULAIMAN SHTAYYEH, (40 years old), Associated Press Agency, stated to MADA that he had just finished covering the clashes in Nablus City, on Thursday morning, and moved to cover the clashes at Howarah Checkpoint involving the settlers, occupation soldiers, and the Palestinians.
When he arrived the closed checkpoint of Howarah, he stepped out his car, wearing the press uniform, and moved next to two other journalists who hold foreign nationalities, to start covering the settlers’ attacks to the Palestinians’ vehicles amidst the firing of gas grenades, stun grenades, and rubber bullets by the occupation soldiers.
At around 02:30PM, the occupation soldiers targeted all the journalists there by firing gas grenades at them several times even though they were at least 50 meters away from them. As a result, the cameraman was injured in his right knee by a gas grenade.
The cameraman received assistance from the journalists who took him away from the location, and he waited for the ambulance for an hour, then he received the necessary aid.
On the same day, while covering the event, Palestine TV cameraman MOHAMMED MAHMOUD ZAWAHRAH suffocated as a result of being targeted with tear gas grenades while covering the attacks of settlers and army soldiers on civilians.
MOHAMMED MAHMOUD ZAWAHRAH, (23 years old), stated that at around 02:00PM, he was heading to Howarah after he finished covering the events in Burin, and he was wearing the press uniform. The moment he arrived, he tried approaching the gathering of the settlers, but an Israeli soldier pointed a weapon at his face and prevented him to get any closer to the attacks.
At around 03:00PM, the cameraman stood in an area 100 meters away from the army soldiers and the settlers, an exposed area, and then the direct targeting with gas grenades started which resulted in his suffocation.
He received assistance from one of the civilians until the Red Crescent ambulance came and provided him with the necessary aid for suffocation.
The "Facebook" application responded to the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister made on Thursday morning, in which he vowed to pursue pages that promote so-called terrorism and violence from his perspective on social media.
13th Oct. - Quds News Network temporarily suspended its page on Facebook and switched to broadcasting via the alternative page after a series of unjustified notifications in an attempt to block and restrict Palestinian content and voice.
The journalist and editor of Quds News Network, YOUSEF SAMI ABU WATFA, (30 years old), stated to MADA, that a few hours after the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister, the official page of "Quds News Network" was subjected to restricting or deleting many posts, in addition to many videos related to current events which have also been hidden, as well as many old posts from previous years have also been deleted.
The network had received a notification from "Facebook" of reports against the Network, which led to the suspension of broadcasting on the official page and its shift to posting and sharing on the alternative page.
In the same context, "Facebook" completely deleted six personal accounts of a group of journalists working on managing the Network’s page, including (journalists AHMED SAMEER and ABDELRAOUF SHEHADA).
The restrictions against the newspaper continued until the network wrote to the "Facebook" Administration, where these restrictions were removed, while the deleted pages were not recovered.
13th Oct. - The official page of “Manbar Al-Hurriya Radio” was threatened with final deletion, as its content was restricted and the rates of access to this content were reduced by the "Facebook" Administration, which led to switching to posting and sharing on another alternative page.
In his statement to MADA center, the Sound Engineer of the Radio, RIBHI ABU RMOUZ, (26 years old), said that “Manbar Al-Hurriya Radio” received a notification from Facebook on Thursday restricting two posts of martys’ images the Radio Page shared. The restriction was justified that the Page is sharing terrorist characters and included a warning that the posts would not reach all followers, and a threat that the page would be permanently deleted.
“Manbar Al-Hurriya Radio” Page is followed by 500,000 followers, while the percentage of access to posts is about 9 million.
The procedure taken by Facebook against the Page resulted in switching to an alternative page for fear of losing the official one. Facebook Administration was contacted in this regard to lift the imposed restrictions, but no response was received.
17th Oct. – The occupation police assaulted a number of journalists at Bab al-Silsilah, in Jerusalem, by pushing them and obstructing their work as well as preventing them from covering the incursions of the settlers to Al-Aqsa Mosque, on Monday morning.
The cameraman of Marcil Company, MUATH YOUSEF ALKHATIB, (38 years old), stated to MADA that he and journalists (the cameraman MOHAMMED ASHO, Al-Mayadeen TV reporter HANA MAHAMEED, Nabd Al-quds Website journalist HIBA ALMAJDI, the cameraman BARA’A ABU RMOUZ, Al-Jazeera cameraman WAEL SALAYMAH, the cameraman SAED ALQAQ, and the cameraman AMEER ABD RABU) were all at Bab al-Silsilah in Jeruusalem, at 08:00AM, on Monday, to cover the repeated incursions of the settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Suddenly, officers of the occupation police came to vacant the area of Al-Murabitat Al-Maqdisiyat (Women of Jerusalem guarding Al-Aqsa Mosque), but what happened was that the focus was on the journalists, as they deliberately and forcefully pushed them to keep them away and prevent them from coverage, thus obstructing their work.
One of the police officers directly assaults the cameraman MUATH, pushed him, and did not even pay attention to him explaining that he is a journalist and that he was only doing his work. He also assaulted the cameramen MOHAMMED ASHO, AMEER ABD RABU, and SAED ALQAQ, by brutally pushing them.
19th Oct. – The Israeli occupation forces targeted the staff of “Today’s File Program” of Palestine TV with gas grenades and injured the Broadcasting Officer with a grenade in his face.
Palestine TV reporter in Nablus, journalist BAKR ABDEL-HAQ, stated that the 12-staff members of Palestine TV program “Today’s File” were broadcasting an episode exceptionally on Wednesday evening corresponding to 19th October at Deir Sharaf village checkpoint, west of Nablus, which was closed by the occupation within its siege on Nablus.
After the broadcast ended at approximately 11:00PM, the Israeli occupation forces directly targeted the Program’s staff with a barrage of gas bombs, which led to the injury of the broadcasting officer, MOATAZ SOUDANI, with a gas grenade in the chin, which led to a major wound that required taking him to the hospital for treatment.
The gas grenades also caused at least four members to suffocate severely. They were treated in the field.
19th Oct. – Facebook Application closed the personal accounts of the freelance cameraman EYAD HAMAD, unexpectedly and without any former notification or warning.
The freelance cameraman, EYAD NIMR HAMAD, (61 years old) stated to MADA that Facebook Administration closed his alternative page – which he created three months ago as a replacement for a page that got deleted – unexpectedly and without sending any warning messages or notifications about any irregularities in the posts he shares on the page.
Even though the cameraman communicated Facebook Administration, he believes that it will not be recovered if he is not given a specific reason for such deletion.
Furthermore, the journalist stated that this was not the first time his account is being deleted, as a page of his name which he created 20 years ago, got deleted a few months ago and he could not recover it. Not to mention that his account was also restricted one time for 45 days.
20th Oct. – The Israeli occupation forces prevented a group of journalists from covering the clashes near Bab Al-Zawiya in Hebron, on Thursday morning, and the soldiers kept pursuing them from one place to another to obstruct their media work and coverage.
Quds News Network reporter, SARI SHARIF JARADAT, (35 years old), stated to MADA that a group of journalists, namely (Xinhua Agency cameraman MAMOUN WAZWAZ, Al-Ghad TV reporter RAED ALSHARIF, and cameraman JAMEEL SALHAB, Al-Arabiyah TV journalist MUSAB SHAWER, J-Media Office cameraman ABDELMUHSEN SHALALDAH) has arrived Bab Al-Zawiyah in Hebron, at around 10:30AM after the general strike at all life aspects across the City.
After the clashes erupted between the civilians and the occupation soldiers who got deployed in the area heavily, the soldiers started chasing the journalists from one location to another to prevent them from covering the clashes and obstructing their work even though the journalists were wearing press uniforms visibly indicating their media identity.
20th Oct. – The Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestine TV staff to cover the suffering of the families of Azoun Town, eastern Qalqilya, due to the closure of the main gate to the Town, on Thursday, corresponding to 20th October.
Palestine TV reporter, AHMED ABDELMALEK IBRAHIM OTHMAN SHAWER, (36 years old) stated to MADA that he and his colleague, the TV cameraman MOHAMMAD MAHMOUD INAYA (30 years old), at about 11:00PM in the afternoon, were live covering the suffering of the citizens as a result of the closure of the main gate of the town of "Azoun" and preventing citizens from moving freely.
While the TV staff was preparing for the live broadcast, the occupation soldiers came and asked for press cards to verify the media identity of the journalists and they scanned them. After the start of the live broadcast, the occupation soldiers deliberately obstructed the staff’s work and prevented them from filming so as not to deliver the media message. They also tried to move them away from the place permanently, and when the reporter did not respond to their orders, the soldiers pushed them hard to prevent them from filming.
20th Oct. – The Israeli occupation soldiers assaulted Quds News Network, MUTASEM SAQF ALHAIT by hitting him with a weapon on his arm while obstructing the work of other journalists and preventing them from covering the clashes at the northern entrance of Al-Bireh City.
Al-Irsal Network reporter and Sanad Agency cameraman, the journalist KAREEM SOBHY MOHAMMED KHAMAYSA, (24 years old), stated to MADA that he along with a group of journalists and cameraman, namely (Quds News Network cameraman MUTASEM SAQF ALHAIT, Palestine Post reporter SAJA ALALAMI, Al-Hayat Newspaper cameraman ISSAM ALRIMAWI, Quds Network reporter YOUSEF SHEHADA, and the cameraman MUATH WASHAHA) have altogether arrived at around 03:00PM to cover the clashes between the civilians and the occupation soldiers at the northern entrance to Al-Bireh City.
The journalists, who were wearing the press uniform, stationed to being their coverage. The civilians began to approach the occupation soldiers, so they began to keep everyone away from them including the journalists. One of the soldiers forced the journalists not to go beyond a certain point, which hindered their work and prevented them from completing the coverage.
The soldiers were not content with this, so they threw stun grenades at the journalists, who were not near the demonstrators in the first place, which led to their dispersal and obstruction of their work.
At the same time, one of the soldiers attacked the photographer, SAQF AL-HAIT, by hitting him with a weapon on his right shoulder, causing it to turn red, without the need for treatment.
21st Oct. - The occupation forces targeted "Palestine TV" reporter BADER ABU NAJM with a gas grenade while he was covering live clashes near Howarah Checkpoint, south of Nablus, on Friday afternoon, October 21st.
Journalist BADR ABU NAJM stated to MADA that he was covering direct clashes that erupted near Howarah Checkpoint, and was in a place relatively far from the soldiers and the civilians, behind a cube of stones, and despite that, the soldiers targeted him with a gas grenade.
The reporter received a warning from the cameraman, SALIM SAWAFTA, that the gas grenade was near the cube of stones, which is a few centimeters away from them, but seconds after his warning were enough to injure him, and the cameraman with severe suffocation.
It was clear that the target was to physically injure him, although they were wearing press uniforms while carrying a camera and a microphone, his presence behind a stone cube made the grenade fall in front of the cube, which led to their suffocation.
25th Oct. - The occupation soldiers obstructed the journalists' work by firing rubber bullets at their vehicles and preventing them from covering the clashes at the entrance to the town of Nabi Saleh, after the funeral of the martyr QUSAY AL-TAMIMI from the town.
Palestine Post reporter, SAJA SHAKER AL-ALAMI, (28 years old) stated that she and her colleague, Al-Ikhbariya Network cameraman, MUTASEM SAQF AL-HAIT, were at approximately 2:30PM at the entrance to the village of "Al-Nabi Saleh", northwest of Ramallah, to cover the clashes that erupted between the occupation forces and the civilians who attended the funeral of the martyr AL-TAMIMI.
While the journalists were covering the clashes, one of the soldiers pointed his weapon at them, not to mention the occupation soldiers who targeted them with rubber bullets that hit the car and did not cause them any harm even though they were 60 meters away to prevent them from filming and covering.
At about the same time, J-Media cameraman BILAL ARMAN was near the car of journalist MUTASEM, and he was also targeted with a rubber bullet that hit the car without harming him.
The journalists remained in the coverage until 5:00PM and left the area via bypass roads when the occupation forces closed the main road leading to the town.
26th Oct. – The occupation forces detained the journalists MOHAMMED TURKMAN and KAREEM KHAMAYSA near Zatarah Checkpoint, southern Nablus, and searched their vehicles, mobile phones, and questioned them in the field for two hours.
Al-Irsal Network reporter and Sanad Agency cameraman, the journalist KAREEM SOBHY MOHAMMED KHAMAYSA, (24 years old), stated to MADA, the he and his colleague, Al-Jazeera cameraman, MOHAMMED TURKMAN, (26 years old) were on their way to Nablus City, when an Israeli military jeep got in their way near Zatarah Checkpoint. A soldier stopped them, asked them for their names, and then asked them to step out of the vehicle and stand by the road.
The soldier seized their personal identity cards and mobile phones, thoroughly searched the vehicle and when they noticed the press vests, they took them to Zatarah Checkpoint where they detained them.
The soldiers searched their mobile phones and questioned them about the pictures and videos in them. They also asked them about armed persons in the videos and pictures and whether they knew them.
The journalists remained in detention in the same location until 07:00PM, when their identity cards were returned to them, and the soldiers let them leave.
28th Oct. - Groups of settlers, under the protection of the occupation army, attacked the cars of a group of journalists and smashed the windows of four of them during media coverage of the olive harvest season in Jibya village, northwest of Ramallah.
In his statement to MADA, the journalist MOHAMMED KHDAIR SUMMRAIN, (36 years old), said that he was covering the olive harvest in Jibya on Friday morning, along with Quds News Network’s cameraman, MUTASSIM SAQF AL-HAIT, the cameraman of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, ZAHER FAYEK ABU HUSSEIN, and an Israeli journalist called "OREN ZIV", in addition to a number of other activists and civilians.
The journalists parked their cars in an area 500 meters away from the location of their coverage. At around 10:30, they heard loud noises coming from the area where they parked their cars.
When they went to check the source of the loud noises, they saw two settlers smashing the cars parked there, including four belonging to journalists, as the cars’ glass was completely smashed and destroyed.
28th Oct. – The journalist AHMED SAED was threatened by individuals who stormed his house and threatened him, on Friday evening, after he published a report on youth immigration from Gaza Strip and getting drowned in the sea.
The Head of Reporters of An-Najah TV, the journalist AHMED SAED ABU DAQQA, (39 years old), stated that on Friday he published a video criticizing illegal immigration of the youth from Gaza Strip and getting drowned in the sea in death boats. In the video, he also shared information about trading the souls of the youth by the illegal immigration agents in the Strip.
At about 10:00PM, on the same day, he suddenly encountered three persons breaking into the building where he resides without getting authorization to enter through the external gate. They passed the basement floors in the building where his family and brother reside, and he found them in front of his house cursing and threatening him. They introduced themselves as relatives to the person he referred to in his report.
30th Oct. - The Palestinian security services arrested journalists HATEM HAMDAN, the reporter of "J-Media" Agency, and Al-Jazeera Live cameraman, MOHAMMED TURKMAN, who was released shortly after covering the march organized by the Student Council at Bizet University.
MOHAMMED TURKMAN, (26 years old), stated that he and his colleague HATEM HAMDAN were covering a student rally organized by the Student Council at Birzeit University and a number of student movements, denouncing the arrest of three students from the University by the General Intelligence Service who were activists of the Islamic bloc, the student body of Hamas.
Both journalists left the rally and march after it ended, and returned to downtown Ramallah to be surprised by members of the General Intelligence Service in civilian clothes who stopped them, checked their identities, and asked the journalist TURKMAN to leave the place, while his colleague HAMDAN was beaten in the face before his arrest.
AHMED HAMDAN, the brother of journalist HATEM, stated that they learned from colleagues that his brother was beaten by members of the Palestinian Intelligence, and they took him to an unknown destination, and until the afternoon of Monday, corresponding to 31st Oct., they did not know anything about his brother’s arrest and the place of his arrest, and what the charges against him are. No one has contacted them, and they do not know his fate.
30th Oct. - The Palestinian security services arrested freelance journalist MUJAHID MARDAWI from his home in the city of Qalqilya on Sunday evening and confiscated his equipment, interrogated him about a news page he owned on Facebook, and then released him the next day.
The freelance journalist MUJAHID HAMDALLAH MARDAWI (30 years old), stated to MADA that a force from the Preventive Security Service arrested him from his home in Habla town, southeast of Qalqilya, around 08:00PM on Sunday evening, and searched the house and confiscated his laptop and two mobile phones, one of which is his brother’s.
He was taken to the Preventive Security headquarters where he handed over his belongings, but then he was transferred to the Intelligence Service as no cells were vacant as they claimed.
MUJAHID was returned the next morning to the headquarters of the Preventive Security, where he was interrogated by three investigators separately. The three-hour interrogation focused on his media work, in particular, the page he owned on “Facebook” called “Qalqilya Now” followed by approximately 30,000 followers.
One of the investigators told the journalist that he had viewed the page, and he did not want someone like him to have an influential page, while the others said that if any news that might affect them was shared, measures would be taken against him.
The journalist took back his ID card while his devices remained seized, provided he shall go back on Sunday corresponding to 6th Nov. to recover them.