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MADA: The Restrictions on Journalists in Palestine and the World will NOT Silence their Free Voices

Ramallah – November 6th, 2023. Israeli violations against Palestinian media freedoms have continued to escalate significantly over the past days, as the targeting of journalists by killing and bombing of homes continues for 31 consecutive days, while targeting media institutions is still present on the agenda of the Israeli authorities in the Gaza Strip. At the same time the Israeli authorities continue to restrict journalists in the West Bank and the city of Jerusalem by committing various violations against them, including arresting and detaining them to threaten them and silence their voices.

Yesterday morning, Sunday, the occupation forces arrested three journalists from the town of Birzeit after storming their homes and searching and vandalizing the contents of some of them. They are journalist AMIR ABU ARAM, who works for the Al-Irsal Network, freelance journalist MUHAMMAD AHMED OBAID (AL-QADUMI), and journalist MUSAB IBRAHIM SAEED who works in a private production company he owns. The occupation forces arrested the journalists MUSAAB SAEED and MUHAMMAD OBAID (AL-QADUMI) and escorted them to the “Atara” camp and detained them until the morning, then released them after being beaten and abused and threatening them with the possibility of being arrested again, while the journalist “ABU ARAM” was taken to an unknown destination and arrested.

Yesterday, Sunday, the occupation forces summoned freelance journalist SOMAYA JAWABRA and her husband, journalist TARIQ AL-SARKAJI, for investigation at the Israeli police station in the Ari’el camp. As soon as they headed there, the journalist, “JAWABRA,” was arrested, knowing that she was seven months pregnant, while her husband, TARIQ, was released.

On Friday, the third of November, the occupation police arrested journalist HAMZA AL-NAAJI from “Wadi Al-Jouz” in the Old City of Jerusalem and released him hours later on condition of house arrest for five days, while the two journalists with the “Wafa” agency, MUHAMMAD ABU BAKR and JAAFAR SADAQA, were arrested at the “Ein Sinya” checkpoint north of Ramallah. They were released after being detained for two and a half hours.

In addition to the arrests, all journalists and media institutions in all regions and cities of the West Bank and East Jerusalem are subjected to all forms of persecution and various violations committed against them, with which the occupation authorities aim to silence them and prevent them from executing their mission, as the occupation authorities stormed three printing presses in the city of Hebron (Ansam, Panorama, Infiniti) and its contents were confiscated and completely closed on Monday morning.

In the same context, MADA Center highly values the role of Arab and foreign journalists who stand by our just cause, and who are now paying the price for their free speech by restricting them while performing their work in a way that will not undermine their professionalism and determination. MADA also announces its solidarity with the Lebanese media personality, NADA ABDEL SAMAD, who was decided to be dismissed from the (BBC Arabic) Channel against the backdrop of its rejection of the crimes against humanity committed against civilians in the Gaza Strip, in a manner that violates the most basic principles of freedom of opinion and expression advocated by these international media institutions.

MADA Center calls for an end to the blatant targeting of civilians in the Gaza Strip, including journalists and media institutions, which resulted in a constellation of martyrs for the media movement, the number of which is still inconsistent. MADA Center also rejects and condemns all forms of violations to which Palestinian journalists are exposed, which will not silence their voices, no matter how broad their scope, and calling for international protection for them. It also calls for the broadest solidarity with journalist NADA ABDEL SAMAD, who lost her job without any justification other than expressing her opinion by rejecting the criminal practices against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.