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MADA Condemns Israel's Systematic Campaign against Media Freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip:

Ramallah – Feb. 25th, 2024. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the flagrant violations carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities against journalists and media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which have continued at a very high and disturbing rate since the start of the war on the Gaza Strip on October 7th, 2023.

The occupation forces had arrested at dawn today, Sunday, February 25th, freelance journalist SAMI SAEED AL-SHAMI (33 years old) from his home in the village of Asira Al-Qibliya, south of the city of Nablus, after they confiscated his journalistic equipment (a laptop, two mobile phones, and a camera lens) and took him to an unknown location.

The occupation authorities also arrested, at dawn on Friday, February 23rd, journalist SAMI SAEED AL-SA’I (45 years old), the founder of the “Karmul” page and who works for the “Al-Jazeera Mubasher” channel, after raiding his house in the “Artah” area, north of Tulkarm, and also took him to an unknown destination.

The occupation authorities were not satisfied with the murders of journalists in the Gaza Strip, which they began on the 7th of October, the most recent of which was the martyrdom of journalist IHAB NASRALLAH, along with his wife, and the severe burns of his three children in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City, bringing the number of martyred journalists to (125) journalists, except for those whose identity is not yet known. Rather, they continued to target journalists until dozens of them were seriously injured, putting their lives in danger.

In the West Bank, the occupation authorities continued their intensive and systematic campaign, committing various forms of violations, which intensified remarkably after the outbreak of the war, including persecuting journalists by arresting them to silence them and preventing them from conveying their voices to the outside world and demanding an end to the war on the Strip, as the number of journalists detained since October 7th, reached 44 journalist, with a 100% increase in arrests throughout 2022.

MADA condemns the ongoing killings against journalists in the Gaza Strip, and also condemns the various acts of abuse against journalists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and calls on international bodies to intensify their efforts to stop this unjust war against defenseless civilians, including journalists and media institutions that defend media freedoms and voices of truth. It also demands that they be neutralized from various conflicts and provided with protection.

MADA also calls on international institutions concerned with human rights to put pressure on the occupation authorities to stop the policy of arrest and prosecution against journalists in the West Bank, and to immediately release all detained journalists whose arrest will not lead to the silencing of their voices.