The last month of 2017 witnessed a sharp rise in attacks against media freedoms in Palestine as a result of a wave of Israeli attacks that accompanied the unrest in the Palestinian territories in protest against the US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The total number of violations monitored by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) in December 2017 amounted to a total of 89 violations committed by the Israeli occupation, 84 of them, noting that the Palestinian official authorities did not commit any violations during this month. 5 of the incidents consisted of the injuries of five journalists from stones thrown by demonstrators during clashes with the Israeli occupation army.
The attacks included 9 women journalists who were subjected to serious attacks just as similar as there male’s journalists colleagues.
In addition, most if not all journalists who participated in covering these incidents on the ground suffocated from the gas bombs or they were at risk of obstructing their work or indirectly preventing them from carrying out their work and covering these protests.
It was noted during this month that the Israeli army used a new method to block the picture and prevent journalist to cover the image of what is happening on the ground, through mass detention of journalists (the detention ends when the event ends), and also using mass expulsion to prevent journalists from the opportunity to transfer the reality of what is happening on the ground.
This procedure was repeated at least twice, the first was in Hebron on 20-12-2017 and the second was implemented in Jerusalem on 29-12-2017.
On 20-12-2017, the Israeli occupation forces prevented all journalists from covering demonstrations in three locations in the city of Hebron (Bab al-Zawiya, Hawawra, and the police bridge area south of Halhul). They were expelled from the three sites and threatened with arrest if they did not comply.
In the city of Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation forces, forced dozens of journalists who were present on 29-29-2017 at Bab al-Amoud to cover the events of the fourth Friday of the Palestinian protests, to be located only behind metal barriers set by the police, and prevented them from moving freely to cover the protest that attracted the attention of dozens of foreign and Palestinian media on that day.
Furthermore, Israeli social networking pages were flooded this month with incitement to violence against journalists and the media, which led to direct calls for the killing of journalists and the removal of the media from the sites of events to prevent the transmission of what is happening on the ground from Israeli attacks. It is interesting to note that some Israeli journalists took part in this wave of incitement, as well as the silence of the Israeli authorities, who have been arresting and persecuting any Palestinian who may write or publish a statement interpreted by the Israeli authorities as inciting against the occupation or the Israelis.