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Violations of media freedom in Palestine in September 2012

(MADA/IFEX) - With only one reported violation of media freedom in the first half of September, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA) was optimistic about this month's report.

Unfortunately we documented more violations by both Israeli and Palestinian forces in the second half of September. Once again, these represent serious attacks on the media freedom of journalists working in the West Bank and Gaza and leads to more deterioration of freedom of expression in the Palestinian territories.

Israeli violations of media freedom:

An Israeli soldier fired a rubber bullet at Al-Quds newspaper photographer Mahmoud E'lyan while he was covering clashes in Shu'fat Camp, in Jerusalem on Tuesday 18 September 2012. E'lyan reported the bullet hit him in the side and caused severe pain.

Israeli forces detained three journalists who were reporting on the construction of a new settlement near Gush Etzion complex settlement in south Bethlehem. Al-Quds newspaper photographer Mahmoud E'lyan, Palestinian public TV cameraman Faris Radwan and a freelance Canadian journalist reported they were held for two hours on Tuesday 18 September 2012.

Quds net and Al-Arab website correspondent Diala Jweehan reported that she was attacked twice while covering a peaceful march in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on Saturday 8 September 2012 in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. where one of the Israeli elements of the police pushed her strongly, She was reportedly injured in the neck when a large piece of glass was thrown at her.

Palestinian violations of media freedom:

Palestinian security services arrested the director of the West Bank office of the Felesteen newspaper, journalist Walid Khalid at his home in Iskaka village, Salfit, on the afternoon of 18 September 2012. The Magistrate's Court in Nablus refused bail on Thursday 27 September, noting that it rejected a similar request from MADA lawyer on Monday 24 September. Security services also arrested Al-Quds press agency correspondent Mohammad Muna in Nablus on Wednesday 19 September 2012.

In the Gaza Strip, writer and blogger Yousri Al Ghoul is the director of “Madarat” magazine which is affiliated to Ministry of culture. Al Ghoul was investigated by the General Personnel Council after being accused of publishing "literary thoughts” and he has been pressured to remove it from his blog.

In addition, members of the Hamas government's internal security in Gaza beat “Palestine today” TV cameraman Ismail al Badah, while he was filming a burning home in Bureij. The fire, on 25 September, resulted in the death of one child and left the father and another child with injuries. On the same day an unknown person threatened "Sout al Sha'ab” Radio in Gaza, also in connection to live coverage of the house fire.

Hamas government internal security in Gaza prevented journalists from covering a march near the Legislative Council, which was demanding an end to the division between Hamas and Fatah in Palestine.

Read the full report.

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