Media sources in Palestine have claimed that violations against Palestinian journalists escalated in 2011. Such violations included attacks by Israeli security forces as well internal assaults on press freedom by the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The latter were largely the result of the split between Fatah and Hamas.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Palestinian Media Association said, “Israeli forces targeted media crews during the weekly protests against the Wall, especially those in Na’alin, Bil’in, and Nabi Saleh near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.” Protests in Beit Amra in Hebron were also attacked, alleges the PMA.
“The past year saw more than 120 violations by the Israelis against media teams and journalists while they carried out their legitimate work,” said the PMA spokesperson. “In 2011 alone, 17 Palestinian journalists were arrested and interrogated by the Israeli occupation, which also confiscated broadcast equipment.”
Journalists fared little better at the hands of the Palestinian authorities. According to the PMA, there were 111 Palestinian violations against Palestinian journalists, with 24 being arrested by the security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some journalists were arrested on more than one occasion.