Continuing political tension increases the dangers of journalism in Palestine. Since May 2018, two Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli snipers and dozens have been wounded while covering the “March of Return” protests in the Gaza Strip, which are continuing. In the West Bank, use of live rounds by the Israel Defence Forces to disperse protests exposes reporters to the possibility of serious injury. At least three Palestinian journalists have permanently lost the use of an eye in this way. The Israeli forces have continued to subject Palestinian journalists to arrest, interrogation and administrative detention, often without any clear grounds. In recent years, the Israeli authorities have also closed several Palestinian media outlets for allegedly inciting violence. For journalists, the price of the political rivalry between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories includes threats, heavy-handed interrogation, arrest without charge, intimidatory lawsuits and prosecutions, and bans on covering certain events. The political tension combined with harassment by the Israeli authorities complicates the work of Palestinian journalists to the point of self-censorship. Several websites regarded by the Palestinian Authority as opposition media have been inaccessible since 2017. Online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter also sometimes censor information. Under Israeli political pressure, these platforms have deleted content or suspended the accounts of Palestinian journalists and media outlets accused of inciting violence. In some cases, deleted content has been restored after appeals to moderators, but local NGOs accuse platforms of using “double standards” in their treatment of Israeli and Palestinian content.
137 in 2020
44.09 in 2020