The Israeli aggression was not limited to activists in the Palestinian street only; But it also affected dozens of journalists and media crews in Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The Israeli police attacks extended to include audio, images, words, pen and cameras, which journalists armed with to document scenes of attacks and repression in Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah and the towns of the Palestinian interior.
In addition to Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah, 16 attacks on journalists were documented in towns and villages in the Palestinian interior, as part of their coverage of demonstrations and protests and their documentation of settler gang attacks on Palestinian Arabs in Israel, according to the Arab Center for Media Freedom, Development and Research (Media).
Targeting and intimidation
In light of this aggressive Israeli environment for the press and the media, journalist Hassan Shaalan was a victim of Israeli police assaults when he was in Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa Mosque and Bab Al-Amud. Within 48 hours, he was deliberately attacked 3 times by police officers, who targeted him along with many colleagues with tear gas canisters and sound And rubber coated metal lead.
Despite the repeated scenes of attacks, abuse and harassment of journalists and the media, Shaalan returned with dozens of journalists from 48 Palestinians to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which is besieged by military checkpoints, to demonstrate and denounce the violence of the Israeli police. Journalists and the media, and prevented them from doing their work, silence over these practices means contentment with this situation. “
While voices were raised against the police practices and their suppression of the media field work in Sheikh Jarrah, Shaalan said, “The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the arrest of journalist Zeina Al-Halawani and photojournalist Wahbi Makiya, for their documentation and coverage of an attack by the occupation police against citizens in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.”
Journalist Anas Ghanayem went through the same experience, when he was documenting the protests in the Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahm. “As a group of journalists, we were exposed to a plague of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, when we were documenting attacks and harassment by members of the undercover unit against young men who were arrested during the suppression of the struggle activities,” Ghanayem said.
Ghanayem confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net that the Palestinian journalist who covers the protest activities inside the Green Line, and arrives to Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah to document the events, is carrying out his professional and moral duty towards the issues of the Palestinian people.
It is believed that the Israeli police, through these practices and targeting, are aiming to intimidate and intimidate the public of journalists and obscure the Palestinian truth and narrative, stressing that the journalist public will continue its work and march in support of the Palestinian cause despite police terror.
Attacks and violations
The director of the Media Center, Kholoud Masalha, said that the Israeli police and security forces deliberately assaulted journalists and obstructed their work, with the aim of preventing them from documenting events and imposing a media circular on the events, in order to gain legitimacy and credibility for the Israeli narrative before the world. This shows the adoption of a systematic policy to suppress journalists in parallel with the suppression of protests and attacks on militant activities, and this is what the cameras have documented a lot in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Kholoud believes that the Israeli security forces’ repression of journalists, assaulting media crews, bringing some of them to trial, restricting their movements, and withdrawing press cards from them not only violates local and international laws defending the rights of journalists, but blatantly affects a person’s right to know facts and facts. It seems that there are many facts on the ground that Israel is trying to hide and formulate an alternative narrative.
Content and contents
The practices of the Israeli security forces were not limited to physical attacks on Palestinian journalists and violations of their rights; Rather, the Israeli aggression against the digital space and the digital narrative escalated, and included an assault on media content and content on social networks during May 2021, in addition to the spread of hate speech and incitement against Palestinians.
A documentary report entitled “The aggression against Palestinian digital rights” issued by the “Arab Center for the Development of Social Media in Haifa” (7amleh), revealed the existence of more than 500 reports of Palestinian digital rights.
The report provided a breakdown of the violations on various social media platforms, so that 50% of these violations were on the “Instagram” platform, and 35% on the “Facebook” platform, while 11% of all cases were documented on the Twitter, and 1% of it is on TikTok.
Censorship and cancellation
Regarding the meanings and implications of the expansion of the targeting circle for Palestinian content and digital content, Nadim Nashif, director of the 7amleh Center, says that this indicates an unprecedented increase in the monitoring of media companies and social media platforms of Palestinian political discourse.
Nashef explained that since May 6, “many publications, tweets and media content about Sheikh Jarrah and the events in Jerusalem, the protests in the Palestinian interior towns, the settlers’ attacks on Palestinians within the Green Line, and the military aggression against Gaza have been deleted.”
According to the documentary report data, according to what Nashif confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net, the fight against Palestinian digital content exceeded the deletion and removal of the content, as it also included the closure and suspension of Palestinian accounts, while the platforms and social media companies did not provide a convincing explanation for this.
It is likely that the “cyber” unit of the Israeli Ministry of Justice was behind these violations, which accompanied the Palestinian popular gift, noting that during the past years it presented tens of thousands of cases to companies without any legal action.
Incitement and hatred
On the other hand, groups of settlers and extremist Israelis worked during May 2021, as Nashef says, “to mobilize and organize themselves through WhatsApp and Telegram groups, and broadcast violent inflammatory rhetoric against Arabs and Palestinians, which Its impact extended on the ground, and led to the martyrdom of Palestinians in Lydda and Umm al-Fahm, and hundreds of Palestinians of 48 were subjected to harm, abuse and physical assault.
He stressed that all social media platforms have allowed the Israeli inciting speech to remain on the Internet, as they do not effectively monitor hate speech and violent content directed at Palestinians, despite the documentation of more than 40 cases of this speech, which contained calls to kill, burn, and attack Palestinians and Arabs. directly.