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MADA's 2009 annual report on press freedom

(MADA/IFEX) - Israel's continued occupation of the Palestinian lands has lead to continued violations of media freedoms during the past year (2009). The ongoing conflict between Fatah and Hamas was the main factor in the violations that took place on the Palestinian side, however the Palestinian territories are still characterized by the security control of several parties which leads to a multiplicity of actors that violate media freedoms. There are Israeli occupation authorities and settlers on the one hand and security apparatuses in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the other, in addition to Palestinian armed groups, which led to the continued decline of media freedom and freedom of expression. The excessive practice of self censorship by journalists and media outlets also led to a decline in the coverage and professionalism of Palestinian media.

In this context, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has documented 173 violations of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during the past year (2009), 97 of which were committed by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers, while 76 were committed by the Palestinian security apparatuses in the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinian armed groups.

Although the number of violations against Palestinian journalists is large and is considered one of the highest rates at the global level, it marks a decline compared to 2008, which witnessed 257 violations monitored by MADA. It was noted that, despite this decline, 2009 was a bloody year for Palestinian journalists, who lost four of their colleagues to Israeli occupation force gunfire in the violence in the Gaza Strip. They are Omar Silawi, A'la Murtaja, Basel Faraj and Ihab Al-Wehaidi.

Click here to download Part 1 of the 2009 MADA report:
mada_annual_report_2009.doc (39 KB)

Click here to download Part 2 of the 2009 MADA report:
mada_annual_report_2009_b.doc (301 KB)

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