As Israeli aggression mounts in Palestinian territories, messaging app WhatsApp blocks the accounts of dozens of Palestinian journalists.
What Happened: A few hours after the ceasefire took effect in the Gaza Strip, a number of Palestinian journalists in the area, including Al Jazeera’s chief correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh and reporter Hisham Zaqqout found they were blocked from accessing WhatsApp messenger, a crucial app used to communicate with sources, editors and the world beyond the blockaded Strip. According to the Associated Press, 17 journalists in Gaza confirmed their WhatsApp accounts had been blocked since Friday. By midday Monday, only four journalists – working for Al Jazeera – confirmed their accounts had been restored. The vice-president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Tahseen al-Astall, said “around 100 journalists” in Gaza had seen their accounts blocked.
The Response: The blatant violation of Palestinian digital rights has left people shocked and outraged, and they have condemned Whatsapp for stifling Palestinian voices.