Scores of journalists based across the Gaza Strip have reported that WhatsApp has blocked their accounts following a ceasefire between the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and the leaders of Hamas.
According to a report published in Al Jazeera, around 17 Gaza-based journalists confirmed that their WhatsApp accounts were blocked on Friday, 21 May. By Monday this week, only four journalists working for the Qatar-based news agency had been able to regain access to their accounts, and the remaining accounts are still blocked.
While “around 100 journalists” in Gaza have had their accounts blocked by WhatsApp over the last couple of weeks, a group based out of Haifa (a city under Israeli occupation) reported that more than 500 cases have been observed so far involving the violation of the digital rights of Palestinians since 6 May 2021. Fifty percent of these cases were related to Instagram, 11 percent were regarding Twitter, 35 percent regarding Facebook, and one percent were concerning TikTok.
Meanwhile, Facebook is yet to respond to these claims despite the number of complaints it has received.