E.M., Alison Carmel, Rahaf Salahat and Sarah Abu Alrob
7amleh –The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement
#Hashtag Palestine 2020 is 7amleh’s sixth annual review of key digital rights issues facing Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, drawing on events that took place from January through December 2020. Using a multi-layered approach, the analysis is divided into three sections.
The first section focuses on the policies and actions of the various authorities that influence the lives of Palestinians, namely Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the de-facto authority in the Gaza Strip (Hamas). Here comparisons are made regarding the policies and practices of these authorities, versus their obligations to protect human rights, based on not only their own established national legal frameworks and agreements but also in relation to their obligations under International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
The second section focuses on technology companies, including an analysis of a variety of social media, video, and information platforms, as well as surveillance, geo-spatial, tourism, telecommunication, and e-commerce companies. The examination of these private, yet highly influential entities, is based on the obligations they have to protect human rights under the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, which was endorsed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011.
Finally, the third area of focus is on Palestinian society as a whole, with specific attention to the social norms and trends of use and violations of digital rights. Particular attention is given to the censorship, discrimination, limiting social norms and inequities of access for vulnerable groups that shape Palestinian’s online experience, and has resulted in the continued shrinking of space for Palestinians online in 2020.