Israeli occupation forces and police escalated their attacks against journalists and media, culminating in a wave of attacks on at least 14 journalists in East Jerusalem on Saturday (29/4/2017).
Israeli cavalry police unit, attacked and persecuted journalists, injuring several journalists, destroying their equipment, as well as preventing them from covering a peaceful assembly organized in Jerusalem in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers in the Israeli occupation prisons since 17/4/2017.
For instance, this attack injured the photographer of (AFP) Ahmad Kamal Gharabli, with a broke in his rib, besides, smashing two of his cameras, after being persecuted and knocked down by a policeman from the cavalry unit.
Moreover, the photographer of Reuters Ammar Jamil Awad was also beaten with a riffle by an Israeli police officer, causing a slight fracture in his arm while, trying to help his colleague Gharabli get up.
More than a journalist fell down, after being attacked by the Israeli cavalry police (unit), and were hit and beaten leading to several injuries (bruises/ contusions) and smashing some of their equipment as they reported to MADA.
Ahmad Kamal Gharabli reported to MADA:” around 17:00 of Saturday 29/04/2017, while, I was at the Damascus Gate in the old city/ East Jerusalem, to cover a peaceful assembly organized in solidarity with the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, meanwhile, a troop of Israeli Cavalry unit arrived to disperse the demonstrators, at that time I was attacked by one of the Israeli cavalry unit rushing towards me, I fell on the ground whilst, carrying two cameras that broke”.
He also added ” I headed to Kupat Holim and received the first aid, they advised me to have a hospital check/ examination, in the evening I headed to Al-Makased hospital, the x-ray showed that I had a fracture in the fourth rib, rather than other bruises in different parts of my body”.
Other journalists were also exposed to different types of attacks by the Israeli Police in Jerusalem including “Nawa Hijazi/ Reporter of Al KofiehTV, Ghassan Abu Eid/ Cameraman of Al KofiehTV, Ali Sami Yassin/ Cameraman of Palestine TV, Mahmoud Elyyan/ photographer of Al-Quds newspaper, Sinan Abu Mezar/ cameraman of Reuters, Diala Jwehan/ Reporter and photographer of Alhayat Aljadideh newspaper, Mohammad Awad/ photographer of Xinhua News Agency, Mustafa Al-Kharouf/ photographer of Anadolu press agency, Rami Al-khatib/ Cameraman of Palestine TV, Ammar Jamil Awad/ Cameraman of Reuters, Fayez Hamzeh Abu Rumeileh/ the photographer of (Active still and +972 magazine ) and the freelance journalist Raja’ie Al-Khatib.
Such attacks reveal a deliberate and brutal systematic Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists and media that took place only few days before the World Press Freedom day that coincides the 3rd of May of each year.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns such deliberate, indiscriminate, brutal and oppressive operation that targeted Palestinian journalists, who were performing the norm of their work (covering a peaceful assembly) in East Jerusalem. It should be noticed that, such violations expose the persistence and the systematic policy of the Israeli Occupation through various vicious means and brutal measures taken; that only aim to conceal the real situation and discriminatory policies against Palestinians through the prevention of coverage and deliberately targeting journalists.
Finally, MADA demands the urgent need to prosecute all perpetrators of these attacks, who are not subjected to accountability, noting that, the Israeli occupation committed hundreds of attacks against journalists and media in Palestine over the past few years.
A photo of the reporter of al Kufiya channel, Nawal Hijazi, lying on the ground after being pushed by the Israeli police (the photo was taken from the Facebook page of the Secretary of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate)