Bethlehem / PNN /
This morning, Friday, extremist Israel settlers attacked Joseph Handal, a camera man for Al Jazeera English, after he passed through the Container Checkpoint to the east of Bethlehem, where the assault occurred just a few dozen meters from the checkpoint.
A group of extremist Israeli settlers stopped Handal in the early morning as he headed from Bethlehem to Ramallah, blocking the road near the intersection of the Loop Street, forcing him to stop. They smashed the car's lights and windows and hit him in the face with a stone.
Handal explained to PNN reporter that the settlers surprised him after crossing the checkpoint, stopping in the middle of the street, compelling him to stop.
He added :”As soon as he stopped, they surrounded his car and began smashing it with stones and sticks, targeting the car's roof and sides. When he opened the car window, one settler hit him in the face with a stone, followed by another settler hitting him on the shoulder and neck with the stone they were carrying.
Handal said:”They were shouting, prompting him to press the gas pedal and escape, and they moved away. He then drove to the Abu Dis area, stopping there for about half an hour before Palestinian cars passed by.
Handal noted that he narrowly escaped a deadly fate in this attack. If he had exited the car, it could have been much more dangerous, as one settler attempted to open the door and pull him out.
One of the settlers sprayed a Star of David on the car, which Handal discovered after escaping from among the settlers.
After observing increased traffic in Bethlehem through the Container Checkpoint, he reached the city of Beit Sahour. Fellow journalists transported him to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital in the Bethlehem Governorate.
According to a medical report from Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, Joseph Handal suffered bruises and hits on his face, neck, and shoulder, and he is currently receiving treatment.
It is worth noting that Handal had previously been subjected to a brutal assault by occupation soldiers at the beginning of the conflict, where they attacked him at the checkpoint after stopping him, simply because they learned he was a journalist for Al Jazeera English. During that incident, he suffered injuries and they also smashed his mobile phone and confiscated his bulletproof vest.
He also faced harassment while filming a report with colleague Nada Ibrahim at the Nashash Checkpoint to the west of Bethlehem about a week ago, where Israeli soldiers attempted to prevent them from filming and confiscated their equipment."