Three Palestinian journalists targeted in Jerusalem
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the unacceptable targeting of Palestinian journalists while they were covering tension and incidents during the past weekend in Jerusalem against a backdrop of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
“It is sad to see that Palestinian journalists are still easy targets because they are Palestinians,” RSF’s Middle East desk said. “Not only do Israeli citizens attack Palestinian reporters while they are working, but the Israeli police do not react. And worse still, it is the journalists who are arrested.”
While Israel carried out its “pre-emptive” bombardment against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, with a toll of 44 dead, mounting tension in Jerusalem peaked yesterday (7 August) when Israeli settlers tried to invade the Al Aqsa Compound (Temple Mount), to which they are normally denied access, and Palestinian journalists went to cover incidents.
At least three Palestinian reporters were prevented from doing their job yesterday. AFP photographer Ahmad Gharabli was detained by Israeli police while Al Mayadeen reporter Mohammed Ashu was attacked by an Israeli settler, who hit him with the handle of his flag. Ashu was then surrounded and his camera was stolen. And finally, the police detained him as well. Both journalists were released later in the day.
J-Media photo-journalist Ghassan Abou Eid was meanwhile attacked by an Israeli settler in a residential district of East Jerusalem. A video shows the Israeli grab the journalist’s camera while his back is turned and then damage it. An Israeli police officer who was present did not intervene.
Around 20 Palestinian journalists are currently prevented from leaving the West Bank and Gaza Strip by an Israeli travel ban for which no official grounds have been provided. The victims include Majdoleen Hassona, who works for the Turkish TV channel TRT and was awarded the RSF Prize for Independence in 2021. Trapped in the West Bank since August 2019, she was prevented from leaving by Israeli security officials yet again last month, during her latest attempt to return to her home in Turkey, where she normally lives with her husband.