A Russia Today news crew were attacked by Israel police whilst covering an event in Jerusalem, despite holding all the necessary documents.
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“After a terrible time we had to pass through check points that they erected everywhere along the Old City, they asked us to move away from the Damascus gate point. They didn’t do it gently, they pushed us and broke our camera,” RT Arabic reporter Dalia Nammari later told RT International.
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The reporter added that other journalists covering the event were treated the same “brutal” way by the Israeli police.
— Dalia Nammari (@Dalianamari_rt) May 17, 2015
Dalia Nammari and the cameraman Muhammad Aishu were filming the march of settlers, which they had been accredited to, when the police interfered with their work and took away the camera. The crew continued to report from the scene using a smart phone and going on air live via Skype, when the police attacked them again. “They took away my earpiece … they are demanding from everyone – even journalists, to evacuate the area. Even Palestinians who live in the city can’t be present here because of the settlers’ march,” Nammari said.
— Dalia Nammari (@Dalianamari_rt) May 17, 2015
The Israeli settlers took to the streets of Jerusalem to mark the day when Israel occupied the eastern side of Jerusalem in 1967, Nammari reported. Many were carrying posters reading “Jerusalem for Israelis.”
The controversial Israeli march through Jerusalem and its Muslim quarters is an annual event, marking the anniversary of Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem. Police estimated that more than 30,000 Israelis took part in this year’s rally, Reuters reported. They marched through the areas of the city, the overall population of which includes more than 30 percent of Palestinians.
The march resulted in confrontations, with mounted Israeli police clashing with dozens of rock-throwing Palestinians, who were protesting the Jewish nationalists march, Reuters reported. Two officers were injured and six Palestinians were arrested, police sources said.
The RT Arabic crew managed to film some of the clashes before being assaulted themselves by Israeli police.
Brutal attacks by Israeli law enforcement are “rare to be filmed, but not rare to happen,” Sarit Michaelli of the Israeli info center for human rights has previously told RT.
On Saturday, a Palestinian journalist suffered at the hands of the Israeli army, being shot in the eye with a rubber bullet. The photojournalist was taking pictures during a march to commemorate Nakba, or Catastrophe Day, when Palestinians were displaced in the creation of Israel.
“This is a usual behavior for the Israeli army against journalists and against peaceful non-violent Palestinian demonstrators,” Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestine National Initiative told RT.
“During the last attack on Gaza less than a year ago the Israeli army killed 18 journalists including an Italian journalist in their attack on the Palestinian people. So this violation of the freedom of expression and violation of the right of journalists to cover what happens is a frequent behavior of the Israeli army which respects nobody,” Barghouti told RT, adding that this time the clashes happened during celebrations of annexation of East Jerusalem, which is “considered illegal by every international law.”
Last year, Israeli forces raided a building in Ramallah where the offices of several media outlets, including RT’s Arabic channel, were located. The troops broke down the doors of the offices, destroyed some of the equipment and confiscated records.
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