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In recent weeks, press workers have been victims of the indiscriminate use of stun grenades, tear gas, sponge-tipped bullets, and putrid-smelling water.
The Foreign Press Association (FPA) on Sunday demanded that the Israeli police allow journalists to work freely. This was in response to yesterday's arrest of Givara Budeiri, a correspondent for the Qatari television network Al Jazeera.
"We call upon the Israeli government to allow free and independent coverage of the operation in Palestinian Authority areas," the FPA said after Israel declared Ramallah City a "closed military zone" and threatened to forcibly remove foreigners.
Budeiri was arrested in the East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where Palestinians were protesting against Israeli security forces evicting their families to facilitate new Jewish settlements.
FPA pointed out that eyewitnesses and video footage show that Budeiri was arrested without provocation. Although the reporter was wearing a protective vest that said 'press,' the Israeli Police refused to allow her to return to her car to show them an Israeli-issued press credential.
Al Jazeera reported that its reporter later had to be treated in hospital for a broken hand and bruises caused by the Israeli officers.
This is the full video of Al Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri being assaulted and arrested by Israeli police… as our viewers and I saw it being played out on-air.
The international organization recalled that the aggression against Budeiri is only the latest one "in a long line of heavy-handed tactics by Israeli police" against journalists and photojournalists. In recent weeks, press workers clearly identified as journalists have been victims of the indiscriminate use of stun grenades, tear gas, sponge-tipped bullets, and putrid-smelling water.
Previously, on May 26, the FPA sent a letter to the Israeli authorities requesting respect for journalists. This request, however, has been completely ignored.
“We call on police to punish the officers who needlessly injured an experienced journalist and broke professional equipment. And once again, we urge police to uphold Israel’s pledges to respect freedom of the press and to allow journalists to do their jobs freely and without fear of injury and intimidation,” the FPA said.
This is how Israel targets all populated civilian places.