Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Israeli forces attack Palestinian journalists at World Press Freedom demo


Three Palestinian journalists sustained minor injuries on Tuesday after being hit with shrapnel from stun grenades fired by Israeli forces during a “peaceful” sit-in outside Israel’s Ofer detention center on World Press Freedom Day.

A group of Palestinian journalists used the occasion to direct attention to the plight of Palestinian journalists currently being held in Israeli custody as a result of Israel’s widely-condemned crackdown on Palestinian journalists since a wave of unrest erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

At least 43 Palestinian journalists have been detained by Israeli forces since October, who have reported cases of torture, medical negligence, and unreasonable and illegal rulings by Israeli authorities, according to a recent report by the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists.

Staging a sit-in outside the Ofer detention center, the demonstrators raised posters of imprisoned Palestinian journalists and demanded the release of 20 who are currently being held in Israeli prisons.

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at the journalists, despite reports that the protest was peaceful, wounding Zahir Abu Hussein, Muhammad Shawasha, and Ali Ubeidat.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports on the incident.

Israel’s Ofer detention center, which is illegally located on privately-held Palestinian land near Ramallah in the central West Bank, has been the scene of protests in the last week over the arbitrary arrest of Omar Nazzal, a well-known Palestinian journalist currently held at the detention center.

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