Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Israeli soldiers assult and pepper spray journalists and paramedics near Ramallah

By Amy Mac - October 30, 2015
Section: [Main News] [Videos]
Tags: [Israeli border police] [attack on journalists] [Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)]

Video footage has been released of Israeli border police officers physically assaulting paramedics and journalists during clashes at Beit El settlement, north of Ramallah, on Friday.

Photojournalist Fadi Arouri released the  video footage and photographs of the attack which shows an Israeli soldier pepper spraying paramedics from the Palestine Red Crescent Society after they were prevented from attending to an injured Palestinian protester who had been violently run over by an Israeli jeep.


Journalists documenting the attack were then kicked, slapped and pepper sprayed by soldiers.

In some cases Israeli police pulled journalists' gas masks from their face so that the pepper gas could be sprayed directly into their eyes.


All of the journalists were clearly identified as members of the press and were standing away from the clashes.


Palestinian press can be heard shouting that they are journalists and questioning why they are being attacked as border policemen shout “get back” and “move,” despite that the journalists clearly pose no threat.


The Foreign Press Association (FPA) yesterday released a statement condemning Friday’s attack


“This sort of behaviour by the border police  is both abusive and a gross violation of press freedom, and yet it has become all too common, raising serious concerns about senior officers' ability to control their actions of forces under their command.”


They added that the Border Police or the Defence Ministry have been unresponsive to FPA’s attempts to meet with commanders to discuss the IDF’s treatment of the press.


Israeli police’s disregard for the neutrality of journalists and paramedics is not unprecedented.


In September, at least ten journalists were prevented from covering the clashes in and around the plaza in front of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police targeted and beat journalists and damaged their equipment.


Earlier this month, the PRCS released a statement criticising Israeli  forces for intentionally targeting their medical staff and ambulances. Between Oct. 3 and Oct.11, PRCS documented 53 attacks against its teams and ambulances in which 37 emergency medical technicians were wounded and around 20 ambulances damaged.


“Everyone is at risk from the Israeli occupation forces. Soldiers usually directly target paramedics and medical teams. They do not differentiate between medical staff and demonstrators,” Murad, 22, a paramedic with PMRS, told the Palestine Monitor during clashes at Beit El on Oct 13.











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