Israeli border police forcefully detained a veteran Al-Jazeera correspondent while she was reporting from an embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood where dozens of Palestinian families are slated for forced expulsion by Jewish settlers.
Givara Budeiri was released late Saturday, several hours after border police detained her in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where she had a protective vest marked "press."
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera said police also destroyed equipment belonging to one of their cameramen. Budeiri suffered a broken arm and remained under observation Sunday at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, said Walid Omary, the Jerusalem bureau chief for Al-Jazeera.
Budeiri had been reporting regularly from Sheikh Jarrah, Omary said. On Saturday, she was covering a Palestinian sit-in at the site. Omary said Israeli border police asked for her ID and that had she offered to call her driver to get it from her car.
Omary said the forces refused to let her retrieve it and instead started shouting and pushing her. At one point, the officers handcuffed her and pushed her into a border police vehicle, according to The Associated Press (AP).
In video footage posted online, Budeiri can be seen handcuffed and surrounded by border police.
Clutching her notebook, she is heard shouting, "Don’t touch, enough, enough.” Omary said Budeiri is accredited by Israel's Government Press Office. Israeli police said Budeiri was detained after she was asked for identification, refused and pushed a police officer.
Oren Ziv, a cameraman on the scene, said the protest was over at the time of the incident, which happened at 7 p.m. and took only a few seconds. The officers did not wait for Budeiri to get her identification. They took her to a waiting border police vehicle with darkened windows, where she was put in the back seat with female officers.
Al-Jzeera's acting director general, Mostefa Souag, condemned the police actions.
"The systematic targeting of our journalists is in total violation of all international conventions,” he said. "They are attacking the journalists in east Jerusalem because they don’t want them to continue covering what’s happening inside Sheikh Jarrah," Omary said.
Israeli police also detained Muna al-Kurd, a prominent Palestinian activist in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday after a raid on her home, her family said. Local residents said police raided the home of Muna al-Kurd, 23, and took her to an unknown location. Her father, Nabil al-Kurd, confirmed his daughter's detention by Israeli forces.
"Police are also looking for my son Mohammed, who was briefly detained last month,” he said. There was no comment from Israeli police on the report.
Muna al-Kurd, who earned a degree in communications and journalism, belongs to one of 27 Palestinian families who face the threat of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah. She is one of the Palestinian women leading protests against Israel's forced expulsion and threats of displacement.
The tension in Sheikh Jarrah has fueled weeks of unrest and spark aggression on May 10. The war, in which 254 people were killed in Gaza ended on May 21.
The most imminent Jerusalem evictions are on hold, following the intervention by Israel’s attorney general, but Israeli settlers' campaign continues. Rights groups fear the evictions could still be carried out in the coming months as international attention wanes, potentially igniting another round of bloodshed.
The Israeli watchdog Ir Amim, which closely follows the various court cases, estimates that at least 150 households in two neighborhoods are threatened with eviction. Souag accused Israel of attempting to silence journalists in a systematic fashion. He noted that Budeiri's detention came after Israel's May 15 war-time destruction of a Gaza high-rise that housed the local office of Al-Jazeera. The tower also housed the Gaza office of The Associated Press (AP).
Israel has alleged that Palestinian resistance group Hamas was operating from the building. The AP has said it has no indication of a purported Hamas presence in the building. It has called for an independent investigation.
Israel recently launched a major crackdown on media workers who covered events in occupied Palestinian territories. Recently social media footage showed CNN employees being pushed by Israeli forces. The video depicting Ben Wedeman, a senior reporter for CNN, who was surrounded by Israeli soldiers and shoved near a stone barrier, sparked wide condemnation. Wedeman, who reported on the conflicts in Syria and the previous war in Gaza in 2014, looks depressed as he examines his hand, which may have been injured in the incident. In the same video, another member of the press is seen being violently pushed by another soldier.
Israeli police also targeted Turkish news outlets. Turkey's official Anadolu Agency (AA) and TRT Arabi, the Turkish public broadcaster's Arabic-language news channel, reported attacks on their offices and staff. TRT Arabi's Gaza office was targeted by Israeli airstrikes when a reporter was on air, injuring several people.
Meanwhile, Turgut Alp Boyraz, AA's Middle East news editor, was shot twice by Israeli police in two separate incidents while covering recent events in Palestine. Boyraz, a veteran journalist with eight years of experience with the agency, was shot in the foot with a plastic bullet on May 7 while covering a raid on the Haram al-Sharif area in occupied East Jerusalem, which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque. He was shot in the leg with two rubber bullets in another Israeli police raid on the flashpoint mosque. He was one of four AA journalists who had previously been attacked by Israeli police.
Correspondent Esat Fırat, who has worked for the agency since 2016, and two photographers were targeted on Monday while covering Israeli security forces' attacks on worshipers at Al-Aqsa.
Fayez Abu Rumaila, an AA photojournalist working in occupied East Jerusalem since 2018, was attacked by Israeli occupation forces while covering clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. Mostafa Alkharouf, another AA photojournalist who has covered Jerusalem since 2017, said he was hit by a rubber bullet in the chest while providing aid to an injured medic.
Alkharouf said Israeli forces pushed them outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, adding that when he left Jerusalem's Old City and headed toward his vehicle near the wall of Al-Rahma Cemetery, he found a medic injured by shrapnel from a stun grenade.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.