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Journalists assaulted by Israeli forces; stone-throwing Palestinian youth injures photographer

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the 25 October 2009 Israeli attacks on Palestinian journalists in Jerusalem. The Israeli occupation forces attacked Dyala Jwayhan, a reporter and photographer for Alquds Net, Mais Abu-Ghazaleh, a correspondent for the Palestinian News Network (PNN), and Associated Press photographer Mahfouz Abu Turk. A photographer for "Yediot Aharonot" newspaper, Atta Ewissat, was also injured when a Palestinian youth hurled a stone at him while he was covering events in the vicinity of the Al Aqsa mosque.

Jwayhan said that an Israeli soldier attacked her after she took a photograph of an Israeli police officer assaulting an elderly man. The soldier beat her and ripped her T-shirt. As a result, she sustained several bruises to her neck and back and a damaged muscle in her foot.

Abu Turk said that he was severely beaten by Israeli special guards when he was in the old city. The guards pushed him into a corner and beat him with their hands and feet, as well as using their batons, causing severe pain in Abu Turk's left foot and right knee and bruises to his back.

According to Abu-Ghazaleh, while she was trying to enter the Al Aqsa mosque a soldier closed a metal barrier on her right leg, which led to a slight injury, bruises and swelling. Abu-Ghazaleh said she also saw a foreign journalist who was beaten and had some of her teeth broken, but was unable to identify her.

Ewissat said he was wounded on his left leg by a stone thrown at him by a Palestinian youth while he was trying to convince a number of young men that the foreign journalists who were accompanying him were not soldiers disguised as journalists. This took place after Israeli troops disguised themselves as photojournalists in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud on 8 and 9 October.

MADA calls on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to stop its attacks on journalists, particularly in Jerusalem, where a number of them have been arrested, detained and prevented from carrying out their work in recent months.

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