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Israeli forces assault two photographers in Nablus

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the 7 November 2009 Israeli occupation forces attack on Reuters photographer Abdul Rahim Quseini and Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Arif Tufaha in the village of Oraq Burin, in southern Nablus (West Bank).

Quseini said that he went to Oraq Burin at about 4:00 p.m. when he heard that there were clashes taking place between settlers and Palestinian youths. When he was filming the clashes, he was attacked by Israeli soldiers who tried to seize his camera by force. Quseini, however, resisted and told the soldiers, "It's my right to cover the event, and the law protects me." The soldiers then hit him on his hand and walked away.

Quseini also said that "when Tufaha was filming the attack, the soldiers noticed him. Three of them pinned him against a wall, took his camera and tried forcibly to remove the tape. But several journalists shouted at them and threatened to lodge a complaint against them, so the soldiers threw the camera away and fired teargas canisters inside the Reuters car, breaking its side window."

MADA considers this harassment and the repeated attacks carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against journalists to be a serious violation of freedom of expression, as well as a clear violation of international laws and norms relating to freedom of expression. MADA calls for those involved in attacks on journalists, who only seek to spread the truth, to be punished.

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