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Israeli soldiers assault journalists in West Bank village

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the Israeli occupation army attack on Ma'an News Agency photographer Rami Swidan, Palmedia cameraman Ashraf Abu Shawish, Reuters photographer Abdel-Rahim Alqusini and Reuters cameraman Hassan Titi at noon (local time) on 28 January 2010 in Burin village, south of Nablus in the West Bank.

Swidan said that they were covering olive tree cultivation in Burin, where Israeli forces were located. One soldier approached him and ordered him not to cover the events, but he insisted on filming and an argument ensued. The soldier then hit Swidan in the chest and tried to take his camera by force, but the other journalists intervened and separated the soldier from him. After that, the soldiers threw a tear gas grenade at them and tried to disperse them.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Supreme Court cancelled the decision to imprison Ala'lam TV correspondent Khader Shaheen and his assistant Mohammed Sarhan for two months, which had previously been issued by the Central Court in Jerusalem on 14 June 2009. The Israeli authorities arrested Sarhan and Shaheen on 5 January 2009 and released them after ten days, but they put them under house arrest until 22 June 2009, on charges of publishing news about the movements of the occupation army before the ground attack on the Gaza Strip.

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