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Israeli security forces injure two journalists, briefly detain four others

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the Israeli occupation forces' attack on Al-Quds Net correspondent Diala Jwehan and Palestine TV correspondent Nader Baybres. MADA also condemns the Israeli security forces' arrest of four journalists: WAFA and APA agency photographer Muammar Awad, "Radar" newspaper photographer and reporter Nour Karameh, Panet news website correspondent Amir Abed Rabbo and Middle East Agency for News Photography photographer Imran Alrashaq. The incidents involving Jwehan and Baybres took place while the journalists were covering clashes that broke out on 22 September 2010 between the Israeli forces and Palestinian youths in different areas of Jerusalem city.

Jwehan said she went to the Silwan area in Jerusalem to cover the clashes between the Israeli forces and Palestinian youths after an Israeli citizen killed a Palestinian man. While she was covering the clashes, Israeli soldiers threw numerous teargas canisters. One of the canisters hit Jwehan in the back, causing her to lose consciousness, bruising her in the back and resulting in burns associated with inhalation of large quantities of the gas.

For his part, Baybres said he was standing a short distance from the Israeli troops and away from the demonstrators to cover the clashes when one of the soldiers deliberately threw a teargas canister at him, hitting him in the left leg and causing him to fall to the ground, which resulted in bruising.

In a separate incident, Awad said, "I was with my colleagues covering the evening prayer at the Al Aqsa Mosque when the occupation soldiers and Israeli Special Forces violently attacked the worshipers. We took photographs of their actions. At the end of the prayer, we exited via the Asbat Gate and members of the Israeli security forces arrested us immediately. They detained us for a while in front of the people who were in the area and refused to release us despite the intervention of other journalists. Then they took us to the investigation center in the Al-Khalil Gate area, where we were held from 4:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. Then the Israeli officer received a call to release us. So we were released after receiving a formal order that banned us from entering the Old City area of Jerusalem for fifteen days. If we enter the area, we will have to pay five thousand shekels (approx. US$1350) and face six months in detention."

MADA once again condemns the Israeli violations of the rights of Palestinian journalists and demands the immediate intervention of the international community and human rights organizations to protect and halt attacks on Palestinian journalists.

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