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Israeli forces detain two journalists and assault another

On 26 January 2014, the Israeli Occupational Forces (IOF) detained European Press Agency Photographer Abed El-Hafiz Al-Hashlamoon and WAFA Agency Photographer Ahmed Mizher, during their coverage of the clashes that erupted between Palestinian citizens and the IOF in Khilat Alnahl area near the city of Bethlehem.

Al-Hashlamoon reported to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) that the IOF searched them, insulted them, and detained them for about an hour and half.

Two days earlier, on 24 January, the IOF attacked Jafaar Ishteya, a photographer for the French news agency, while he was covering the Kafir Kadoum demonstrations in a village of the same name north of the West Bank. The Kafir Kadoum demonstrations are weekly occurrences against the dividing wall and the settlement expansions. Ishtey reported to MADA saying:

"During our coverage of the Kafir Kadoum weekly demonstration, we stood, as usual, on a specific side of the road to clearly show the army that we are journalists to prevent being targeted. I was wearing the appropriate journalist attire; a phosphoric painted jacket with the word "PRESS" written on it. But since the morning, a soldier sprang up from behind the wall and began firing volleys of tear gas using an automatic weapon on journalists. I raised my hand to my face for protection but got slammed anyways and one of the bombs hit my right arm. The injury was minor, and I have received treatment. That was my first injury."

Ishteya continued: "Once the demonstrators' numbers began to increase and clashes erupted, the IOF upped their use of tear gas; I was standing with three colleagues when we were targeted deliberately and directly with tear gas bombs. I was closest to the soldiers and got hit with a bomb straight from the back. It hit my right shoulder, I passed out on the ground for seconds, my jacket burned and my shoulder was bleeding. I was rushed to an ambulance which then transferred me to the hospital for treatment."

This wasn't the first time Ishteya was attacked by IOF soldiers. On 17 August 2012, a group of Israeli soldiers beat Ishteya with bats and broke his right arm during his coverage of the same Kafir Kadoum weekly demonstrations.

MADA condemns the Israeli violations against journalists and we call on the international community to pressure Israeli authorities to stop their attacks and hold the aggressors accountable.

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