Insight Online News
Jerusalem, June 6 : A correspondent for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel was arrested during a protest in the Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Xavier Abu Eid accused Israeli police forces of attacking the TV crew on Saturday and destroying their equipment, dpa news agency reported.
A spokesman for Israeli police said the correspondent had physically attacked security forces while they were trying to break up the demonstration and that she had refused to identify herself.
However, video footage of the incident shows that Givara Budeiri was wearing a vest with the word “Press” on it.
According to police, residents pelted security forces with stones and firecrackers during the protests.
In a statement, Al Jazeera said that the journalist was released from custody hours after her arrest.
The broadcaster said that one of its cameramen also had his equipment destroyed during the incident.
“They came from everywhere, I don’t know why, they kicked me to the wall,” Al Jazeera cited Budeiri as saying following her release late on Saturday.
“They kicked me inside the car in a very bad way, they were kicking me from everywhere,” she added.
“We condemn the actions of the Israeli occupation forces in the strongest terms. The systematic targeting of our journalists is in total violation of all international conventions,” Al Jazeera Media Network acting director general Mostefa Souag said in a statement.
“Today’s violent actions by Israeli occupation forces against Givara Budeiri and Nabil Mazzawi are in total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists.”
Conflict over the possible evictions of Palestinian families in the neighbourhood have exacerbated tensions recently. It has been the focus of attention for decades because of property disputes.
Both Israeli settlers and Palestinians claim ownership.
Protests continue in Sheikh Jarrah even after a May 21 ceasefire was reached between Israel and the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.
A court decision on the forced evictions had been postponed.
IANS / AGENCY