Israeli Forces Attack Press with ‘Total Impunity’

Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday condemned violence used by Israel against photojournalists covering demonstrations against Israel’s West Bank barrier.

Reporters Without Borders "deplores the total impunity enjoyed by the soldiers responsible for these abuses," the Paris-based press freedom watchdog said in a statement.

The statement referred to incidents in January and February in which soldiers injured photojournalists in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, and in Kufr Qaddoum, near Qalqiliya, and others sites in the occupied West Bank.

"Reporters Without Borders has on many occasions asked the Israeli army to undertake independent and impartial investigations into such incidents in order to identify and punish those responsible," RSF said.

"Even when the army does carry out an investigation, it seldom reaches any real conclusions."

Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovich, an army spokeswoman, responded to the complaints by saying that one of the incidents occurred while forces were acting against a "violent and illegal demonstration."

She stressed that at least one of the complaints was not appropriate because of the dangers present in the West Bank, adding, "sometimes the media are caught in the eye of the storm."

The group called the response "a stonewalling exercise."

"Reporters Without Borders is outraged at this insulting and totally inadequate response from the Israeli Defense Forces, which continually protect the army at the expense of freedom of information."

(Ma’an TV)

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