The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate denounced the violent suppression of a peaceful sit-in in occupied East Jerusalem held Saturday afternoon, saying in a statement that the attack “will not prevent journalists from delivering Palestinians’ message to the world.” The group said in a statement Sunday morning that 13 Palestinian journalists were injured while attempting to cover the demonstration.
Israeli police had forcibly evacuated a peaceful sit-in organized at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City, held to express support for approximately 1,500 Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike in Israeli prisons for the past 14 days.
After marching through the streets, chanting slogans in solidarity with the hunger strikers, demonstrators were chased by Israeli police on horseback, with Israeli police officers also ripping up and confiscating pictures of Palestinian prisoners that protesters were carrying.
Some demonstrators also attempted to march towards Herod’s Gate and Salah al-Din street, but were stopped and suppressed by Israeli forces.
Israeli forces detained four activists, identified by locals as Yassin Subieh, Luay Jaber, Suhaib Saiyam, and Amer al-Qawasmi, after they were physically and verbally assaulted by Israeli police officers, witnesses told Ma’an News Agency.
Israeli forces also assaulted at least 13 journalists in an attempt to stop them from covering the attacks on demonstrators, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
Among the injured was a reporter, Ahmad Gharabla, who was severely bruised on his chest after being assaulted by Israeli police on horseback, while Israeli police also beat Ammar Awad, a photographer, with the butts of their rifles.
Footage published by the Jerusalem-based news outlet Al-Quds Network showed mounted police charging at demonstrators and journalists.
According to the statement from the journalists’ syndicate, Israeli forces also confiscated cameras and other equipment from journalists at the rally.
لحظة اعتداء قوات الاحتلال على عدد من المصورين الصحفيين خلال تغطيتهم للوقفة في القدس المحتلة، نصرة للأسرى في سجون الاحتلال.#إضراب_الكرامة pic.twitter.com/yzW1H4DM1d
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) April 29, 2017
“This attack is just one of series of attacks committed by Israeli forces against journalists in an attempt to prevent them from exposing Israeli crimes. These attacks will not prevent journalists from delivering Palestinians’ message to the world,” the statement read.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)