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MADA: Hebron journalists are subjected to gross violations of occupation


Ramallah - 13/12/2012: The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the escalation of violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian journalists in city of Hebron in the West Bank, over the course of yesterday (12/12/2012) and today (13/12/2012). A group of journalists have been beaten, targeted with tear gas grenades, arrested and insulted.  


Associated Press photographer Nasser Shyoukhi informed MADA that he and three colleagues (AP photographer Hazem Bader, European Agency photographer Abdul Hafez Hashlamoun and Reuters photographer Ammar Awad) were reporting on recent clashes between Palestinians and occupation forces near Tareq ben Zaid school, when soldiers approached and denied them permission to to film as well ordering them to evacuate the area. The journalists refused and Hazem Bader was subsequently arrested by a soldier.


Shyoukhi added: "We insisted to cover, so they threat to arrest all of us, even so we refused and demanded them to release Bader, they were talking with us in a very mean way". 



Bader told MADA: "They arrested me for about 45 minutes in a very brutal way, where they tied my hands behind my back, beat me on my feet and my back, and cursing me all the time. One of the soldiers tried to fabrication charge me that I tried to assault him, but my colleagues of photographers documented the arrest. They released me after the intervention of the French Agency Office and communication with the army spokesman in the region".


The occupation forces attacked a group of journalists in Hebron yesterday, subjecting them to beatings and tear gas assaults during as they reported on the martyr Mohamed Salaymeh, who was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier yesterday evening. The journalists include: Reuters photographers Mamoun Wazwaz and Yusry Aljamal, Al-Quds TV correspondent Akram Natshe and freelance reporter Muhammad Alzgiar. 


Wazwaz informed MADA that he and his colleagues were on their way to the old town in an agency car after hearing about Mohamed Salaymeh. However, around 400-500 meters ahead of their intended destination, they were impeded by Israeli soldiers who began shooting in the air and aiming lasers in their direction. Wazwaz and his team stopped the car and undertook safety measures to highlight their status as journalists.


He added: "despite that about ten soldiers approached and ordered us to get out of the car, they beat us madly, and ordered us to take off our clothes in a bitter cold. Then they fired tear gas grenades between our feet. It was a very scary situation, we were attacked by beat, tear gas and cursing while the weapons over our heads. I remembered my kids at the moment, where I thought I would never see them again”.