World Bulletin/News Desk
A group that represents some 500 journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for foreign media on Thursday condemned assaults by the Israeli police against journalists covering Wednesday's clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in East Jerusalem.
The Foreign Press Association "strongly condemns the thuggish behavior and deliberate intimidation demonstrated by Israeli border police against journalists and cameramen covering the events at Damascus Gate on Jerusalem Day," the group said in a statement.
"Despite the fact that both the photographers and cameramen stood in an area designated for the press, mounted border police officers aggressively forced them to move far from the scene," the group said.
"Others were violently pushed, kicked and blocked from working. One photographer was punched in the stomach while he had his hands in the air, another was hit in the stomach with an M16 and a third narrowly avoided a punch to the face."
According to the release, the Israeli border police threw stun grenades directly at photographers "in a display of aggression which has shocked veteran photographers and cameramen who have worked in the region for a long time."
The group said that foreign police spokesman arrived in the scene but failed to prevent forces from continuing to lash out at accredited journalists trying to work - Israelis, Palestinians and foreigners alike.
The Wednesday protests came as Israel marked the so-called Jerusalem Day, which is celebrated every year on Iyar 28 on the Hebrew calendar, to commemorate the "reunification" of the holy city in June 1967 when its forces occupied it.
Israeli forces forcibly dispersed Palestinian demonstrators protesting against the Israeli occupation of the city, arresting 12 of them.
The Foreign Press Association was established in June 1957 by 31 enterprising journalists. Today, it numbers some 480 members representing TV, radio, photojournalists and print media from 32 countries.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.Last Mod: 30 Mayıs 2014, 11:33