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Journalists 'targeted' in West Bank protests

Nov. 20, 2012 3:53 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2012 2:22 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian press freedom group Mada said Monday that journalists have been obstructed and assaulted by Israeli forces at demonstrations in the West Bank in support of Gaza during the Israeli bombardment.

Palmedia cameraman Samer Hamad, photographers Mousa Al-Shaaer and Luay Sababa, who works with Ma'an, were obstructed from reporting on clashes between protesters and Israeli forces in Dar al-Salah on Monday.

"The soldiers were pushing us and they put their hands on the cameras whenever we tried filming. They took my car keys until I stop coverage, but they returned them later. We told them that we are journalists, but they did not care and continued to prevent us from coverage and pushing us," Hamad told Mada.

In Jabal Al-Mokaber in Jerusalem, a female Israeli officer attempted to assault Muna Hasan, a correspondent of Raya FM radio, during Monday clashes, Mada said.

A day earlier, French Agency photographer Mahfouz Abu Turk and fellow agency colleague Ahmed Grabula were confronted by Israeli soldiers while covering demonstrations at Qalandiya checkpoint, Abu Turk told Mada.

"I noticed that two soldiers are talking , laughing and looking at me, I felt that they were planning to target me, so I tried to withdraw from the region, but a sniper fired at me bullet with iron coated with rubber hitting my neck," he said

"Fortunately I was wearing a leather jacket and the belt of the camera saved my neck, I received treatment in the field.

"I've been a photographer for 30 years, for the second time I feel that I'm targeted for killings by the Israeli occupation forces only for covering events."

Also Sunday, Palestine TV correspondent Ali Dar Ali was hit by a rubber bullet in his waist while reporting on clashes near Ofer military base.

"We have been deliberately being targeted where the press signs were obvious, and I was holding the microphone and the cameraman was holding a camera. There is no doubt that we are journalists, Ali said"

Mada condemned attacks on journalists as a violation of international law, and called on the international community to immediately intervene to protect journalists.
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