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Israeli forces detain Palestinian photojournalist

July 14, 2016 11:41 A.M. (Updated: July 14, 2016 4:22 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a Palestinian photojournalist, known for his coverage of weekly protests, in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Witnesses said that Kamil Barham was detained at a flying Israeli checkpoint near the village of Sura in the Nablus district and was taken to an unknown location.

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into the reports.

Barham, a 27-year-old freelance journalist, has been covering the weekly protests in the village of Kafr Qaddum for years.

Kafr Qaddum has been the stage of weekly protests since July 2011, in order to denounce Israel’s continuing closures of the village's main road since 2003.

The village is one of a number of Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank that carry out weekly Friday demonstrations in opposition to the decades-long Israeli military occupation.

In 2014, Barham was injured by steel bullets fired by Israeli soldiers during a Friday protest in Kafr Qaddum.

Israeli authorities have carried out a concerted crackdown on Palestinian journalists and human rights activists since a wave of violence erupted in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in October, with several dozen Palestinian journalists being detained by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said in March that 2015 had seen an “unprecedented” increase in Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists across the occupied Palestinian territory.

Almost half of the violations committed by Israeli forces -- 42 percent -- were physical assaults, although the watchdog also monitored cases of soldiers denying media coverage, targeting journalists through gas canisters, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets, the confiscation of equipment, deleting recorded material, and closing media outlets.
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