A Border Police officer pepper sprays Palestinian journalists covering a West Bank protest. The police claims it is ‘looking into the incident.’
An Israeli Border Police officer assaulted medics and journalists at a well known junction in the West Bank Friday, according to photojournalist Fadi Arouri.
The incident took place near the Al-Bireh checkpoint, which abuts the Israeli settlement of Beit El— a spot known for frequent clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces. But Arouri says that journalists and medics were at a significant distances from the protestors when the incident he photographed (below), took place.
“He [the officer in the photo - LG) was chasing photographers, even struggling with some of us. He took the gas masks off some journalists to spray them directly in the face," recounted Arouri. "He did it to two of them right in front of me." Arouri added that he saw the officer "dragging a journalist and beating him."
Arouri, who posted the photos on his professional Facebook page, noted that this particular member of Border Police — known as Magav — was well known to journalists who have been covering West Bank demonstrations over the past few years. He has been "among the worst" of security forces at Qalandiya, Bil'in, and Nabi Saleh — all places that are scenes of frequent Palestinian demonstrations. There have been many reported incidents of Israeli security forces using excessive or inappropriate force to stop demonstrations, many of which have been reported by +972 Magazine.
Arouri also took some video of the scene, where we can see clearly that the border police is just casually ejecting pepper spray at journalists who pose absolutely no threat, followed by disturbing scenes of a journalist wearing a flak jacket marked “press” is kicked, slapped and dragged by paramilitary forces. There are no protestors in sight, although the sound of tear gas being fired nearby is audible. The exchanges are a familiar mixture of Arabic, Hebrew and English, with the Palestinian press shouting that they are journalists and asking why they are being assaulted. Border Policemen are heard yelling “get back” and “move,” although there is no visible reason to harass journalists.
A second video provides context and even more shocking footage, with border police deliberately running over a Palestinian youth. One officer descends from the vehicle and steps on the boy he just...Read More