Mati Millstein filed a complaint against the Israeli Foreign Press Association on Thursday, August 5, 2011. The photojournalist was covering a Palestinian protest in Nabi Salih, when tear gas canisters were fired directly at the reporters covering the protest.The Israeli military fired twelve rounds at the reporters who were clearly visible with yellow jackets labeled “PRESS.” or “TV”. None of the reporters were wounded.
When Millstein went to complain to the soldiers about their actions, the reporter was threatened with arrest and told to stand against a wall.
The American Israeli sent an email to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday saying that this event is, “the product of a military environment that increasingly sees the media as an enemy or a fifth column rather than as one of the key elements required for the maintenance of a democratic, transparent state.”
He further explained in the email that lately the Israeli Military has been using more violent and unsophisticated methods in dealing with the weekly Palestinian protests.
None of the other reporters decided to issue a complaint against the Israeli Military. Millstein saw a formal complaint against the Israeli Military was necessary since “draconian” methods of preventing the press from covering events are too often seen as acceptable in the occupied territories.
Millstein told the Jerusalem Post that many reporters have had their rights violated but decide not to complain out of fear of losing their credibility or their professional career.