June 8, 2021 (Anadolu Agency) – Recent months have seen more and more attacks by Israeli forces on journalists covering events in occupied East Jerusalem.
The tension began in the region at the end of April with Israeli forces’ raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The tension escalated into violence in the occupied West Bank and the areas inhabited by Israeli Arabs, and soon turned into an Israeli military operation against the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Journalists who have long been closely monitoring the violent events in the region have been targeted by Israeli forces. Media workers were hit with plastic bullets, tear-gassed, and even detained.
Israeli attacks targeting Gaza for 11 days ended with a cease-fire on May 21.
A statement by Palestine’s Information Ministry said journalists in Jerusalem were subjected to violence 35 times this May alone.
Rajai al-Khatib, a Palestinian cameraman working for a Jordanian TV channel, was shot in the foot with a rubber bullet while covering events around Damascus Gate in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
Four freelance photojournalists – Ata Awaisat, Salih az-Zegari, Bera Ebu Rauz, and Abdulgafur Zagir – were injured when Israeli forces attacked worshipers in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Anadolu Agency Middle East News Editor Turgut Alp Boyraz, Anadolu Agency’s photojournalist Mustafa AlKharouf, and the agency’s cameraman Fayez Abu Rumaila were injured in an Israeli police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
Rubber bullets and sound bombs used by Israeli forces hit journalists covering fanatical Jewish groups’ attempt to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque.
On May 10, when Anadolu Agency photojournalist Mustafa AlKharouf was shot in the chest for the second time with a rubber bullet, other journalists suffering Israeli attacks included freelance photojournalist Iyad at-Tawil, Rami al-Khatib from Jordan’s state TV, local Mean TV’s Misa Abu Ghazale, and journalists from other local media outlets Hiba Makkiye, Amir al-Khatib, Ali ad-Devani, Liva Abu Armile, Esid Amarine, and Muhammad Samrin.
When Latifah Abdul Latiff, a Palestinian journalist working for Al Jazeera, was trying to record the detention of a child and a young person during protests in occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli police attacked her and took her headscarf off.
Journalist Rama Yousef, working for the Jordan’s TV channel Al-Ghad, was covering a protest in front of the Damascus Gate when he was shot in the foot by Israeli police with a rubber bullet.
Palestine’s Al-Qafiyah television reporter Ziynet al-Halawani and cameraman Wahbi Mekkiye were detained by the Israeli police while they were following a protest in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in support of the Palestinians.
Mekkiye was beaten up and injured when he was detained by the Israeli police. The journalists were released five days later.
The Israeli police attacked an Al Jazeera team covering a sit-in in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in support of Palestinians being forcibly removed from their homes.
Israeli police detained Al Jazeera TV channel correspondent Givara al-Budeiri for a few hours, and released her with a ban on her entry in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 15 days.
Israeli police also assaulted Al Jazeera cameraman Nabil Mazzawi and broke his camera.
Palestinian activist and journalist Muna al-Kurd, 23, and her brother Muhammad, who tried to tell the world about the wrongdoings and use of excessive force by Israel, were detained in a raid on their house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Al-Kurd was later released.
Palestinian activists, including al-Kurd and her brother Muhammad, launched a campaign on Twitter with the #SaveSheikhJarrah hashtag to make the world aware of what has been happening in Sheikh Jarrah.
Al Jazeera reporter Najwan Simri got his leg injured the same day as Israeli forces dispersed demonstrations in East Jerusalem.