Israeli army assaults journalists

Footage by local media shows Israeli soldiers assaulting AFP journalists who were covering clashes between Palestinians and IDF

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A member of the Israeli security forces throws a tear gas canister towards Palestinian protesters during clashes in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the centre of the West Bank city of Hebron on September 23, 2015,

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers assaulted journalists and broke their equipment in the Israeli occupied West Bank territory in Palestine on Friday.

The two journalists who are working for Agence France-Presse (AFP), were attacked after the funeral of a Palestinian who was killed by IDF. 

The video shows AFP’s Italian correspondent, Andrea Bernardi being pushed to the ground and jabbed in the ribs with a weapon.

According to AFP, Bernardi was held on the ground by an IDF soldier, until he managed to show his press card.

It’s reported that Bernardi suffered an injury to the ribs and eye.

Despite wearing the “Press” uniform, IDF soldiers pointed their weapons at Bernardi and his Palestinian colleague photographer, Abbas Momani and smashed their cameras and mobile phones.

While correspondents were covering the clashes between Palestinians and IDF soldiers, a soldier took them aside, swore at them in English and told them to stop recording.

AFP protested IDF and intends to file an official complaint.

AFP’s bureau chief, Thomas Cox said “They had passed the first checkpoint of the border police with their press cards without problem."

"Andrea paused to check his camera settings and as he was doing so a soldier immediately arrived and told him to stop filming and pushed his camera. He then took the camera and smashed it,” said Cox.

“They thought these are crazy young soldiers so, as you see on the video, they left. But the soldiers came and at this moment took the stills camera and took everything in the photographer’s pocket – batteries, memory cards. Andrea then came back to recover his destroyed camera. At this point a soldier jumped on him and put a pistol on his face and attacked him."

After the complaints, IDF spokesman Colonel Peter Lerner stated that disciplinary measures would be taken and added "The highest levels of command are aware of the incident.” 

IDF started a disciplinary investigation into Thursday’s incident after a Palestinian AFP photographer was manhandled by an Israeli soldier and one colleague had stones thrown at him by Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s Security Cabinet has pushed the limits within which Israeli soldiers can shoot Palestinian stone-throwers.

Clashes in Beit Furik between Palestinians and IDF troops started after the funeral of Ahmed Khatatbeh.

The Israeli prime minister’s “war against stone-throwers” efforts include a new set of very strict laws against Palestinian protesters.

Khatatbeh died of his wounds after being shot by soldiers near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

IDF defended their actions by saying that Khatatbeh and another man with him had thrown a petrol bomb at a vehicle near the Jewish settlement of Itamar.


TRTWorld and agencies