RAMALLAH/JERUSALEM: Two journalists en route to cover a demonstration marking International Women’s Day were injured by stun grenades at an Israeli military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah on Wednesday morning.
According to the press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Israeli police reportedly fired at and injured Rami Al-Faqih, a correspondent at the local Al-Quds Educational Television, and Iyad Hamad, a cameraman for The Associated Press at the Qalandia checkpoint.
“We are troubled by these reports that Israeli border police deliberately fired at journalists. We urge the Israeli authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident immediately and to instruct its forces to allow journalists to do their job unhindered, CPJ’s Middle East Director Joe Simon stated.
According to the journalists, Israeli border police fired deliberately at members of the media at the protest, but emphasized that none of the demonstrators were hurt.
Both Al-Faqih and Hamad were reportedly shot and wounded in the legs.
A Daily Star Egypt reporter present near the location of the protest noticed a loud gathering of a significant number of demonstrators, journalists, and security personnel.
Micky Rosenfeld, spokesman for the Israeli National Police, stressed that Israeli police “only used minimum force and fired three stun grenades to “disperse protestors who forcefully tried to enter an area that was out of bounds.
Rosenfeld added that “the press should have left the area quietly along with the ladies who were present at the scene to maintain their safety and prevent injury.
According to CPJ, Israeli police has previously fired stun grenades at members of the press.
Most recently, Israeli soldiers allegedly opened fired at a group of around 12 photographers and cameramen doing research in the West Bank city of Nablus.
Furthermore, several photojournalists covering clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian stone-throwers near Hebron were reportedly injured by Israeli grenades on Feb. 16, said journalists from the Associated Press.