On Saturday 5 June, Israeli security forces “assaulted” and then arrested a prominent Al Jazeera journalist. The media outlet has condemned her treatment, accusing Israeli forces of ‘violating all international conventions’. And the incident comes in a long line of the occupying force’s abuse of journalists.
Al Jazeera reported that its journalist:
Givara Budeiri was arrested in a brutal manner by Israeli occupation forces while covering demonstrations in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
The outlet noted that:
Israeli police assaulted the Doha-based media network’s Jerusalem correspondent while arresting her on Saturday and destroyed equipment belonging to Al Jazeera cameraman Nabil Mazzawi.
People shared footage of Budeiri’s arrest on Twitter:
Lots of 🇬🇧British & 🇺🇲American weaponry on show?
As after Al Jazeera's Gaza HQ is bombed, UK-US-EU-armed Israel Militants capture Al Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al Budairi TODAY.
— Afshin Rattansi (@afshinrattansi) June 5, 2021
Another video of Israeli soldiers arresting and assaulting an Al Jazeera correspondent, for doing her job. pic.twitter.com/W6VTXpjWnb
— Noor (@NoorAbdelHaq1) June 5, 2021
came from everywhere, I don’t know why, they kicked me to the wall
She also said:
They kicked me inside the car in a very bad way … they were kicking me from everywhere
‘Violating international conventions’
They arrested Budeiri then released her several hours later. Israel forces have told her she cannot go back to Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days. All this is despite the journalist holding an official Israeli-issued press pass. Al Jazeera‘s director general said:
We condemn the actions of the Israeli occupation forces in the strongest terms. The systematic targeting of our journalists is in total violation of all international conventions. Today’s violent actions by Israeli occupation forces against Givara Budeiri and Nabil Mazzawi are in total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists.
Israeli forces clamping down on journalists is an ongoing tactic. For example, in May its military destroyed a building in Gaza that was used by the Associated Press (AP) and other media:
Israel’s persecution has been particularly stark towards journalists reporting on the situation in Sheikh Jarrah.
An ongoing Israeli tactic
As The Canary previously reported, at the start of June Israeli security forces were detaining 13 Palestinian journalists, some following the violence in May. Reporters Without Borders has been monitoring the situation in Gaza and the occupied territories. It said that:
the Israeli authorities are currently holding a total of at least 13 Palestinian journalists. They include Alaa Al-Rimawi, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the West Bank city of Ramallah and head of the online news agency J-Media, who has been held since 22 April without any official charge being brought against him.
Al Jazeera took the story further. It reported that Israeli security forces released two Palestinian journalists only to then put them under house arrest. Like Budeiri, they had been reporting on the protests in Sheikh Jarrah. An Israeli judge ordered that these two journalists could not communicate for 15 days.
It appears as though Israeli forces are actively trying to stop reporting on the situation in Sheikh Jarrah. Moreover, there was international outcry about Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza. Its forces killed at least 247 Palestinians, including 66 children, in 11 days. So it seems the state of Israel is growing increasingly concerned that the world is watching its actions. And it appears to be actively trying to now prevent media coverage.
Endemic of apartheid
Budeiri and other journalists’ arrests are symptomatic of the Israeli state’s apartheid occupation. As Jareer Kassis said on Twitter:
Not just any journalist. Givara Budeiri is a veteran reporter known to an entire generation, born in Jerusalem long before this apartheid-enforcing officer was. Therein lies a symbol of colonization: the humiliation of being oppressed by someone your kids’ age or even younger. https://t.co/KNv8rcUYJZ
— Jareer Kassis (@JareerKassis) June 5, 2021
Meanwhile, Israeli media reported on Budeiri’s arrest from a different angle. The right-wing Times of Israel pushed the Israeli security forces narrative that they arrested her for “assaulting” them. But the paper did give Budeiri’s side of the argument.
So, not only are Israeli forces actively silencing journalists, but some of the country’s corporate media is reinforcing this too. The state of Israel has all the signs of apartheid. And Palestinians will see little respite in the coming weeks and months.
Featured image via Al Jazeera – YouTube
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