Israeli forces have assaulted two cameramen working for Reuters news agency in the occupied West bank, forcing them to strip on the street. Yousri Al Jamal and Ma’amoun Wazwaz said on Thursday that an Israeli military patrol stopped them as they were on their way to a checkpoint in the West Bank city of al-Khalil, where a Palestinian youth had been earlier killed by Israeli forces. The cameramen added that the Israeli troops punched and hit them with the butts of their guns after they made the cameramen get off their vehicle, which was marked as belonging to “TV.” The two were also wearing blue flak jackets with the word “Press” printed on them. The soldiers who attacked the Reuters employees accused them of working for B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization which documents human rights violations in the occupied West Bank. However, the cameramen said the forces did not give them the chance to show their identification cards and made them strip and kneel down on the road. Wazwaz was overcome by the fumes and taken to a hospital after the Israeli forces dropped a tear gas canister and ran away from the scene. According to the cameramen, two other Palestinian journalists working for local news agencies were also arrested by Israeli soldiers at the same location.
Stephen J. Adler, chief editor of Reuters News said, “We deplore the mistreatment of our journalists and have registered our extreme dismay with the Israeli military authorities.”The Israeli military has offered no explanation for the attack on the journalists and says it will investigate the issue. On Thursday, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager on his birthday after he allegedly threatened them with a toy gun in the occupied West Bank. MKA/HSN