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Undercover Israeli security personnel detain a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah December 13, 2017. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Journalists assaulted covering protests in Jerusalem

December 13, 2017 5:39 PM ET

At least 13 journalists were injured while covering protests and violence that broke out in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem over U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on December 7, 2017 that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to local and regional press freedom groups and news reports. At least two journalists in Lebanon were also injured during a protest in Beirut.

According to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA) and Amman-based Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), the following journalists were injured:

  • Palestine TV reporter Ali Dar Ali was hit in the head and his hand by two rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces, which broke his right middle finger as he covered protests in al-Bireh on December 8, according to MADA and videos and pictures that Dar Ali posted on Facebook.
  • Palestine TV cameraman Omar Awad was hit in his left foot by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli forces while he covered protests on the outskirts of Jericho on December 8, according to MADA and CDFJ.
  • Reuters correspondent Adel Abu Nameh was hit in the chest by a teargas canister while covering protests at a checkpoint into Jericho on December 8, according to the head of the Palestine Journalist Syndicate Omar Nazzal, CFDJ, and MADA. Jericho Palestine, a local Facebook group that covered the protests, published an image the same day showing Nameh being treated for the injury.
  • Ramsat photographer Mohammed Fawzi was hit by a rubber bullet while covering protests in Kafr Qaddum, a village east of Qalqilya, on December 8, according to CDFJ, MADA and Nazzal.

Seven journalists needed to be treated for teargas inhalation, after Israeli forces used it on the protesters:

  • On December 8 in al-Bireh, Maan News agency correspondent Firas Tananeh, Al-Mayadeen TV reporter Nasreem Salmi, and Al-Manar TV reporter Khaled al-Faqih were exposed to teargas, according to CDFJ and Nazzal.
  • Freelance photojournalist Ahmad Hasaballah inhaled teargas while covering protests in eastern Gaza strip on December 8, according to MADA, Nazzal, and CDFJ.
  • Al-Jazeera reporter Jivara Al-Badiei and cameraman Majdi Benora were treated after inhaling teargas while covering protests in the West Bank on December 8, the Channel and MADA reported.
  • RT reporter Amjad Shaheen was treated after inhaling teargas while covering protests in Ramallah on December 7, according to CDFJ and Mada.

The regional press freedom group Center for Media and Cultural Freedom Skeyes, MADA, and CDFJ cited Al-Hayat reporter Diala Juhayhan and Jerusalem Educational Channel reporter Layla Eid as saying that Israeli forces who were dispersing demonstrators in Jerusalem's Salah al-Din Street on horseback on December 9 charged at them while they were reporting on the protests.

In neighboring Lebanon, video footage posted to Twitter by Skeyes showed a security officer using a baton to beat al-Mustaqbal TV reporter Rabih Shantaf while the journalist was covering protests live from in front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. Palestine TV reporter Esra Safadi was treated for teargas inhalation at the same protest, according to Skeyes and pictures posted on social media by one of her colleagues.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The last paragraph of this case has been updated to include details of incidents in Lebanon.]

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