What does it mean to be a journalist in Palestine?

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An Israeli soldier prevents with his hand a cameraman from covering clashes near Beit Eil checkpoint, October 7, 2015. Photo by Fadi Arouri.

By Mosab Ibrahim Abu Saif and Nagham Kilani

RAMALLAH— It was on October 31, 2015. A group of Palestinian journalists were covering the clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in the City of Ramallah. Suddenly, an Israeli military car, chased a Palestinian youth very fast, and ran over him, so he suffered from serious injuries.

The whole scene was filmed on cameras, and the journalists ran to cover that attack. Then, Israeli officers assault the journalists with the pepper gas on their faces, and hit them.
Some of the journalists suffered from burns because of the assaults, and were taken by the paramedics to the hospitals.

That incident depicts vividly the routine dangers faced by Palestinian journalists in doing their journalistic duties. They encounter many violations and risks, even during their works in their own territories.

An Israeli soldier sprays pepper in the face of a Palestinian cameraman, in Ramallah, West Bank, in October 31, 2015. Photo by: Fadi Aurora

In Palestine, journalists can do their job normally, covering events, conferences, sports, and other things. But when they cover the clashes or conflicts, it becomes too dangerous, because the Israeli soldiers can take harsh approaches to them, treating them as if they were criminals.

In the following video, which was taken two years ago, you can see the Palestine TV Correspondent, Ahmad Shawar, covering a demonstration in the village of “Kufr Kaddoum” near the City of Qalqilya, West Bank. Ahmad got injured in his arm by a rubber bullet shot from an Israeli soldier, and took the Ambulance.

Ahmad also injured again two months ago, in the same village, when he covered protests by Palestinians against the occupation of Israel.

On January, 2017, The Committee for Supporting Journalists, documented 41 Israeli violations against the Palestinian journalists. It’s worth to mention that 22 Palestinian journalists are still arrested in Israeli prisons, unlawfully.

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