The FPA is a non-profit organization representing journalists working for international news organizations reporting from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip

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Statement by the Foreign Press Association condemning violence against journalists at Jerusalem Day Flag Parade [June 2, 2022]

The Foreign Press Association is deeply alarmed about acts of violence by Israeli civilians and police towards journalists working for the foreign press during the Jerusalem Day flag march on May 29. 

A BBC team was verbally and physically assaulted by Israeli march participants.

A France 24 reporter was assaulted live on air by an Israeli participant.

Quique Kierszenbaum, a freelance photographer and producer covering the march for foreign media, was pepper sprayed by an Israeli participant and punched in the face by an Israeli border police officer.

A journalist for Israeli public broadcasting, Iyad Harb, was beaten, punched and pepper sprayed by civilians, and we welcome the arrest of two suspects connected to the attack.

The FPA understands that the work of security officers can be complicated in such events, with tens of thousands of people, some linked to radical groups, marching in Jerusalem. But it is unacceptable for a police officer to attack a clearly identified photojournalist who was wearing the wristband police distributed to identify accredited journalists at the event. We call for police to take measures against the officer. We also call on police to take measures against Israeli civilians who attacked reporters on duty. Those who attack reporters should be arrested, not protected, by police.

Unfortunately, such violence against journalists has become routine. We expect Israeli authorities – who profess to respect freedom of the press – to put their words into action.

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