The Foreign Press Association expresses its concern about physical and verbal attacks toward journalists during Thursday’s flag march, May 18, 2023, through Damascus Gate.
On multiple occasions, marchers pelted journalists with water bottles,cans and wooden sticks. Marchers also shouted violent and racist epithets at reporters in the presence of police officers. At least two journalists were lightly injured.
In addition, a CNN team covering events in the Old City was shoved with unnecessary force by a police unit as they tried to interview local Palestinians.
The FPA notes that police did respond to our complaints and did attempt to quell the violence. But given the violent history of this event, we believe police should have been better prepared and could have done more to prevent these attacks from occurring in the first place.
The Israeli government’s commitment to protecting freedom of the press must include action, not just words.