IDF investigates soldiers' violence against journalists
Military Police are looking into a case in which IDF soldiers beat foreign reporters with batons in the West Bank.
The Military Police are investigating an incident in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers hit foreign journalists with batons near the village of Qadum in the West Bank two weeks ago, injuring an AFP photographer.
The Foreign Press Association has also asked the military advocate general to open a criminal probe.
In a video of the incident, soldiers are seen asking the reporters to halt. They then approach the journalists with batons and hit some of them. The reporters, who had come to cover weekly demonstrations against the separation fence, are seen wearing yellow vests marked "PRESS."
The FPA complained to the Prime Minister's Office about the incident two weeks ago, and the IDF spokesman said it was an exceptional incident that was being investigated.
"Despite requesting formally in writing and asking informally through various government channels, the IDF have so far told us nothing about the nature of their inquiry," the FPA said in an announcement Sunday. "We don't know whether the men seen on the video beating up our members with clubs have been suspended, or even identified."
Danny Zaken, chairman of the Journalists Association in Jerusalem, said: "Such incidents are the opposite of the behavior expected from soldiers in a democratic state."
The IDF spokesman said: "A few days after the video appeared, the military prosecution ordered the Military Police to investigate all the circumstances of the matter."