Israel Police Release Al Jazeera Reporter Hours After Arresting Her in Sheikh Jarrah

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Givara Budeiri suffered a broken arm and remained under observation Sunday at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital
Givara Budeiri suffered a broken arm and remained under observation Sunday at Jerusalem's Hadassah HospitalCredit: Noa Landau

A senior Al Jazeera journalist was released from detention late Saturday, several hours after border police detained her in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where she had been wearing body armor marked “press.”

Al Jazeera said police also destroyed equipment belonging to a cameraman for the channel.

Givara Budeiri suffered a broken arm and remained under observation Sunday at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, said Walid Omary, the Jerusalem bureau chief for Al Jazeera. Budeiri had been reporting regularly from Sheikh Jarrah, Omary said.

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Israeli police arrested Budeiri on Saturday an Al Jazeera journalist during a protest in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Givara Budeiri's arrest in Sheikh Jarrah

While the police claimed they arrested Budeiri after she assaulted them, eyewitnesses said she had been arguing with the police who were trying to remove her from the scene claiming that she did not have press credentials.

A month ago, the police set up a checkpoint in the eastern part of the neighborhood and prevented anyone who was not a resident or in possession of an official Israeli press pass from entering.

In recent weekends, Palestinians have been staging protests in Sheikh Jarrah against the planned eviction of Palestinian families in the area. On Saturday, young Palestinians held a peaceful demonstration.  

A Palestinian woman takes part in a protest against the forcible evictions of dozens of Palestinian families by Israeli settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, yesterday.Credit: Maya Alleruzzo,AP

At some point during Saturday's rally, the police checked reporters' credentials. Budeiri, a veteran correspondent in Jerusalem, who holds credientials from the Israel Press Office, apparently did not have them with her at the time.

Following an argument between Budeiri and the police, who urged her to move behind the checkpoint, officers arrested her and another person. During the arrest, Budeiri fell and her camera broke.

"The Police, who act to maintain order in Sheikh Jarrah during protests by dozens of people, arrested a woman and a man who refused to identify themselves during the dispersal of the protest and physically assaulted officers at the scene," police said in a statement Saturday.

On Friday, dozens of Palestinians protested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan against the planned eviction of Palestinian families, 12 protesters and four officers were injured.

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