Police Ask Media to Hand Over Riot Photos

Israel Police asks Channel 2 and right-leaning paper Makor Rishon to get film, photographs in their possession to aid investigation into IDF base attack; not first time police ask media for material to assist investigations.

The Israel Police has asked both Channel 2 and the right-leaning newspaper Makor Rishon to get film and photographs in their possession to aid the investigation into the events of Monday night, which included vandalism at an army base and stone-throwing at a commander's vehicle.

Makor Rishon's photos were taken by one of its photographers, Miri Tzahi, who was on Route 55 late Monday night when the vehicles of Ephraim Brigade commander Col. Ran Kahana and his deputy, Lt. Col Tzur Harpaz, were stoned.

The youths at the scene asked Tzahi to stop taking pictures, and she told them that she would not publish them. Indeed, Tzahi refused to allow Makor Rishon to publish the photos despite the editors' requests. Word of the pictures spread and reached the police. A hearing on its request will be held today in Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.

A similar request was made to Channel 2, which had video of the break-in at the Qasr el-Yahud baptismal site along the Jordan River, where vandals cut the fence and occupied one of the buildings. The channel is considering complying with the request, since the raw footage it has does not differ markedly from what was broadcast.

Makor Rishon issued a statement saying it has for months been waging a campaign against "price tag" attacks and against attacks on soldiers and deplores such actions. Tzahi refused to comment.

This isn't the first time the police has asked journalists for material to assist its investigations. For example, it has asked Channel 2 to hand over its copy of the document allegedly forged by Boaz Harpaz in a bid to keep Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant (res.) from becoming chief of staff.