Arab journalist Al Jazeera Givara Budeiri left the hospital on Sunday after receiving treatment for her injuries. arrest by Israeli forces the day before.
Budeiri’s left hand fractured when she was arrested on Saturday while covering a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah’s busy neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Israeli police also destroyed equipment from Al Jazeera’s camera, Nabil Mazzawi. His arrest sparked a sharp condemnation by freedom of the press and media watchdogs.
The Jerusalem correspondent, from the Doha media network, was accused of assaulting a policewoman and failing to present her credentials, according to her and Al Jazeera strongly deny it. Israeli accusations also contradicted images of Budeiri’s arrest.
“I try to be okay, but they broke my hand and I spent the whole night in the hospital,” Budeiri told Al Jazeera.
He said he had bruises on several other areas of his body, headache and back and leg pain which makes it difficult to walk.
Budeiri had been working as a journalist at Al Jazeera since 2000. When she was arrested, she was wearing a flak jacket marked “press” and had an Israeli government press office (GPO) card.
Budeiri reported on a sit-in that marked the 54th anniversary of the Naksa, or “retreat,” when Israel occupied the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, an action not recognized by the international community.
Sheikh Jarrah has also been the focus of protests for weeks in support of Palestinian families in the neighborhood facing the threat of forced expulsion to make way for Jewish settlers.
Budeiri said she was “treated like a criminal” when she was taken to the police station and, for several hours in detention, was prevented from taking off her heavy flak jacket or closing her eyes when she felt tired.
“We will silence you … if we silence Al Jazeera, everyone will be silent,” an Israeli police officer told Budeiri while she was detained.
Like many others, he said it only “covered reality on the ground” and that journalists “tell the whole world what’s going on here.”
“The microphone and the camera will stay … nothing will stop us,” he added.
Israel “loses media war”
Sabrina Bennoui, a spokeswoman for Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said the arrest was a “clear violation of press freedom.”
“There is a clear will on the part of the Israeli authorities to prevent journalists from doing their job and reporting on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the occupied city of Ramallah in the West Bank, a rally in solidarity with Palestinian journalists targeted by Israeli authorities was held on Sunday afternoon.
“The feeling of some of the speakers here is that Israel is deliberately targeting these journalists because they are showing the world the reality of what is happening under the occupation,” said Nida Ibrahim, of Al Jazeera, Ramallah informant.
“They feel that Israel has been losing the media war, because they consider that it has been exposed (its measures, its violations) and so they are trying to target journalists to silence them.”
On May 15, an Israeli aid strike destroyed a tower in the Gaza Strip that housed Al Jazeera press offices, the Associated Press and other outlets during an 11-day bombardment of the coastal enclave
At least 14 Palestinian journalists have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces in recent weeks, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Several Palestinian journalists with media cards have been banned from entering Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli police, who claim they need a GPO card.
Sunday, Israeli police activists Muna al-Kurd and Mohammed al-Kurd were activated, twins who have been at the forefront of the campaign to stop the forced expulsions of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah.
Mohammed al-Kurd, along with his sister, are behind a three-month #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign on social media.