JERUSALEM: Dozens of Palestinian journalists have suffered excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli military forces attacked a peaceful sit-in staged in the northern sector of the occupied West Bank in solidarity with injured journalist Muaadh Amarneh.
Local sources, requesting not to be named, told Palestine’s official Wafa news agency that Israeli soldiers fired on Sunday a barrage of tear gas canisters and stun grenades at journalists, who had gathered at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, located 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds.
The journalists had held the rally to express their strong support for Amarneh, who lost one of his eyes after an Israeli soldier opened fire at him as he was covering clashes between local youths and Israeli forces in the city of Surif, located 25 kilometers northwest of al-Khalil (Hebron), last Friday.
The sources added that Israeli also arrested two journalists, identified as Hamad Taqateqa and Ahmed Tannouh, who had participated in the Sunday rally.
According to a report released by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), Israeli forces committed 600 rights violations against Palestinian journalists between October 2018 and October 2019 in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip.
The report added that Israeli forces shot 60 journalists, who suffered serious wounds. Some 43 journalists were also hit by sound grenades directly thrown at them by Israeli forces.
“More than 170 journalists were beaten, detained or banned from coverage,” the report also revealed.
The report further noted that 10 journalists were detained during this period, raising the number of journalists inside Israeli jails to 18.
Israeli forces fatally shoot Palestinian youth near al-Quds
Separately, Israeli forces shot dead a young Palestinian man in the early hours of Sunday during an alleged car chase southwest of Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israeli media outlets, citing Israeli police, justified the use of deadly force against the young man by claiming that the Palestinian was on the run after stealing a car.
The 25-year-old man suffered critical injuries while attempting to escape towards Bethlehem, according to Israeli police allegations.