Border Police forcefully detained a veteran correspondent for the Al Jazeera satellite channel while she was reporting from an embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood where several Palestinian families are slated for eviction by Jewish settlers.
Givara Budeiri was released 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.
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.
On Saturday, she was covering a Palestinian sit-in at the site. Omary said Border Police asked for her ID and that she offered to call her driver to get it from her car.
In video footage posted online, Budeiri can be seen handcuffed and surrounded by border police. Clutching her notebook, she is heard shouting, "Don't touch, enough, enough."
Omary said Budeiri is accredited by the Government Press Office.
Police said Budeiri was detained after she was asked for identification, refused and pushed a police officer.
Oren Ziv, a cameraman on the scene, said the protest was over at the time of the incident, which happened at 7pm and took only a few seconds. The officers did not wait for Budeiri to get her identification. They took her to a waiting Border Police vehicle with darkened windows, where she was put in the back seat with female officers.
Al Jazeera's acting director-general, Mostefa Souag, condemned the police actions. “The systematic targeting of our journalists is in total violation of all international conventions,” he said.
“They are attacking the journalists in East Jerusalem because they don’t want them to continue covering what’s happening inside Sheikh Jarrah," Omary said.
The tension in Sheikh Jarrah has fueled weeks of unrest between Palestinian residents and Israeli security forces.
The most imminent Jerusalem evictions are on hold, following the intervention by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, but the settlers' campaign continues.
Rights groups fear the evictions could still be carried out in the coming months as international attention wanes, potentially igniting another round of bloodshed. The Israeli watchdog Ir Amim, which closely follows the various court cases, estimates that at least 150 households in two neighborhoods are threatened with eviction.