VIDEO: Soldiers pepper spray Palestinian medics
A Palestinian youth was run over and arrested and several journalists and medics were attacked by Israeli soldiers during clashes at al-Bireh, near Beit El settlement north of Ramallah in the West Bank, on Friday.
An Israeli military jeep was captured on video moving at speed at a group of Palestinian protesters, hitting one youth.
When medics attempt to reach the youth, Israeli soldiers pushed them back and sprayed their faces with pepper, then assaulted several journalists in the area as they attempted to film the clashes.
“An Israeli officer attacked our staff directly without any warning,” Diya Housheya, a reporter with Alghad Alarabi TV, said. “He didn't ask us to stay away. At the beginning he beat us directly and then he sprayed pepper gas in our faces.
“Our job as journalists is to convey the news and cover what is happening here in the West Bank, we have become the news. No one here survives the Israeli attacks.”
Bassam Huraish, a medic who was the first to reach the injured youth, said: “When I arrived an Israeli soldier hit me on the neck, but despite the hurt I continued my way to aid the boy but the Israeli border police officer sprayed me with pepper and I couldn't see anything.”
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, Erab Fuqaha, told MEE that since the beginning of October when the latest round of attacks by Israeli forces against Palestinians began it had documented 228 attacks against its teams and ambulances, in which 116 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were wounded and around 56 ambulances were damaged.
There were also 56 cases in which Red Crescent ambulances were hindered and prevented from reaching wounded Palestinians, the spokesperson said.
The Foreign Press Association released a statement condemning Friday’s attack, saying: “This sort of behaviour by the border police is both abusive and a gross violation of press freedom, and yet it has become all too common, raising serious concerns about their ability to control their actions.
“Despite repeated attempts by the Foreign Press Association to meet with commanders to discuss the situation, there has been no response from the Border Police or the Defense Ministry. This ignoring of the problem cannot continue. Video footage of past incidents has shown Israel's security forces to be the protagonist in several cases, suggesting a systemic problem.”
Israeli forces fired tear gas, metal and live bullets during the clashes, and dozens of Palestinians were injured on the same day.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that 73 Palestinians were killed in October, 2,270 were wounded and more than 1,500 were arrested