Israeli authorities were criticised by an international press freedom watchdog yesterday, after occupation forces arrested one Palestinian journalist and injured another.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Israeli forces arrested Mohammad Malhem, a reporter for Hebron-based radio station Marah FM, “while he was covering protests” in the city.
“Marah FM posted photos on Facebook of Malhem’s arrest, in which the journalist can be seen in the back of an Israeli military vehicle,” CPJ reported, adding that at the time of its press release, the organisation “could not determine the reason for his arrest or where Malhem is being held.”
In addition, journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh “suffered a skull fracture” after being hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by Israeli occupation forces.
“In a video shared widely on social media, Shalaldeh is seen immediately after being shot and is wearing a clearly marked press vest,” CPJ stated.
A female soldier shot him directly in the head with a rubber bullet and, even though he was wearing his helmet, he suffered a skull fracture
Loay Shalaldeh, the journalist’s brother, told CPJ.
“The arrest of Mohammad Malhem and the injuries suffered by Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh are part of a pattern of Israeli security forces showing little regard for the safety of Palestinian journalists,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado.
“Israeli authorities should investigate the injuries sustained by Shalaldeh, and should either file charges against Malhem or release him immediately.”
CPJ noted that the Israeli military had not replied to requests for comment on either case.
The organisation added that it has “documented multiple instances of Israeli security forces arresting and injuring journalists with live and rubber bullets in recent months.”