Jerusalem: Journalists Injured in Arab Riots
Israeli police used force on Saturday to break up a riot by Arab extremists in Jerusalem, injuring several people including two journalists, news photographers said.
Several rioters and four journalists - among them a photographer from Agence France-Presse and another from Reuters - were slightly injured by projectiles fired by police during the incident, near the walled Old City's Damascus Gate.
The AFP photographer, who was hit on the head, was treated in a local hospital and discharged.
The demonstration, by a few dozen activists, was to mark the eve of what Palestinian Arabs refer to as "Land Day". It commemorates the day in 1976 when six Arab Israeli protesters were killed by Israeli security forces during mass riots against construction plans in the northern Galilee region. Arab groups in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as the Galilee, hold yearly protests on the anniversary of the riots, often clashing violently with Israeli police.
"The demonstrators began to throw stones at police on the scene," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP, adding that officers responded with unspecified "riot dispersal means".
She said six people were arrested for public disorder offences but said she had no report of any casualties.
The Foreign Press Association, which represents the international news media in Israel, has repeatedly complained to Israeli authorities over a string of violent incidents involving security forces and journalists.
But foreign journalists in Israel have often been criticized for recklessly embedding themselves among Arab rioters - essentially allowing themselves to be used as human shields and making it difficult for security forces to distinguish between them and the rioters.
Journalists hiding behind Arab rioters (file):