Daily Israel Report

Two Journalists Attacked while Covering Arab Riot

Two journalists for Walla! website surrounded and hit by angry mob while covering a violent riot near Ramallah.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 5/16/2014, 8:28 PM

Protesters burn an Israeli flag during clashes with troops near Ofer Prison
Protesters burn an Israeli flag during clashes with troops near Ofer Prison
Reuters

Two Israeli journalists were attacked on Friday afternoon while covering a riot by Palestinian Arabs near the Ofer prison, west of Ramallah.

The two journalists, who work for the Hebrew-language news website Walla!, were surrounded and beaten by an angry mob. They were rescued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and were transferred to the IDF.

"Two Israeli journalists barely escaped lynch during a violent riot in Beitunia (southwest of Ramallah). Palestinian security transferred the reporters to the civil (Israeli) administration," the IDF said in an English-language statement quoted by AFP.

The incident capped a violent day of clashes between rioting Arabs and Israeli security forces in Judea and Samaria.

The Arabs were protesting Thursday’s incident during a “Nakba Day” protest, when two rioters were shot by IDF troops and later died of their wounds.

An initial investigation suggests that contrary to the PA's claims, the two terrorists were shot only after breaking security barriers near the Ofer prison compound, where some 150 violent extremists had gathered to pressure Israel into releasing terrorists. The rioters were shot with rubber bullets; the IDF has pledged to undertake an internal investigation.

Following Thursday’s incident, the PA threatened to end its security cooperation with Israel over the shooting incident.

"The Palestinian leadership cannot remain idle in the face of Israel's violations, the latest of which was the killing of the two young Palestinians today (Thursday)," said PA security official, Adnan al-Damiri.

"And all this prompts the leadership to seriously consider a halt to security coordination with the Israeli side," al-Damiri added.

The two Arabs were brought to rest on Friday, and several thousand mourners attended the funerals, according to AFP.

"We will sacrifice ourselves for you, o martyrs," mourners chanted as the bodies, draped in PLO flags, were taken through the streets of the town of Birzeit.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)