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PA Cops 'Savagely' Beat Journalist Syndicate Head

Disunity as PA security forces clamp down on protesting journalists in Ramallah; Arab man in Jenin throws bomb at police HQ.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/12/2014, 5:27 PM

PA security forces beat protester (file)
PA security forces beat protester (file)
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces reportedly beat Arab journalists protesting in the central square of Ramallah in Samaria on Wednesday.

In the process, PA forces injured three journalists, including the Chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Abed Nasser al-Najjar, according to the Judea and Samaria-based Arab news agency Wafa

The protests reportedly came in response to several recent attacks on journalists in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Indeed, three Arab journalists allegedly were assaulted on Monday by PA security forces as they cracked down on a Hamas rally in Ramallah, beating Hamas members and a leader of the group, and showing the fragile nature of the "unity" government.

Following the clashes on Wednesday, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate called for an investigative committee to check the conduct of the security forces. The Palestinian Center for Freedom of the Press likewise called for a committee to be formed, and for the security officers responsible for the alleged assault to be tried in court.

Video from the protest was televised by the Arab Wattan News Agency, and can be seen in Arabic here:

The anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada translated the comments of photographer Hadi Dabis from the video.

“We were a group of photographers covering a rally in Manara Square. We were just taking pictures normally and all of a sudden all the police and security pounced on us," said Dabis, claiming the forces started beating the journalists and confiscating their cameras and equipment.

"I've never seen anything as savage," he added.

report from January exposed rampant human rights abuses by both the PA in Judea and Samaria and Hamas in Gaza, with many cases of torture, assaults on freedoms and general lawlessness.

Some of those abuses by the PA have specifically targeted Hamas; aside from the clampdown on the Hamas rally on Monday, last Thursday roughly 100 Hamas members were arrested by PA security forces in Hevron. The incidents cast doubt on the "unity" government established last Monday.

Anarchy in the PA

Elsewhere in Samaria on Wednesday, an Arab man reportedly threw an improvised explosive at the PA security forces headquarters in Jenin, located in the region's north.

The man was wounded during the incident, reports the Arab Ma'an News Agency, adding that it remains unclear whether the injuries came from the explosion or gunfire by the security forces.

He was evacuated to Al-Razi Hospital in Jenin, and reportedly suffered moderate to serious injuries.

PA security forces have launched an investigation into the incident. It should be noted that Jenin is a hotbed of terrorism, with this attack potentially showing how some of the homegrown violence is turning on the PA as opposed to Israel.