Undercover cops deny they impersonated journalists

Border Police releases new footage showing arrest of suspect in Bir Zeit to deny that troops gained entry by impersonating journalists.

Tzvi Lev,

Footage of commandos at Bir Zeit
Footage of commandos at Bir Zeit
Police Spokesperson's Unit

The Border Police released footage taken by its undercover commando unit of its arrest of a student leader at Bir Zeit University on Wednesday in order to refute reports that troops had impersonated journalists.

In the video, the officers can be seen mingling amongst the students until they reached the suspect.

"Before being arrested by the fighters in the university compound, the troops were hidden among the Palestinians in the area, which did not include being disguised as a journalist," said a Border Police spokesperson.

"The officers operated in the university compound until the arrest of the wanted person who was taken for interrogation by the security forces. "

On Wednesday, undercover officers were caught on video arresting a student leader at Bir Zeit University in broad daylight. Initial reports had said that the commandos had pretended to be reporters, which led Israel's Union of Journalists to condemn the operation.

"The Union of Journalists is troubled by undercover forces impersonating a news crew at Bir Zeit University. Such behavior is likely to endanger real journalists doing their jobs and strikes a blow at freedom of the press," said the union in a statement.

"Journalistic work is important and journalists must not be endangered, even in order to conduct security operations. The Union of Journalists will demand clarifications from the commander of the Border Police in order to ensure such impersonations are not repeated."