Yesterday, journalist Itamar Cohen was attacked by police at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem's Old City.
He was beaten with truncheons and taken to hospital care. He suffered a broken hand, internal bleeding, and bruising to his legs.
He told Arutz Sheva - Israel National News that he reached the scene of the attack before security forces or medical personnel. “A group of Border Police removed me from the area despite me telling them that I was a journalist and that I was where the senior officer had directed me to stand.”
"They drew truncheons and beat me until I bled, at least eight times. The officers are the same ones who attacked friends of mine, also journalists, and they know me from seeing me around."
"After 2 minutes, when I had recovered from the pain, I approached and requested medical care. The cruel officer once again attacked me and broke my hand. He then called to other officers not to talk to me, and instead to beat me viciously."
The Israeli Journalist’s Union condemned the incident. “We are stunned, angry, and condemn as strongly as possible the violence by Border Police against journalist Itamar Cohen, who attempted to cover the attack near Damascus Gate yesterday, and was beaten by police with trunchems until his hand were broken.”
“We demand that the Israel Police immediately suspend the officers involved, issue an apology to the journalist, and take steps against officers that had any part in the incident.”
The Israeli Journalist's Council stated: “We are horrified by the police brutality a against journalist Itamar Cohen as he was carrying out his assignment to report on the attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem yesterday. Cohen was beaten fiercely with truncheons until he suffered a broken hand and internal bleeding.”
“The Council and its president, former Supreme Court justice Hanan Melcer, demand that police and the Department for Investigating Police Officers immediately investigate to the officers involved and take the necessary steps against them, including suspension until the incident has been verified. The Israel Police and its commanders must act immediately to raise awareness among field officers regarding these instructions and treat breaches of conduct as seriously as possible.”
The Israel police stated: “Yesterday evening, a terrorist near the police inspection station at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem drew a knife and attempted to stab officers, who shot and neutralized the terrorist.”
"As part of the response to the incident, Border Police officers attempted to isolate the scene and ordered the bystanders to clear the area to allow security and rescue forces to operate as expected of them in incidents such as this.”
“While clearing the scene, the individual mentioned did not obey police instructions despite being repeatedly told to clear the area and move to the area designated for him. One of the officers took action, apparently while using force in a manner inconsistent with the values of the police, and the commander of the Border Police has ordered him suspended until the incident has been clarified.”