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Israel Police Detain Palestinian Photographer Who Was Attacked by Jewish Youths During Jerusalem Flag March

12:00 Jun 5 2024 Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם‎ القُدس‎ )

Israel Police Detain Palestinian Photographer Who Was Attacked by Jewish Youths During Jerusalem Flag March Israel Police Detain Palestinian Photographer Who Was Attacked by Jewish Youths During Jerusalem Flag March
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Photos: Published by Haaretz
Israeli right-wing activists scuffle with a Palestinian freelance journalist Saif Kwasmi during a march commemorating Jerusalem Day, on Wednesday. Credit: Hazem Bader/AFP

Israeli right-wing activists attacking Palestinian freelance journalist Saif Kwasmi during a march commemorating Jerusalem Day, on Wednesday. Credit: Hazem Bader/AFP
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Saif Kwasmi was slightly wounded in the head after about 10 Jewish boys attacked him. He continued to work and was later detained by police and his equipment was confiscated after a known right-wing activist contacted them and claimed that Kwasmi was a Hamas operative

by Nir Hasson for Haaretz
Jun 6, 2024 10:10 pm IDT

The Palestinian photographer Saif Kwasmi, who was attacked on Wednesday by Jewish youths participating in the flag march in Jerusalem, was detained by police for a few hours later.

As far as is known, the police did not arrest any of Kwasmi's attackers, summon any suspects for questioning, or summon other attackers or witnesses to testify.

Kwasmi, a freelance photographer for several Arab media outlets, was attacked Wednesday afternoon during a riot by a group of about a hundred boys in the hours before the official start of the flag march.

While he tried to defend himself from one of the boys, about ten of them surrounded him, beat him, and threw objects at him. Kwasmi was slightly wounded in the head but did not need treatment.

He continued his work and in the evening, towards the end of the parade, he was detained by several police officers for about an hour and a half, and his equipment was confiscated. According to Kwasmi, the police detained him after a known right-wing activist from Jerusalem contacted them and claimed that Kwasmi was a Hamas operative.

During the flag march, journalists and Palestinian residents were attacked, while thousands of youths chanted racist slogans and sang songs of hatred and revenge. When the Jerusalem Day events ended, the police said they had arrested 18 teenagers suspected of violent offenses and threats against journalists and Palestinian residents.

In response, the Israel Police stated that "the suspect is not recognized at all as a journalist with relevant documentation that is valid in Israel, and only recently was he banned from the Temple Mount and its entrances until August 2024. Regardless of this, we view violence against any person, whether he is a journalist or not, very seriously."

The police added that "there is no connection between the incident in which he was attacked and its investigation and his detention following another report received on suspicion of incitement. In this case, he was detained, questioned, and released within a short time, and this complaint against him is also being investigated by the police."
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