Israeli soldiers attack AFP journalists in West Bank

Published September 26th, 2015 - 11:36 GMT

The IDF said it was investigating an incident that occurred in the West Bank on Friday in which IDF soldiers allegedly assaulted two AFP journalists. 

According to AFP’s bureau chief, Thomas Cox, the two men – Andrea Bernardi, an Italian videographer working for AFP, and Abbas Momani – had arrived in the village of Beit Furik near Nablus on Friday to cover a demonstration that followed the funeral of a Palestinian who had died after being shot by Israeli security forces a week ago, The Guardian reported. 

In the video the two men can be seen walking down the road towards the demonstration when their equipment is taken by the IDF soldiers and smashed to the ground. Bernardi can be seen being thrown to the ground. 

“It was crazy. When we arrived at the border police checkpoint we showed our documents. There was no problem. They were being nice," Berrnardi was quoted by the Guardian as saying.  

“We put on our [protective] vests and started walking towards the clashes. We passed the first line of soldiers loading teargas. I heard screaming and a soldier started pushing and shouting ‘what the fuck are you doing’ in English. I then released he was loading this gun and I thought ‘what the ...’ and we started walking back.

“If we had done anything wrong they would have arrested us but you can see what happens in the video. After we got back to the car I saw a piece of the camera and wanted to take a picture of it because I was worried they would accuse me of doing something wrong. That’s when a soldier pointed a pistol in my face and pulled me down,” the Italian videographer recounted.  

AFP has protested to the Israeli military over the incident and said it intends to file an official complaint. 

The IDF said on Saturday that a preliminary check of the incident has revealed that the forces did not operate in the manner expected of them and in contravention of their commanding orders and that they will be disciplined.  

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