(MENAFN) In a disturbing incident, Israeli police have been accused of assaulting journalists from Turkey's TRT news outlet, with footage from the incident depicting an officer allegedly smashing a journalist's camera with the barrel of his rifle. The TRT camera crew was reporting from East Jerusalem's Old City, where tensions flared as Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinians near the revered Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday.
According to TRT, Israeli police physically interfered with their news team, breaking their camera with the barrel of a gun while they were covering events in the volatile region. The team was reportedly documenting Israeli forces blocking and using force against Palestinians en route to Al Aqsa Mosque at the time of the assault.
In a brief video posted online, a group of Israeli officers can be seen standing in the street before the camera lens is abruptly shattered by an individual off-screen. As of now, Israeli officials have not responded to the allegations. However, the country's military has previously asserted that it "has never, and will never, deliberately target journalists."
Fahrettin Altun, a spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, strongly condemned Israel for what he described as an "ugly attack." Altun accused Israeli forces of persistently "massacring" civilians and journalists, asserting that they obstruct members of the press from performing their duties. In a social media post, Altun stated, "Israel, with all its armed elements, from its soldiers to its police, continues to violate international law and ignore any rules or principles. I condemn the attack by the Israeli police on the TRT News team in Jerusalem, and I wish the TRT family to get well soon."
The incident adds to existing concerns about the safety of journalists covering conflicts in the region and raises questions about the freedom of the press in areas marked by political tensions and clashes. As the international community awaits a response from Israeli authorities, the incident underscores the challenges faced by journalists reporting from conflict zones and the importance of safeguarding their ability to document and relay information without fear of violence or intimidation.
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