AP photographer suffers broken rib while covering West Bank protest

Saturday, September 25, 2010

AP photographer wounded during West Bank protest

BEIT OMAR, West Bank — An Associated Press photographer suffered a broken rib on Saturday while being detained by Israeli security forces during a protest in the West Bank.

The photographer, Nasser Shiyoukhi, was injured in Beit Omar, a Palestinian village where residents, joined by foreign activists, hold a weekly protest against a nearby Jewish settlement.

During Saturday’s protest, Israeli security forces physically scuffled with activists who pushed them and yelled at them. The forces frequently fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Shiyoukhi said he was grabbed by Israeli paramilitary border police as he tried to walk away from the confrontation. Footage from the scene showed him being pushed against a wall and having his helmet pulled off his head. Shiyoukhi is seen arguing and struggling with two security men as they lead him away.

Shiyoukhi, a Palestinian from Hebron who covers the weekly protests, said an Israeli soldier had threatened him on Friday, warning him he would be hurt if he came to Beit Omar. He said he was kicked and verbally abused while in custody before he was released without charge.

In a statement, the Israeli military said Shiyoukhi had “physically confronted security forces, abusing the freedom of action photographers are given in the area.”

“He refused to adhere to calls to step back and allow the security forces to operate freely, and was consequently detained temporarily and released shortly afterwards,” it added, saying Israeli police would investigate.

A spokesman for the border police had no immediate comment.

will not be displayed