Reuters cameramen say Israeli troops assaulted them

(JTA) — Two Reuters cameramen accused Israeli soldiers of forcing them to strip, exposing them to tear gas and hitting them.

The news agency reported Dec. 13 that Yousri Al Jamal and Maamoun Wazwaz were assaulted in Hebron, where the soldiers allegedly forced them to strip in the street before setting off a tear gas canister in front of them.

The army said Thursday that it took the allegations seriously, Reuters reported.

“The regional brigade commander was ordered to open an investigation," it quoted Israel Defense Forces’ spokeswoman Avital Leibovich as saying.

According to Reuters, the incident involved a foot patrol that stopped the cameramen as they were driving to a nearby checkpoint where an Israeli soldier had shot and killed a Palestinian youth. The cameramen’s car was marked "TV" and both were wearing blue flak jackets with "press" emblazoned on the front, the report said.

The soldiers forced them to leave the vehicle and punched them, striking them with the butts of their guns, according to the Reuters account. 

Two other Palestinian journalists working for local news organizations, including a satellite television station affiliated with Hamas, also were detained, Reuters reported.

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