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Israeli journalist escapes Palestinian attack, vows return

TEL AVIV (JTA) — An Israeli journalist who escaped an attack in Ramallah wrote that he would return to report in the West Bank.

Avi Issacharoff, a Middle East affairs analyst for the Israeli news website Walla and for the Times of Israel, an English-language Israeli news website, was covering a demonstration Thursday commemorating Palestinian displacement following Israeli independence, which Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe. A cameraman, Daniel Book, accompanied him there.

In an account in the Times of Israel, Issacharoff wrote that two people began threatening him, telling him and Book to leave the rally. When he refused, Issacharoff said dozens of people surrounded him, waving their fists. A few kicked and punched him in the legs and back, he wrote.

The reporter said he was extricated when two older men, whom he later learned were Palestinian Authority security forces, removed him from the rally and drove Book and him to a police station.

Issacharoff described the incident as “an attempt to lynch me.”

“Yes, I felt that my life was in danger,” Issacharoff wrote. “Yes, I felt absolutely helpless during those seconds when, from nowhere, a mob descended upon me, bent on doing me harm. That’s a feeling that leaves me particularly angry.”

Issacharoff wrote that threats against Israeli journalists in the West Bank have intensified recently in retaliation for Israel’s banning Palestinian journalists from its territory. Despite the experience, he wrote that he will return to covering Palestinian affairs in the West Bank.

 

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