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Palestinian photographer held incommunicado by Israelis

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohamed Al-Azza, a Palestinian photographer held incommunicado and without charge in an unknown place of detention by the Israeli authorities for the past three days.

Azza, who works for Palestinian News Network and Ma'an News, was arrested by members of the Israel Defence Forces at his home in Aida refugee camp, 2 km north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on 30 June.

Family members and his lawyer said he was hit several times and sustained injuries at the time of his arrest.

Azza was hospitalized after being hit in the face by a rubber-coated bullet fired by an Israeli soldier while covering an IDF incursion into his refugee camp on 8 April. According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, the IDF had been looking for him ever since his release from hospital.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Israeli forces arrest Palestinian freelance journalist

    The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement to CPJ that al-Azza was "proactively arrested ... for questioning due to involvement in violent terror activities." The IDF said the journalist had physically resisted arrest and IDF forces had to restrain family members after they caused a "large disturbance." An inquiry performed by the force's commanders concluded "the arrest was carried out properly," the statement said. "As they have in other cases, Israeli authorities make the very serious charge of terrorism but offer no details or evidence to support their assertion," said CPJ's Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Sherif Mansour. "Mohammed al-Azza's documentation of protests and clashes does not constitute violent terror activities. He should be released immediately and the charges should be dropped."

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