Israel releases detained Al Jazeera journalist

Israel releases detained Al Jazeera journalist

Givara Budeiri temporarily banned from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, network says

By Mehmet Nuri Ucar

ISTANBUL (AA) - Israel released an Al Jazeera correspondent in occupied Palestinian territory, who, along with her team, was covering a sit-in protest in Jerusalem, the Qatar-based news channel said on Saturday.

“Al Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri is released from Israeli detention hours after she was detained and has been temporarily banned from the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah,” the network said on Twitter.

“Budeiri said she had been released conditionally and has been banned from going to Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days,” it added.

Israeli police intervened during the sit-in to support Palestinians who are under the threat of being forcibly evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem. Authorities assaulted the Al Jazeera team that was covering the demonstration.

Tensions have escalated across Palestinian territories since mid-April because of an Israeli court ruling to evict eight Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah in favor of settlement groups.

Israeli authorities, however, postponed a final decision until December because of mass Palestinian protests, including 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza, as well as international pressure.

The International Press Institute (IPI) issued a statement that strongly condemned Budeiri’s arrest.

“Budeiri was detained after covering protests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Video of the incident shows that Budeiri was wearing a vest clearly marked ‘Press’ and according to Al Jazeera was attempting to show her Israeli-issued press card as she was dragged away by Israeli security forces. Al Jazeera also said that police damaged equipment belonging to one of its cameramen, Nabil Mazzawi,” it said.

“IPI condemns the brutal arrest of Givara Budeiri by the Israeli defence forces in Jerusalem and calls for her immediate release,” according to the statement that citing IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi.

“IPI calls for the immediate release of Givara Budeiri as well as the at least 10 other journalists currently held by Israel. Israel must hold representatives of the IDF who target journalists accountable,” said Trionfi.

Last month, Israeli warplanes destroyed a building in Gaza City with offices of various media groups including Al Jazeera and The Associated Press. Israeli officials alleged that the office tower was also being used by the Hamas resistance group.

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