A crew from RT’s Arabic-language channel Rusiya al-Yaum has come under fire from tear gas and rubber bullets on the Israeli-Palestinian border. The crew was attacked while covering the second phase of a prisoner swap for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, which saw 550 Palestinian prisoners released.
The attack was caught on camera, as RT’s Zaid Abu Shamaa had been preparing for a live cross with the studio in Moscow. He stepped away from the shot as three tear gas grenades hit the ground on the spot he was standing.
Journalists have been working on the Betunya checkpoint, where roughly a hundred relatives awaited for former prisoners to arrive, reports Shamaa. The crowd became impatient and started hurling grenades at the Israeli soldiers. Israelis retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas, using them on both Palestinians and journalists.
“Roughly a hundred people are present here – relatives of prisoners. Israeli troops have dispersed the crowd, actively using tear gas grenades and rubber bullets,” Zaid Abu Shamaa reported from the checkpoint. “The RT crew is safe; another journalist has been injured while covering the event. The cloud of tear gas is still visible in the area.”