Faiz Abu Rmeleh, a Palestinian photojournalist was attacked by a right-wing Israeli during a protest against the release of Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash on Wednesday January 5 outside Tel Aviv. According to a social media post of Activestills, the attacker has not yet been arrested by the Israeli security forces.
Rmeleh is a member of Activestills, a collective of photo journalists in Palestine, and works with Turkish Anadolu Agency. A video of the attack, shared by Activestills, shows the attacker carrying an Israeli flag and pushing Rmeleh under a car after beating him badly. Later Rmeleh was taken to the hospital for treatment by fellow journalists at the scene.
YESTERDAY: Faiz Abu Rmeleh, who works for Turkish News agency Anadolu & is part of Activestills collective, was attacked by a right-wing protester demonstrating against the release of Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash. Police didn't arrest the attacker.
Video by El-Rad News pic.twitter.com/cczmyoZ50E
— Activestills (@activestills) January 6, 2022
Rmeleh was covering a protest organized by right-wing Israelis near the Assaf Harofeh Hospital to the south of Tel Aviv where Palestinian activist Hisham Abu Hawwash is receiving treatment after a severe decline in his health. Hawwash’s health took a turn for the worse amid an extensive hunger strike which lasted 141 days. The news of his deteriorating health condition and his determined resistance against his administrative detention sparked a strong campaign within Palestine and globally to demand his immediate release. Palestinians took to the streets to demand his release in cities across occupied Palestine and within Israel on January 3. Following the public outcry, Israeli prison authorities announced that Hawwash’s administration detention order will not be renewed once it expires on February 26.
Hawwash has been under illegal Israeli detention since October 2020. Shin Bet, Israel’s notorious internal security service has accused Hawwash of being a member of Islamic Jihad. However, in more than 14 months of his arrest, no formal charges have been filed.
Israel has refused to terminate its administration detention policy despite global criticism. Human rights groups have argued that the policy violates international human rights and is illegal by international standards. According to the policy, Israel can keep any Palestinian under arrest for indefinite periods without any charge or trial. There are around 550 such Palestinians detainees in different Israeli prisons.
The assault on Palestinian journalists by right-wing groups in Israel and its security forces has seen an uptick in recent times. According to the Palestinian Journalist Support Committee, 19 Palestinian journalists were being held under Israel’s illegal administrative detention as of October last year.