Israeli police assaulted Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Givara Budeiri while arresting her on Saturday and destroyed equipment belonging to Al Jazeera cameraman Nabil Mazzawi.
Budeiri was reporting on a sit-in marking the 54th anniversary of the Naksa (setback), a term Palestinians use to describe the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967.
Budeiri was released from custody several hours after her arrest. Her arrest drew sharp condemnation from press freedom advocates and media watchdogs.
“They came from everywhere, I don’t know why, they kicked me to the wall,” Budeiri told Al Jazeera, moments after her release late on Saturday.
“They kicked me inside the car in a very bad way … they were kicking me from everywhere.”
She said she was “treated as a criminal” when she was taken to the police station and prevented from removing her heavy flak jacket or closing her eyes. She said the police accused her of kicking a female soldier – an accusation she vehemently denied.
Budeiri said she was released on the condition that she does not go to Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days.
Sheikh Jarrah has also been the site of demonstrations for weeks in support of Palestinian families facing forcible expulsion to make way for Jewish settlers.
Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said Budeiri had been arrested for no apparent reason and that she had tried to retrieve and show her Israeli-issued press card following a request by police.
“She was being pushed, that continued as she was trying to get her press card. And then as the cameraman was trying to reach her his camera was smashed,” Abdel-Hamid said.
“We spoke to several witnesses and they all said there was no reason for that kind of tension and that it was not clear why they decided to specifically go [after] Givara while there were other journalists doing exactly what she was doing,” she said.