Middle East

BBC journalists assaulted and held at gunpoint by Israeli police, network says

By Oliver Darcy, CNN

CNN  —  The BBC said Friday that a group of its journalists covering Israel’s war with Hamas were held at gunpoint and assaulted by Israeli police in Tel Aviv.

The disturbing incident, which the BBC said occurred on Thursday night, came as the team of three journalists drove to their hotel in a vehicle “clearly marked as media,” the British news network said.

The BBC said that the team was “dragged from their vehicle,” searched and pushed up against a wall during the stop. One of its journalists said that when he tried to film the incident, an officer threw his phone to the ground.

“Journalists must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN.

An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The incident came as Israel faces questions after firing artillery into southern Lebanon on Friday, killing a Reuters videographer and injuring six other journalists.

In that instance, the journalists were wearing jackets identifying themselves as members of the press. The Israel Defense Forces acknowledged firing artillery into Lebanon on Friday but did not respond to additional questions specifically related to the victims.

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