Israel arrests suspects in assault on Palestinian journalist as attackers of Palestinian woman remain free

Israel arrests suspects in assault on Palestinian journalist as attackers of Palestinian woman remain free
Israeli police have arrested the extremist attackers of journalist Iyad Harb, but the attackers of a Palestinian woman who was kicked and pepper-sprayed in a widely shared video remain free.
2 min read
31 May, 2022
Extremist Israelis assaulted Palestinians during the widely condemned 'Flag March' on Sunday [Getty]

Israeli authorities have arrested two men who assaulted journalist Iyad Harb during the Israeli extremist 'Flag March' in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday.

The men attacked Harb, a police correspondent for the Arabic service of Israel's Kan public broadcaster, as he was covering the ultranationalist march.

The two extremists men punched him, beat him with a stick, sprayed him with mace, and stole his phone, according to the Israeli daily i24news.

However, police officers did not assist him as he was attacked, despite Harb appealing for help.

The provocative 'Flag March' takes place on an annual basis to celebrate Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem in 1967, which has been illegally occupied since then.

During the march, Israeli extremists wave Israeli flags, hurl anti-Arab and Islamophobic slogans such as "death to Arabs" and "may your villages burn", while insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The perpetrators were arrested on Monday, one day following the attack. Police said that the suspects, who are in their 20s and residents of central Israel, were due to appear before a court for a remand hearing on Monday.

Meanwhile, no reports have indicated that the extremist Israeli men who appeared in a video kicking a Palestinian woman and spraying her with pepper spray, have been arrested.

The woman, who was identified as Aida Saidawi by Al Jazeera Mubasher and is in her 50s, was also attacked during the widely condemned Flag March parade.

The attack escalated when a Palestinian man came to her defence, before the extremists fled the scene.

The violence did not end there. Another extremist marcher used pepper spray against a young Palestinian before wielding a gun and aiming it at journalists, reported Al Jazeera.

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Israeli forces arrested more than 40 Palestinians, the Israeli daily 972 Magazine reported, though little or no action was taken for Israelis who carried out numerous attacks as police watched.

Thousands of Israeli nationalists, among them the far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, passed through the chiefly Palestinian neighbourhoods of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday before making their way to the Al-Aqsa compound, which Israeli extremists claim as their own.

Israeli occupying forces also injured at least 40 Palestinians with rubber bullets, truncheons and pepper spray, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.