Israeli television stations are providing security for some of their highest-profile reporters after physical attacks and death threats from far-right Jewish extremists.
According to reports in the Israeli media, the N12 channel has provided security details for four of its on-air reporters: Dana Weiss, Guy Peleg, Yonit Levi and Rina Mazliah, after a rise in online threats against them amid recent intercommunal violence.
Police have arrested one suspect in connection with threats against Weiss.
Reporters from Channel 12, Kan news and Channel 13 have been physically attacked in recent days after rightwing extremists took to the streets to target Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin in various locations.
Among them was Ayala Hasson, a journalist and presenter who was part of a TV crew assaulted in Lod with rocks last week by a group from the far-right Jewish La Familia. “La Familia wanted to smash his camera and they threw a rock the size of a boulder at me, the soundman protected me,” she said.
Journalists with Israel’s public broadcaster Kan News were also attacked by Jewish extremists in Tel Aviv last week. In the incident, cameraman Rolik Nowitzki, who had been covering a protest, was kicked and beaten with a motorcycle helmet.
The incidents of violence targeting Jews and Israeli-Arabs in the midst of the conflict between Israel and Hamas have occurred as some on Israel’s right take aim at media reporting.
Among them, according to the Jerusalem Post, has been the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair, who tweeted an invitation to demonstrate in front of N12’s office calling on supporters to “say no to the media’s anti-Zionist brainwashing”.
Concern over journalist safety has increased sharply since Israel bombed a Gaza tower block used by Associated Press and Al Jazeera over the weekend.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international media safety group, has called on Israel to ensure the safety of media workers.
“Israeli forces should do their utmost to protect Palestinian and Israeli journalists covering unrest and conflict, and should ensure that members of the press can work safely and freely,” the organisation said in a statement.
“On May 12, Israeli forces in the West Bank city Tulkarem arrested Hazem Naser, a Palestinian camera operator for the Amman-based broadcaster Al-Ghad, according to a report by his employer; he remains in detention today, and authorities have not disclosed the reason for his arrest.
“Separately, two members of a rightwing Israeli demonstration in Tel Aviv assaulted a TV crew working for the Israeli public broadcaster Kan News.”