BBC reporters covering the incident in Israel faced a distressing encounter when they were accosted and threatened with firearms by the Israeli police in the city of Tel Aviv. Muhannad Tutunji, Haitham Abudiab, and their team from BBC Arabic were en route to a hotel when their vehicle was forcibly stopped.
In a marked car with conspicuous “TV” labelling, they were forcibly removed from their vehicle, subjected to searches, and pushed against a wall. A spokesperson from the BBC emphasised the importance of enabling journalists to report on the Israel-Gaza conflict without any hindrance.
Both Mr. Tutunji and Mr. Abudiab promptly identified themselves as BBC journalists and presented their press identification cards to the police. During their attempt to document the incident, Mr. Tutunji experienced his phone being tossed to the ground, and he was physically struck on the neck.
A spokesperson from the BBC conveyed the following statement: “A team from BBC News Arabic, travelling in a clearly marked media vehicle in Tel Aviv, was stopped and physically assaulted by Israeli police last night. It is essential that journalists have the freedom to report on the Israel-Gaza conflict.”
The BBC has sought a response from Israeli law enforcement regarding this incident. On another note, Israel has issued an evacuation order to approximately 1.1 million people in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, instructing them to relocate to the southern region within a 24-hour window.
The United Nations has called upon Israel to rescind this order, warning of severe humanitarian consequences. Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, has urged civilians to disregard the evacuation notice, labelling it as “misinformation.”