The International Press Institute (IPI) strongly condemned today‘s arrest of Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Givara Budeiri by Israeli police in East Jerusalem.

Budeiri was detained after covering protests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Video of the incident shows that Budeiri was wearing a vest clearly marked “Press” and according to Al Jazeera was attempting to show her Israeli-issued press card as she was dragged away by Israeli security forces. Al Jazeera also said that police damaged equipment belonging to one of its cameramen, Nabil Mazzawi.

IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi expressed outrage over the incident and demanded Budeiri’s imemdiate release.

“IPI condemns the brutal arrest of Givara Budeiri by the Israeli defence forces in Jerusalem and calls for her immediate release. The extended detention of journalists and the many attacks against the media that we have witnessed in the past weeks appear to be part of an ongoing effort by Israel to suppress independent coverage, which is greatly concerning and in breach of international treaties.

“IPI calls for the immediate release of Givara Budeiri as well as the at least 10 other journalists currently held by Israel. Israel must hold representatives of the IDF who target journalists accountable.”

Budeiri’s arrest is the latest flagrant violation of press freedom and journalist safety  by Israeli forces. In May, Israel bombed a building in Gaza housing the local offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, claiming the building was also being used by Hamas. IPI called the bombing “a gross violation of human rights and internationally agreed norms”.