The incident followed the controversial flag march through the Old City in Jerusalem on Sunday.
“Last night, during a rock-throwing riot in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, two suspects at the scene were attacked with serious violence, reportedly beatings with a stick, punches and pepper spray, a journalist who was present was and reported on the events” and “allegedly stole the mobile device in his possession,” the statement said.
“As a result of the attack, the journalist was injured and required medical treatment,” the statement said.
“We consider violence of any kind seriously and in particular against journalists performing their duties. We will continue to act resolutely against violence and harassment until the perpetrators are involved in these acts,” the Israeli police said in the statement.
The attacked journalist, Iyad Harab, is working with Israeli news channel Kann News. CNN’s team on the ground saw Harab lying in the street shortly after he was attacked, screaming at the pain in his eyes.
Harab later said in a video statement shared on Twitter that he had been sprayed with “pepper spray or tear gas” by “young Jews”. A Knesset member, Ahmad Tibi, shared Harab’s video statement about the incident.
“I came here after I was done with the events at Damascus Gate, after the march was over… There were clashes here and I came to film the young Jews. After they saw I was filming, they came and said to me ‘don’t film.’ Then they attacked me. Someone came and sprayed me with pepper spray or tear gas, I don’t know exactly,” Harab said.
“I fell to the ground, I couldn’t see anything. And after I fell, they came with sticks, they hit me in the head, the back, the leg. They knocked me down and kept hitting me when I was on the ground. I want to emphasize that the police, I yelled and screamed, and the police were on the scene and did nothing. They didn’t move a finger,” he added.
When asked to comment on Harab’s allegations, an Israeli police spokesman said in part: “After the serious case, the police opened an investigation and as a result, they managed to arrest 2 suspects within a short time and the court granted the police request and extended their detention for several days.”
Video taken by CNN and others from the immediate aftermath shows Israeli officers offering to help Harab and trying to get him water.
Sheikh Jarrah is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem not far from the Old City that is often a flashpoint for clashes between Israelis and Palestinians.
During Sunday’s flag march through the old town, CNN’s team witnessed several violent encounters in which Israeli nationalists attacked Palestinians and journalists — including CNN personnel — with pepper spray, throwing sticks and bottles at reporters gathered to cover the march. .