US journalist detained in Israel
Published Friday, July 13, 2012
An American journalist working for the New York Times was detained by Israeli forces while covering a protest in Palestine, but was later released.
Ben Ehrenreich, a widely published freelance American journalist based in Los Angeles, was attending a protest in the West Bank in the town of Nabi Saleh to write a feature for the newspaper's magazine.
Activists said he was detained after Israeli security forces cracked down on a planned march to the center of the town.
The New York Times confirmed the event, but said he had subsequently been released.
"Benjamin Ehrenreich, a freelancer on assignment for The New York Times Magazine, was not arrested. He was briefly detained by authorities in Israel and is now free," a statement from the newspaper said.
Demonstrations in Nabi Saleh are held weekly to protest the confiscation of the village's land and water by a neighboring illegal Israeli settlement.
Israeli forces have cracked down on the protests, deliberately firing tear gas canisters at the heads of protesters from close range.
Activist Abir Kopty said a special police unit had arrived at the protests and had targeted international activists and Israelis opposed to settlements.
"The army came today with the intention to arrest as many people as they could, especially foreigners and Israelis," she said.
"Up until now there are 11 arrested, including the journalist. All of them are Israelis and internationals, they arrested one Palestinian but they have since released him," she added.
Last week the Israel Defense Forces issued a new order allowing inspectors from the Interior Ministry's enforcement unit to remove any foreigners in the West Bank without a permit.