Israeli news team assaulted in Turkey as diplomatic rift widens
Two Israeli journalists have been assaulted as they reported from Istanbul’s Taksim Square as Turkish-Israeli relations continue to deteriorate after Israeli soldiers killed 58 Palestinians on Monday.
Israeli troops opened fire on the Palestinians as they attempted to cross the security fence around the Gaza Strip on the day of the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, also wounding around 3,000.
Turkish leaders responded to the massacre with sharp criticism of the United States and Israel on Monday, as thousands of Turkish citizens joined a pro-Palestinian march on İstiklal Avenue, which runs off Taksim Square in the centre of Istanbul’s European side.
A group attacked Ohad Hemo, a correspondent for Israeli channel Hadashot TV and his cameraman Oded Bino after recognising the Israeli writing on his microphone, the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
“A group of Turks recognized the ‘Hadashot’ logo and the language [Hebrew] in which we were speaking. They stood and yelled ‘murderers, murderers’ and then a few started pushing us,” the Times of Israel quoted Hemo as saying. “One of them started really hitting my cameraman.”
Bino was in a lot of pain, but neither required medical treatment, he added.
The massacre in Gaza sparked a war of words between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, each of whom accused the other’s country of human rights violations.
Hemo said the attack reflected the mood in Turkey created by rhetoric from Erdoğan’s, whom he accused of orchestrating public demonstrations and protests.
The Israeli journalist has filed a complaint with Turkish police, and praised their determination in tracking down the attackers.