by Mordechai Sones
Gal Zeitman, Channel 2 News photographer, was attacked yesterday as he covered the funeral of the man shot and killed by police while fleeing the scene of a shooting in Jaffa. Also attacked was Gilad Shalmor, a reporter for Channel 2 News who was injured and evacuated to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
'There was a feeling that if you do not get yourself out of there, no one will help you. A bunch of young people with murder in their eyes.'
"I've been in some unpleasant situations, but yesterday the feeling was that if you did not get yourself out of there, no one would rescue you," said Zaitman. "At some point we felt that if we did not summon the strength and try in any way to break through this circle of youths - we would just not get out of there. Because there was not one single shout from an adult trying to break it up, but on the contrary - there was enthusiasm. We managed to get out of there with a lot of luck.
"We arrived after having coordinated through inside contacts who said that we were welcome there and could come. At some point, the atmosphere changed," he said. "From a friendly atmosphere of wanting to document the funeral, it turned into a very hostile atmosphere, and all this happened within a few seconds: We suddenly found ourselves separated, both Gilad and myself, by these waves of people pushing us. In the end we managed to extricate ourselves from the uproar, "he added.
He says that he and Shalmor found themselves "surrounded by two concentric circles of rioters, so that anyone who wanted to could give us a punch or a kick; there was no one to talk to. It was a bunch of young people with murder in their eyes. To try to convince them was to remain there and take more blows."
He said that Shalmor was badly beaten, to the point where he could barely remove himself from the angry crowd to an ambulance waiting in the area.
Shalmor was punched and kicked in the face, sustaining injuries to his eye socket, ribs, legs, and back. At the hospital, his injuries were classified technically as "light" since they did not pose a danger to life or result in permanent disability.
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