BBC Arabic reporter attacked on air outside Gaza

A BBC Arabic journalist was attacked on-air while reporting on the conflict in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, a video posted on YouTube shows.

Reporter Feras Khatib, who was wearing a protective vest that indicated he was a member of the press, was shoved midway through his report, apparently by an Israeli, according to BBC Arabic. The attacker was quickly shoved away from Khatib by an unidentified man in a "PRESS" vest.

In an e-mail, a BBC Arabic spokesman said the attack took place during a live report in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Khatib "was manhandled by an angry Israeli," the statement said, adding: "Feras was unharmed and will continue reporting as normal." The spokesman said the attacker "left immediately after the incident."

BBC Arabic tweeted about the attack Tuesday morning:

Elsewhere in the region, Al Jazeera's office in Gaza came under fire  Tuesday, and the network said Israel was to blame.

"Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building," Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the bureau in Gaza said.

"We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated."

The incident came a day after Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said he wants to ban Al Jazeera from reporting in Israel, according to Haaretz. Lieberman on Monday called the network a "branch of a terrorist organization."

In a statement, Al Jazeera said: "The foreign minister's comments were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible. They have put the lives of journalists in danger."

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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