‘We will let you shut up’: Givara Budeiri recounts arrest by Israeli police

Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Givara Budeiri has left hospital after receiving treatment for injuries suffered during her arrest by Israeli police.

Video Transcript

- Well, Al Jazeera's Givara Budeiri joins us here now. Givara, let me start by asking you, how are you doing today?

GIVARA BUDEIRI: I'm trying to be OK. They broke my hand. I spent all the night in the hospital. My heart and my back hurts me a lot. And here had my hand from the cuffs, and also they hurt so much because the soldiers in the car were tightening it all the time. I have a headache. And my leg, I can't walk very well. And my voice, as you see.

It was horrible because not only because I'm Palestinian. I'm a journalist. I'm covering, like all the journalists here. We're covering and the reality on the ground. We are just telling the whole world what's going on here.

Until now, I'm under shock because I didn't see any photos from what happened yesterday because I was shocked when they began to kick me. And I was just saying, I just want to hear something very important.

Yesterday, especially yesterday, I made four lies for Al Jazeera. And I was walking through these soldiers, the same soldiers, more than 25. And I made walk-and-talk story with my name and the name of the Al Jazeera. I was wearing my vest, my press vest.

And I was walking. I am going out and coming inside the Sheikh Jarrah for more than 20 times. So they know me. They know who I am. And the thing that they after know-- they hit me in a very bad way in the car, they kicked me a lot more than outside. And one of the soldiers, he said that we arrested Givara Budeiri, the reporter of the Al Jazeera.

If you didn't have my ID, how did you know now, after all this criminal show, how did you know I'm Givara and I'm the reporter of Al Jazeera? And inside the police station, and it was showing that it's because of Al Jazeera. One of the soldiers told me, we will let you shut up. You, all of Al Jazeera here on the ground so all the journalists will shut up. If we let Al Jazeera be silent, everyone will shut up, one of the soldiers.

They were treating me like a criminal. They refused to take off the cuffs. And as I told you, we are journalists, just telling what's going on on the ground. I'm with from 21 years old. One of the soldiers came and told me, from how long you are on Al Jazeera? I told him how old are you? He said, 20 years. I told him, I am with Al Jazeera before you were born.

So we know our work. We don't lie. We don't say anything wrong because they said that Al Jazeera are saying everything-- they lie a lot. I told them, no, we don't lie. Just give me one incident that we lied.

What I'm seeing now on the ground after all these years, this time, after all these years, this is the first time we see this unbelievable treating towards journalists and especially towards Al Jazeera after covering all what happened in [INAUDIBLE] in Sheikh Jarrah, in Al-Aqsa mosque, in Gaza especially.

But they want the camera to be broken, as they broke it yesterday with my colleague Nabil Musawi. They wanted the microphone to be on the ground. But we are telling them that the microphone and the camera will stay. And we will continue. Nothing will stop us, nothing. We faced more than this. And we will continue.

- Givara, I'm so sorry that you've been through that trauma. I see your cast there. Can I ask, how did that actually happened to your hand? Your fracture, the broken part of your hand?

GIVARA BUDEIRI: The broken hand? From the kicking. And because I was kicked from everywhere, even I didn't know that my hand is broken. Only in the hospital, they discovered that it's broken. Here it's from the cuffs because they were tightening it. Because I was shouting, I couldn't breathe. I just told them, please, open the window.

Every time I'm saying open the window, they were kicking me with legs and then tightening the cuffs. It hurts a lot. But as I told you, it's nothing. Maybe it's the first time I know what's the meaning of being a prisoner.

I have many friends. And we covered many, many people who were arrested. So it's a new thing to know, how to--

- Be on the other side.

GIVARA BUDEIRI: How the people of Jerusalem are treated. They are treated very badly. Inside the police station, I saw small kids. They were treated like criminals. They didn't do anything. And even I want to ask them what's going on. They refused to let me speak with them.

Something so, so silly. I was so tired. So I wanted to close my eyes. He began to kick me with his leg, the soldier inside the police station. Don't close your eyes. Why you are doing like this? If we don't cover with camera, there is the iPhone. There are a new generation covering everything. So don't let a new generation coming to cover what we are covering also.

- Givara, you've been reporting--

GIVARA BUDEIRI: I'm sorry for my voice.

- It's absolutely fine. Givara, you've been reporting, as you say, from Sheikh Jarrah for some time now. I'm curious, what has it been like reporting from the ground there, not just for you, but for other journalists? How are other journalists being treated at the moment?

GIVARA BUDEIRI: I can't say that no one was treated in a good way, all the journalists, reporters, cameramen, soundmen, people who help us, even Israeli journalists from the left side, they were kicked. So they know that this will-- they want everybody to be shut up, everybody. All the journalists were treated in a bad way in [INAUDIBLE] in Al-Aqsa, in Sheikh Jarrah, and, of course, what happened with our office in Gaza.

This is a crime. And all the journalists or anybody, who's just filming with the iPhone, they were also kicked. For me for example before two days I was kicked in Silwan from four soldiers with sticks on my back. And before that we were kicked many times from the horses in the [INAUDIBLE].

The people may say in the world, It's nothing. No it's something because it hurts and they want to-- we are feeling so-- they thought that we will be tired and we will stop and we will not continue. No, we are going to continue. If this camera didn't show, that camera will show and everybody will speak about that. And the most important thing that now. Everybody else are saying, how can we help the journalists of Jerusalem because no one can help them because they are under Israeli occupation.

It's something so bad towards the journalists in Jerusalem. It's so, so bad situation there. So we hope something now will change not because Givara Budeiri for sure. I am one of these great people, these journalists, who are working some of them from 30 years on the ground. I'm one of them. But now I think everybody saw how Israel don't want anyone in the world see what's going on the ground.

No, they don't want see. They don't want to show anybody but from everywhere the photos are going to everywhere. And we are saying about this generation it's TikTok generation. This generation has changed everything.

- Givara. You've said I know that you will go to court. I'm curious what your next steps will be and also just around the press credentials. I know there have been difficulties in obtaining those. Do you think that taking steps to go to court will make it easier for other journalists to operate there as well?

GIVARA BUDEIRI: First of all, as Al Jazeera we are going to the court because they said that I beat the soldier a female soldier and they gave me in the investigation a video about six seconds. Just my hands is like this. I told the investigator, six seconds and the lawyer told me there is 22 minutes of video from all the videos that show the opposite. So don't tell me about six seconds.

So they said the investigator told me now you have a criminal file and maybe you have to go to the court. So Al Jazeera will go to the court because of what happened with all the teams before two days. They broke I would call in Silwan also in [INAUDIBLE] and they throw gas on the car. Our cameraman they were beaten very badly in other places.

So Al Jazeera will go to the court and also today all the journalists said that there is a big file for all the things that happened towards the journalists. They are going even to the International Criminal Court with the big file with all the things that shows how Israel and the occupation are doing with the journalists. Especially from the beginning of Ramadan because from the first day of Ramadan and we were covering from [INAUDIBLE]

They were kicking people and we are just filming. They were kicking us also. Why are you kicking us and we are just filming? We didn't do anything. We have just make microphones, we have just camera and we have our pen that is all what we have. So now for sure Al Jazeera now will go to the court. And from what I have seen even from some Israeli channels, they are in the shock.

They found our boss [INAUDIBLE] and they said that it's not acceptable what happened yesterday. And some leaders told me yesterday that it's something the same like what happened in Gaza all this demonstration and all the bad things that happened in Gaza. The same like what your photo yesterday because you were covering. You didn't do anything and really we were covering and they saw us, they know us, they wanted let us shut off. That's all.

- Givara Budeiri there. Al Jazeera's correspondent speaking to us now from Ramallah. We wish you all the best Givara and we're very glad to see you back reunited with your little girls.

GIVARA BUDEIRI: Thank you. Thank you so much.