As it did during the first negotiation session, the Lebanese Army, in coordination with the UNIFIL, kept journalists at a distance from the location of the second US-mediated Lebanon-Israel border demarcation meeting that took place on Wednesday.
However, as the journalists in Naqoura were covering the session, 7 kilometers away from its location at the UNIFIL headquarters, they were ordered to leave by a group of individuals in civilian clothing.
According to reporters who were at the site of the incident, the group introduced themselves as members of Hezbollah before ordering the journalists to leave the area immediately.
They claimed that the area was a security zone in which taking photos and videos was prohibited. It’s worth noting, however, that the Lebanese Army had permitted journalists to cover the meeting from that location earlier.
Shortly afterward, the group attacked the crew of Télé Liban, Lebanon’s state-run television station.
“When I tried to contact the concerned people at my station, [the group] accused me of taking pictures of them, so they took the phone and deliberately broke and threw our video equipment, and gave us 3 minutes to leave, or else…” Télé Liban’s news reporter Neyla Chehwan said in a Facebook post.
Caretaker Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad later condemned the attack on the press, calling it “reprehensible,” and requesting “the intervention of the relevant security services to preserve the security of journalists and the dignity of the profession.”