No Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return are “innocent”, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said yesterday, referring to all the peaceful protesters as “Hamas members”.
“In the march of terror there were no innocent civilians, they were all Hamas members.”
Lieberman slammed calls for an investigation in to the fatal shooting by Israel of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja saying: “The demand to investigate the shooting…is hypocrisy.”
“We have seen dozens of cases of Hamas activists were disguised as medics and journalists. We also saw a journalist approach the border and operate a drone, we do not take chances in those cases.”
“All the demonstrators near the security fence in the Gaza Strip receive salaries from Hamas,” Lieberman said in an interview with Reshet Bet. “Those who try to break through the border are members of the military wing of Hamas.”
On Friday, Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja was shot in the abdomen while covering the protests near Gaza’s border with Israel. At the time he was wearing a blue flak jacket with the word “PRESS” clearly written on it. He died from his wounds in hospitals the following day.
His company, Ain Media, has denied Israel’s claims that he was operating a camera drone when he was shot.
One of the company’s producers, Rushdi Al-Sarraj, published a photograph of Murtaja taken moments before he was shot by an Israeli sniper. In it, Murtaja can be seen holding a camera and taking pictures of the protests during what has been dubbed as the Friday of Tyres.