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Committee to Protect Journalists slams Israeli authorities for Gaza shootings

Palestinian journalists hold placards to commemorate their Palestinian colleague Yasir Murteca, who was martyred by Israeli soldiers during "Great March of Return" near Gaza-Israel border, during a protest in Gaza City, Gaza on 9 April, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian journalists hold placards to commemorate their Palestinian colleague Yasir Murteca, who was martyred by Israeli soldiers during "Great March of Return" near Gaza-Israel border, during a protest in Gaza City, Gaza on 9 April, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) yesterday slammed Israeli authorities following the killing of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja, and also “condemned” remarks made by Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman which justified the Israeli soldiers’ shooting of civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Journalists Arrested by Israel - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Journalists Arrested by Israel – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

CPJ urged “authorities to hold to account anyone who shot journalists with live ammunition”.

Sherif Mansour, the group’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator, said: “Journalists are civilians, and security forces have a duty to ensure that they can work safely.”

“Israeli authorities must thoroughly investigate the killing of Yaser Murtaja, rather than sustain their record of making empty pledges to probe the killing of journalists during conflict and other dangerous assignments,” he added.

READ: Yaser Murtaja’s camera has fallen, but his pictures remain

CPJ noted that “at least five other journalists were injured while covering the protests on April 6.”

  • Adham Al-Hajjar, cameraman for the Moroccan private broadcaster Medi1TV, was hit by a live round in his left knee in an area east of Gaza City, according to the Journalists Support Committee (JSC), MADA, Saada and pictures posted on Facebook by local journalists and friends.
  • Khalil Abu Adhreh, cameraperson for the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, was hit by a live round in his left leg in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, according to his employer, Saada and JSC. Footage posted on YouTube shows that Abu Adhreh, who was a few hundred metres away from the border fence, was filming protesters who were occasionally throwing stones and waving Palestinian flags when he was hit.
  • Freelance photographer Ibrahim Al-Za’noun was hit by a live round in his left arm in an area east of the northern Gazan city of Jabalia, according to JSC, Saada, and news reports.
  • Ezz Abu Shanab, editor for the independent local news agency Sky Press Agency, was hit by a live round in his left leg in Gaza city, according to local journalist Saada, and a Facebook post from the editor Abu Shanab.
  • Saber Nureldine, photographer for the European Press Photo Agency, was hit by shrapnel in his head and shoulder while working east of Gaza City, according to a Facebook post from Nureldine and the PJS.

CPJ also added that according to their research and news reports, “at least 10 Palestinian journalists were injured the previous week by live rounds, gas canisters, and tear gas”.

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