The Forum of Palestinian Journalists strongly condemned the deliberate targeting of photojournalist Muath Amarneh during his coverage of the protests in occupied Hebron on Friday.
Palestinian freelance photojournalist Muath Amarneh has been in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem since being hit in the eye on Friday while covering a protest in Surif, close to Hebron.
“After the clashes started, I was standing to the side wearing a flak jacket with press markings and a helmet,” the 35-year-old told AFP news agency yesterday.
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“Suddenly I felt something hit my eye, I thought it was a rubber bullet or a stone. I put my hand to my eye and found nothing,” he added. “I couldn’t see and my eye was completely gone.”
Demonstrators wore eye patches or covered their eyes in solidarity with Muath in the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday.
The Forum of Palestinian Journalists confirmed that the recent Israeli crime was committed in the context of the series of Israeli acts of terror that target civilians and journalists.
The occupation has shown the highest level of disregard for all international and humanitarian laws and covenants, which raises a question regarding the position of the organisations concerned with the protection of journalists and human rights and freedoms, the forum said, adding that their silence allows the occupation forces to continue committing crimes against the Palestinian people and media.
It went on to call for holding the Israeli occupation leaders to be held to account for the targeting of journalists. It also called on the International Federation of Journalists and the Arab Union of Journalists to take urgent action to protect Palestinian journalists from the oppression of the occupation and stop its crimes against them.
At least 60 journalists have been targeted with live bullets so far this year, 43 others have been injured by sound bombs, while 170 were beaten or banned from covering events.
Ten were arrested and 18 journalists are being held in Israeli prisons.