News

July 23, 2019

Five Palestinian journalists injured during the past four days

At least five Palestinian journalists have been injured, one seriously, by live rounds, rubber bullets or teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during protests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank during the past four days. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the deliberate targeting of journalists.

Two reporters were injured by shots fired by Israeli soldiers near Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on 19 July. According to the Palestinian Centre For Development And Media Freedoms (MADA), a local NGO, they were injured when soldiers opened fire on a small group of journalists as they filmed a demonstrator who had been injured by a rubber bullet

 

Al-Aqsa TV’s Sami Misran was seriously injured in an eye by a live round fragment, losing use of the eye. Safinaz Al-Luh of Hanthala News sustained a minor fracture in the shoulder when struck from behind by a rubber-coated metal bullet. Both were wearing vests clearly marked with the word “Press.”

 

Firing at journalists when they are clearly identifiable indicates a deliberate desire to target the press and obstruct their work,” RSF’s Middle East desk said. “The Israeli military must stop targeting journalists, who are protected by international law when they are doing their job as reporters.

 

In Wadi Al-Homs, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, two journalists were injured the next day by teargas grenades that were fired when they tried to approach a group of Palestinian families protesting against the demolition of their home by the Israeli authorities.

 

The two journalists, Ayat Arqawi of the APA Agency and Mutasem Sqfelhait of the Quds Network, told RSF that the Israeli soldiers fired the teargas after ordering them not to film the demonstrators.

 

Finally, the journalist Mohamed Al-Arbid sustained a gunshot injury to the leg yesterday in Malkah, in the Gaza Strip, while filming a convoy of trucks that had come to protest against Israeli’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 

At least ten journalists were injured by Israeli military gunfire while covering the annual “March of Return” protests in the Gaza Strip from 30 March to 15 May. Two, Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, were fatally shot although clearly identified as journalists.

 

Israel is ranked 88th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.