Journalist killed on Gaza-Israel border was reportedly a Hamas officer

Saul Bowman
April 11, 2018

The syndicate identified one of them as working for Hamas television.

Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier on Wednesday at dawn, Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, and Tal village, southwest of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and abducted four Palestinians.

The killing of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja by an Israeli sniper, with what the head of Reporters Without Borders called "an intentional shot", understandably got worldwide headlines.

Israeli forces routinely kill Palestinian civilians in the OPT, protected by a culture of impunity.

Israel pledged disciplinary action on April 10 over a soldier's leaked video showing an army sniper targeting a Palestinian across the Gaza border fence to profane praise from an onlooker, but deemed the shooting itself to have been exemplary.

Israel claims its forces "only open fire to stop attempts to damage the fence, infiltrations, bids to carry out attacks and at those seeking to harm soldiers".

"His use of the drone was to show that Gaza has a handsome and vibrant face", said his 24-year-old brother, Mutasim.

Palestinian parkour experts have performed a special show on the Israeli-Gaza border, close to a site where mass protests and deadly clashes have occurred since late March.


Israel has said it has the right to defend its sovereign border, amid mounting worldwide expressions of concern about the escalation of the past 10 days.

In a statement by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), chief negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat called the video "a reflection of the cruel mentality of Israel's military occupation and the drive of its systematic shoot-to-kill policy against the Palestinian civilians".

Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since 2008 and says the blockade of Gaza is necessary to isolate the Islamist movement.

It said Tuesday an initial probe shows the video was taken in December during "violent riots".

The statement said the footage was not filmed by the Israeli sharpshooter but by a soldier from a different unit.

Israel's military said the incident in the video "apparently" dated back several months, adding that it "will be thoroughly investigated".

The video in which the apparent sniper and his colleagues are heard cheering after hitting the man behind the fence emerged on Monday and has been widely shared, sparking a public outcry.

"As for the unauthorised filming of an operational event, the distribution of the filmed material and the statements made there, it should be noted that these do not suit the degree of restraint expected of [Israeli] soldiers and will be dealt by commanders accordingly", it said. Last week, officials estimated there were some 30,000 Gazans participating.

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