Palestinian journalist shot by Israeli troops at Gaza protest has died two weeks later

Reporter wearing vest marked 'Press' and helmet marked 'TV' when he was hit

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 26 April 2018 12:50 BST
Palestinian photographer Ahmad Abu Hussein shot by Israeli forces in Gaza

A Palestinian journalist who was shot by Israeli forces while covering a protest along the Gaza-Israel border nearly two weeks ago has died of his wounds, the Gaza Health Ministry announced.

Ahmad Abu Hussein, who was shot in the abdomen on 13 April, is the second journalist to be fatally shot during weeks of demonstrations at the border, which have called for a right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to homes in what is now Israel.

The 24-year-old was wearing a protective vest marked “Press” and a helmet marked “TV” when he was shot, amateur video from the scene shows.

He worked for Gaza’s “Voice of People” radio station linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Health officials said a bullet penetrated Mr Abu Hussein’s side. He was moved from Gaza to a hospital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, then transferred to a hospital in Israel, where he died on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, another journalist, Yasser Murtaja, was killed while covering a protest.

Israel claimed he was a Hamas militant, but provided no evidence. His family has denied the claim.

Mr Murtaja had recently been hired by a Norwegian advocacy group and had also been screened by the US government before his company received a USAID grant.

After his death, the Israeli military said it does not intentionally target journalists and it would investigate the circumstances of the shooting.

The Palestinian journalists’ union accused Israel of “deliberately” targeting Mr Abu Hussein and Mr Murtaja, vowing to seek to bring “leaders of the occupation” to justice.

Israeli soldiers are seen as Palestinian demonstrators protest at the Israel Gaza border (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) (AP)

Since the weekly Friday protests began on 30 March, 35 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded by Israeli soldiers firing across the border.

Rights groups argue open-fire regulations are unlawful because they permit troops to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters and the US and EU have also questioned Israel’s use of deadly force.

Israel has warned Gazans not to approach the border fence and says it is doing what is necessary to defend its sovereign border.

The Palestinians said Israel, which has deployed army sharpshooters along the frontier, used “excessive force against unarmed protesters”. Some protesters have hurled stones and rolled burning tyres towards the fence.

Additional reporting by agencies

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