Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli soldiers

Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli soldiers
© Getty

A Palestinian journalist was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border, The Washington Post reported.

Yasser Murtaja, 31, was one of two Palestinians who died Saturday of injuries sustained during protests at the border. The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate said that he was one of six Palestinian journalists shot by Israeli soldiers. 

Murtaja, who worked for the Gaza-based Ain Media, was shot despite wearing a vest labeling him as “PRESS.” Photos and video show demonstrators treating his injuries after he was shot in the abdomen, according to the Post.

He later died from the gunshot wound, and was carried through the streets during his funeral draped in his press vest.

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The Israeli army said that it did not intentionally target Murtaja and that it is investigating the shooting, according to The Times of Israel.

“For weeks we have been warning against coming close to the fence and calling on Gaza’s residents not to obey the orders of the terror group Hamas and refrain from terror activities and other violent acts against Israel,” the IDF said in a statement. “Despite this, since last Friday the IDF has been dealing with tens of thousands of people approaching the fence, all instigated by Hamas.”

“In response IDF forces are acting under clear orders designed for these circumstances. The IDF does not deliberately target journalists.”

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said 491 Palestinians suffered gunshot wounds on Friday as they protested at the border. Israel has not confirmed those numbers.

Israel has denied that protests are peaceful and claims that soldiers are forced to fire into the crowd because the terrorist group Hamas is using the crowds to make gains on the border.

Gaza residents have promised to protest at the border for six weeks, starting last week. The Post reported that 31 people have been killed over the past week as Israeli soldiers have fired on the protestors, including nine killed on Friday.